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XL focusing tabs

 
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 469
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was told by the store that I got my XL from that the three nylon (?) tabs in the focusing barrel were prone to failure. While I can see them being hurt by careless mounting of the lens, are they durable in normal use or is this a wear area that needs to be watched?
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Alfie



Joined: 13 Oct 2002
Posts: 15
Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used XL's for over a decade now and have not had any problem with the much-maligned focus tabs, EXCEPT, I did once drop one of my XL bodies, with a lens mounted, on a concrete floor and one of the tabs broke off. It still works fine, however, so I guess I was lucky. The lens barrel got abraded, as well, but that rig still takes good photos! And, oddly enough, with that one focus tab knocked out the XL 'stiff focus' problem is solved - it's smooth as silk now (almost).

I have found that the tabs don't 'wear' in normal usage, contrary to what a lot of people claim. I do wish they were stronger, but given my experience I don't think they're as egregious an example of poor design as they are frequently accused of being.

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blwallen



Joined: 21 Mar 2002
Posts: 19
Location: Central Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These tabs are an integral part of the focusing collar and are probably the most likely thing to be broken on an XL, along with the front glass on the RF/VF. Unlike the glass, which can be replaced by a microscope slide, cut to fit the frame, the focusing cones seem to be impossible to repair. I've tried several different materials and can't get anything to bond with the cone material. The tabs engage the groove cut into the lens cylinder and must be precisely shaped and positioned for smooth and accurate focusing.

I think these usually get broken when the camera is dropped on the lens, as Alfie's did. Somewhere in the past I read the suggestion that this was actually a conscious design goal to protect the lens when dropped. Unfortunately, without a source of new collars, this design makes an otherwise useful camera unusable.

Anybody aware of a source for new focusing cones? I've contacted both names suggested as sources in previous posts, but without any luck.

Incidently, Bob Hutchinson (http://bigcamera.com; email:bob@bigcamera.com) has two suggestions to fix stiff focusing. He says that if the three set screws that fix the position of the focusing cone to the rotatimg bearing underneath are screwed in too far they will deform the cone and make it bind. I tried backing these screws out some on one of my stiffer focusing XLs, but it didn't change things much. There is also a light seal in this assembly that can cause binding. I have several parts cameras and have found that the rotating bearing are often the cause. Although I've had these bearings apart, I have not been able to locate the cause of the binding.
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tombury



Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 5
Location: westernUSA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an XL with broken tabs and no fix.
I came out OK on the purchase as it came with a bunch of roll film holders which sold quickly. I have the tabs but, none of the miracle cements worked. It came with an excellent Rodenstock normal lens. I would like to mount it on a 2x3 Speed Graphic but, the lens board I checked was too small. Any suggestions?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-02-20 18:03, tombury wrote:
I have an XL with broken tabs and no fix.
I came out OK on the purchase as it came with a bunch of roll film holders which sold quickly. I have the tabs but, none of the miracle cements worked. It came with an excellent Rodenstock normal lens. I would like to mount it on a 2x3 Speed Graphic but, the lens board I checked was too small. Any suggestions?
What do you mean, too small? Please explain.

Your Heligon can't be in a shutter larger than #1. I have a couple of #1s on 2x3 Pacemaker boards.

Cheers,

Dan
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Alfie



Joined: 13 Oct 2002
Posts: 15
Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, you are assuming he has the common 80mm Heligon. He may be lucky enough to have the 95mm f2.8 Heligon, which according to an old catalog I have was even more highly regarded (and pricier) than the 100mm Planar and should be a great performer.
--OK, I'm editing this post, as the 95mm Heligon is probably in a #1 size shutter, as Dan assumed... all I can say is it must be a big piece of glass for a 2x3 Graphic and if someone says it's a tough fit, I believe it. I don't think my 100mm Planar could find a comfortable home on a 2x3 Graphic lensboard.

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My wife asked me what I gave the urchin begging in the street. "f8 at 1/125th," I replied.

[ This Message was edited by: Alfie on 2004-02-23 10:44 ]
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tombury



Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 5
Location: westernUSA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

with regard to my f2.8 Rodenstock that won't fit a 2x3 Speed Graphic lens board. I believe it is an 80mm lens. I took the XL to a camera show and visited a gentleman who sells Speed Graphics in all sizes. By visual comparison with 3 Speed Graphics it was obvious that the shutter on the XL was way too big to fit onto a lens board for a 2x3 Speed Graphic. I wish it did fit. It is a great lens and I can't use it for anything.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you measured the actual portion of the shutter which goes through the lensboard? It doesn't matter if (a) the shutter itself is larger than the lensboard, or (b) the rear element is larger. You can, for instance, mount an 80 Planar (from an XL) on that camera and I wonder whether your lens is any larger. You'll have to unscrew the rear element, and reinstall it through the back of the mounted lensboard, so it isn't a "rapid change" lens.

Also, some of that XL lens mount isn't necessary for use with the Graphic. Don't give up yet.

[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2004-03-30 06:16 ]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-02-23 10:38, Alfie wrote:
Dan, you are assuming he has the common 80mm Heligon. He may be lucky enough to have the 95mm f2.8 Heligon, which according to an old catalog I have was even more highly regarded (and pricier) than the 100mm Planar and should be a great performer.
--OK, I'm editing this post, as the 95mm Heligon is probably in a #1 size shutter, as Dan assumed... all I can say is it must be a big piece of glass for a 2x3 Graphic and if someone says it's a tough fit, I believe it. I don't think my 100mm Planar could find a comfortable home on a 2x3 Graphic lensboard.

_________________
My wife asked me what I gave the urchin begging in the street. "f8 at 1/125th," I replied.

[ This Message was edited by: Alfie on 2004-02-23 10:44 ]
Alfie, sorry for the late reply, I was away.

Something's very wrong with this story.

I shoot a 2x3 Pacemaker Speed and a Century, both take the same boards. I have boards for them with ex-MP-4 #1 Copal Press shutters and one with a cock-and-shoot Copal 1. These boards go on both cameras. There's no reason why a #1 won't go on a 2x3 Pacemaker board.

Cheers,

Dan
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-03-29 18:02, tombury wrote:
with regard to my f2.8 Rodenstock that won't fit a 2x3 Speed Graphic lens board. I believe it is an 80mm lens. I took the XL to a camera show and visited a gentleman who sells Speed Graphics in all sizes. By visual comparison with 3 Speed Graphics it was obvious that the shutter on the XL was way too big to fit onto a lens board for a 2x3 Speed Graphic. I wish it did fit. It is a great lens and I can't use it for anything.
Tom, you and the people who are advising you are confused.

The XL focusing tube won't attach to a 2x3 Pacemaker board. The lens/shutter assembly is held to the tube by a retaining ring. Unscrew the rear cell, then the retaining ring will be accessible. Then use a spanner wrench to unscrew the retaining ring. At this point the shutter will be ready to mount on a 2x3 Pacemaker board that's been drilled to accept it. Insert the rear of the shutter in the hole, put the retaining ring on, tighted. Screw the rear cell in. And you're ready to go.

I use lenses in Compur standard (= Copal) #00, #0, and #1 shutters on my 2x3 Pacemakers. Whoever told you that a #1 shutter won't go on a 2x3 Pacemaker board is mistaken. That said, it is indeed true that a #1 on a 2x3 Pacemaker board will interfere with the Pacemaker Graphic's shutter trip lever; this has to be removed.

If you can't do the work yourself, you might consider sending the lens in XL tube and an undrilled board to SKGrimes. http://www.skgrimes.com. Steve died about a year ago, but the firm is still in business and doing good work. They drilled a board for me last month, charged $15, and did other work too. I doubt they'll charge you for getting the lens off the tube.

Cheers,

Dan
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