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Thread: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

  1. #1
    Corran's Avatar
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    Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    I've searched and searched, can't find anything.

    I need to adjust the RF on my Crown Graphic but I don't have a Master Cam. All the literature I have found says you have to have it. But I don't!

    Anyone know any tricks for this? Alternatively, if anyone has a Crown with the 152mm Ektar lens, can they tell me exactly how far from the front of the rail their infinity stops are? I think that would help, maybe???
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  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    Sorry, duh, the RF is the later top-mounted Graflex one.
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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    on the top rangefinder, the cam is all the adjustment there is. You set the infinity stops according to the published method...and change the cam...that's pretty much all there is to do.

    You might find the appropriate cam on ebay. There is a seller or two who specialize in selling parts for the Graphics.

    The 152mm Ektar was a standard lens...so, cams exist.

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    According to this website:
    http://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/cams/index.html

    There is a "master cam" as well as the lens-specific cam.

    Since you can focus both with the front standard and the focus rail, the "master cam" I assume provides a set infinity so that you can adjust the infinity stops to that lens, and then the lens-specific cam adjusts the focus.

    Doing as you say simply makes the near-focus way off from RF.

    I have a 152mm cam, just not the "master cam."
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  5. #5

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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    Haha you're f-ed.

    To set the front stops, focus on something out at infinity using a loupe on the ground glass, just like Ansel Adams and the other 15,328 togs here. Using a tiny screwdriver, set the infinity stops to hit the front standard. See, really easy! Infinity is a breeze.

    Try the Graflex.org forum and beg someone to sell you the proper cam, then good luck sliding that little bugger into place.

    Or make your own: http://graflex.org/articles/cave.html or http://graflex.org/articles/oakes/

    Google is great, try it!

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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    According to this website:
    http://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/cams/index.html

    There is a "master cam" as well as the lens-specific cam.

    Since you can focus both with the front standard and the focus rail, the "master cam" I assume provides a set infinity so that you can adjust the infinity stops to that lens, and then the lens-specific cam adjusts the focus.

    Doing as you say simply makes the near-focus way off from RF.

    I have a 152mm cam, just not the "master cam."
    That guy is talking shit out his ass. Go read Frank's post above and visit Graflex.org. It really isn't rocket science. Journalists used and maintained this stuff in the 1950's - it is a very simple and easy camera.

  7. #7
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    Google, huh? Yeah I've been reading for about 5 hours. Simple to say on the internet. But regardless the RF isn't focusing accurately once it's closer than 20 feet. Are you saying the cam is screwed up?

    A little less guile please.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    BTW, there is two separate focusing mechanisms, the rail that you unlock under the lens and the focus knobs connected to the RF. I can set up infinity with the focus knobs in any position, therefore screwing up the RF. That's the problem and has not been adequately explained. With the focus knobs all the way back the camera is way out of adjustment closer than 40-50ft. Somewhere I read they should be out about .04 inches or something, which was for a different lens.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    I have owned at least five crowns and three or four speeds. I know Frank has had more than a couple pass through his hands too.


    read the proceedure at graflex.org. I cannot explain it any better.


    Take a deep breath...slow down. THINK!

    When the rails are (nearly) all the way back, then the lens should be focused at infinity. Your mission is to...


    1) mount your camera on a tripod and point it at a big object at infinity.
    2) un lock the front standard - so that it moves freely forward and back.
    3) get a jewler's screw driver and loosen up the little, itty-bitty screws that clamp the infinity stops to the rail.
    4) slide 'em aft and fold down the wings.
    5) look at the ground glass and grab the front standard.
    6) slide the front standard forward and aft on the rail...do not move the rail...move the front standard...until the big thing at infinite distance comes acceptably sharp into focus on the GG.
    7) lock it down and slide the infinity stops forward. I mark the position on the rail with a sharpie first because, you'll probably need to move the front to tighten the little, itty-bitty lock screws.

    notice I didn't say anything about the RF yet.

    once you get the infinity stops correct, pop in the cam and you good to go.

  10. #10
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Crown Graphic RF adjustment without a master cam

    No where before did I read that you have to have the cam out when you focus at infinity, unless I missed it. Is that correct? I assume since you said to put it back in after focusing at infinity.

    A simple "you have to have the cam OUT when focusing at infinity" would have saved a lot of time frankly, and no need to berate me. I understand you and Frank know plenty, which is why I am ASKING here. I don't need to get chastised because I don't know something and therefore came and asked!
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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