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Thread: Need help with Speed Graphic

  1. #1

    Need help with Speed Graphic

    I am so frustrated. I was having a great time with my new old speed graphic using a barrel lens, and now suddenly the camera will not go back into the back and close. it appears that the right piece of track at the back has popped out of the track and remains raised onthe right side, preventing the camera sliding in all the way. I examined it closely and see that two screws hold the metal slot for the track. Even if I could get at them to remove them I am not sure it would help because it looks as if a thin sliver of "holding edge" my have broken off.

    Who could repair this? I hate to send it away, but it is a major inconvenience not being able to close up the camera. I think the metal slot that holds the track will need to be replaced with a spare one or a remanufactured one. The whole camera could do with a cleaning as well.


  2. #2
    lenser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Tim from Missouri

    Re: Need help with Speed Graphic

    It might help to know in general where you are located to help track down a repair person. It would definitely help to see a close up photo or two of the problem area in case one of the members has had the same experience and could offer advice.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  3. #3
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Mendocino, California

    Re: Need help with Speed Graphic

    If you remove that piece of track, perhaps you would be able clean up or straighten the section where it broke off and it would be able to slide back in.

    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast:

  4. #4

    Re: Need help with Speed Graphic

    I am happy to say that I fixed it, at least temporarily. I went to take a photo of the problem and tried one more time to slide the track back in. This time, I racked the rack out to its furtest extent. This gave me just enough room to lift up the back part and slid it into its track. On one side it is only held by about a quarter of the track because the remainder has broken off, so this problem will probably recur whenever I do anything extreme to the track. I will try to find a spare part to replace the defective one.

    I think your suggestions all helped. They encouraged me to try again anyway.

  5. #5
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Chillicothe Missouri USA

    Re: Need help with Speed Graphic

    This is a problem on some Speed Graphics when the camera has been dropped or someone tried to force the camera shut without fully retracting the front standard. With practice you'll probably become proficient at closing the camera, even without replacing the broken track. One of my Speed Graphics also needs that track, but replacing it might not be worth the bother.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Montgomery, Il. USA

    Re: Need help with Speed Graphic

    SWAG on this one. I don't have a Graphic.
    Could the rails be swapped without losing the ability to focus?
    By reversing both rails(hence, swap) you would end up with a complete section at the rear.

  7. #7

    Re: Need help with Speed Graphic

    I think you are correct on this swapping idea. Someone on the grapflex list also told me that the bedblock can be reversed so the rail is held in properly. I am not going to do anything about it unless I have to as Jim suggested.
    It's great how much knowledge there is on this list. I always seem to find an answer from it.

  8. #8
    JoeV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Albuquerque, NM, USA

    Re: Need help with Speed Graphic

    I've had problems like that with my WWII-era Anniversary Speed Graphic. What helps to prevent it from happening with my camera is that, after opening the camera and folding down the front bed, I ensure that the rack gear has the front standard drawn fully into the rear of the camera body BEFORE unlocking the front standard and extending it outward. This may be something peculiar with my camera, but try it on yours and see if it helps.

    The photograph and the thing being photographed are not the same thing.

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