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Thread: Crown Graphic and Schneider

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    193

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    Hello... First I would like to thank you all for all the answers and help in the past...This time I would like to have your opinion before writing the check.. : ). I always like to have a 4x5 field camera (for landscape) and I'm getting tired o f hauling my monorail when I go outdoor... after consulting the LF board and arc hives I went out and search for an used Linhof or Toyo..but phewww they are expe nsive... I always believe that a good photograph come from the mind, the eyes and the ski lls of the photographer... then come the lenses... and then camera body... So I came across this offer: a Crown Graphic in near mint condition with a 135mm lens (sorry forgot the brand) for a very reasonalbe price. The seller try to sell me as a package with a Schneider Super Angulon lens 65mm F8...since I don't know m uch about this two items, I would like to have a couple question..

    1. How much this package worth (suggested price is $800.00) 2. Any feed back on the Crown Graphic? 3. The Schneider Super Angulon lens 65mm F8..is a good lens? 4. Do you think this package make sense...? I mean it's a GO or wait and searchi ng more...?

    Thanks you all for any comments....

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    177

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    If you check Ebay, Crown Graphics in good condition run between $200 and $350 with a Graphex Optar 135mm or Schneider Xenar 135mm. I have seen used F8 SA 65mm lenses listed anywhere from $375-$500 at various dealers, (Midwest, Lens and Repro etc) depending on condition and shutter. the price he is giving sounds a little bit high unless everything is excellent ++.

    All that being said, A Grpahic is not a field camera in the true sense of the term. if you are used to using a lot of movements in the field with your monorail you may be dissapointed. There is very limited front tilt and rise and a drop bed, although I do not know if it is enough to prevent problems with 65mm. No rear movements, no revolving back.

    I have a Speed Graphic which I bought used a few years ago and refurbished the rear shutter. I use 90mm and a 150mm lens and like to carry it around and use it as a "point and shoot" the way it was designed for. But I also use it on occasion for other work, especially in very bad weather. Like you, my other camera is a monorail, but I have adapted to carrying it in the field. These cameras are very rugged (and also heavy) but fun to use and a good tool in the right situations.

    Hope these thoughts help.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Posts
    262

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    Hi Dan,

    My primary 4x5 camera is a crown graphic. I use the 8x10 more these days, but have used the crown quite a bit. I shot a 65 super angulon on it many times. It is very difficult to focus this lens, and a pain in the neck to use, but you can do it. The crown graphic will focus a 65 mm super angulon at infinity. You will get no movements, however, becuase the bellows will be all the way inside the camera, which prevents you from using any rise and, if I remember correctly, any tilt, either. However, this lens does not offer a big enough image circle for movements on 4x5 anyway, so that isn't such a big limitation.

    There are a variety of 135 mm lenses out there and in my experience they are all good! The Schneider Xenar is commonly found on these cameras. This is an extremely sharp lens, but offers a very limited image circle. The 135 optars of various make have larger image circles and are also good performers. If the shutter is working well, I think you will probably be happy with any of the 135 lenses, at least at first.

    As for the cost, it depends. I bet if you shopped around you could put that kit together for a little bit less. The 65 mm super angulon is what is really running the price up. But if you need a lens that wide, that is your least expensive option, and if this deal lets you inspect the gear and comes from a local person you trust, that is worth some money over the ebay roulette wheel. (I have had really great experiences on ebay, but generally I know exactly what I am buying).

    A note on the crown graphic. Many of these cameras came with only upward tilt. I can't really figure out why. It is easy to take the standard off and reverse it so you get downward tilt. Not something you do every time, but something you do once, and leave it that way. They are solid, tough, useful cameras for most photography. They offer no shift or swing and no back movements, but my style anyway rarely uses these anyway -- I generally stick to rise and tilt, and the crown has plenty of tilt and just enough rise for most circumstances.

    Good luck with your pictures, and be sure to check out www.graflex.org.

    Erik Ryberg

  4. #4

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    Check out a Super Speed Graphic, you get the full set of front movements,(forward and back tilts) and a revolveing back. It is all aluminum. Note beware of the 1/1000 shutter. They are highly collectable but the early ones have a reputation for blowing up. The electric shutter release requires special boards but you probably wouldn't use it anyway. They usually bring about $400 on Ebay

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    129

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    The Crown does not have the foward tilt thatis so needed for landscape work, Only hte supergraphic has that, and the super has a revolving back too, The crown is a press camera and should come with the fedora and the "PRESS" label to put in the hat band. The 90mm is really the shortest practical length, and then you have to drop the bed and use the back tilt to get the lense board vertical and on center again. FOrget the 65mm, you will get the bed in the pic if you use any movement, for the same price you cna get an early linhoff III and get better movements and get into a system that can grow, then when you want the better body you just get the linhof master 2000 and you are up to date.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Blue Jay, CA
    Posts
    2,290

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    I don't wear Ed's suggested headwear, but I do use a Crown a lot, with a 90 mm lens, and I have never had to drop the bed to use it. The Schneider 90 mm angulon was a very popular lens with this camera, and the press photographers weren't dropping the bed to use it.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Posts
    262

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    Ed,

    I have a crown graphic in front of me. Not only that, I also have one of those dial angle finders carpenters use. I am going to do an experiment with my camera and the dial gauge. First, I am going to measure the angle of the front standard and the ground glass with the front standard in the normal position. Then I am going to tilt the lens board forward, as one would do who wished to get the foreground in focus in a landscape photograph of distant mountains, and calculate the amount of forward tilt. My hypothesis is that this experiment will show that the crown graphic has some amount of forward tilt. Here goes.

    RESULT: The front and rear standards are at 89 degrees. It appears my table must not be perfectly level.

    Now I am going to tilt the front standard as far FORWARD, (i.e., pointing down) as far as it will go, without disturbing the angle of the camera itself.

    RESULT: I get 71 degrees.

    CONCLUSION: I conclude from my experiment that this camera has downward tilt of approximately 18 degrees.

    I don't own a 65 mm super angulon anymore, but I do have many photographs I took with it focused at infinity on this camera. Hm, maybe I should conduct another experiment, and see if I can detect the bed of my camera in those pictures.

  8. #8

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    I think Ed is getting his models mixed up. Using a Super Graphic you have a hard er time using superwide lenses than on the Crown. The Crown body is shallower. E d when you said "The 90mm is really the shortest practical length, and then you have to drop the bed and use the back tilt to get the lense board vertical and o n center again." there is no back movement on the Crown. I've never used a 65 on my Crown but about all that you can do is drop the bed. The front standard will be on the rails in the body with a 65, and if you remove the wire frame finder it will give a little rise though the lens won't allow much if any. The other po ssibility is to remove the front bed if you are only going to use a 65mm lens. I t won't be in the way then! Go look at <graflex.org>. Pretty much all you'll eve r need to know about these cameras is at that site

  9. #9

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    Go look at:

    http://www.graflex.org

    Sorry I left it out the first time.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    35

    Crown Graphic and Schneider

    In discussions of this type where the merits Pacemaker Graphics (both Crowns and Speeds)as field cameras are considered, the comment is frequently offered that the Graphics lack sufficient movements (type and extent of movement) to be serious contenders.

    I call attention to the examples published in Steve Simmon's book "Using the View Camera". At least 80% of the Simmon's examples photographed using a field camera of any make employed camera movements well within the capability of the Pacemaker Graphics or used no movement at all.

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