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Questions on the Crown

 
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Kohdi



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Questions on the Crown Reply with quote

Hey all,

Just a short introduction, I recently bought a Crown Graphic outfit on eBay with the intention of starting in large format. I did quite a bit of research for weeks beforehand, learning about camera models and general LF technique. My intention is to use the camera for landscape/nature and otherwise field work, which is what drew me to the sturdy and reliable (and relatively cheap) Graphic series. After the camera arrived I figured out all its settings and mechanics, gave the optics a good cleaning, found a few surprises (a Fresnel screen and a lens hood), and found that the rangefinder is not up to par. I'm not sure I'd ever rely on the rangefinder for field work, as I intend to compose the shot on the ground glass, but it would be nice to have a fully-operational camera. Anyway, on to the good stuff. Because I have a few questions, I'll list them here -

(fixed!) 1. I'm having trouble getting the rear shutter bracket off of the lens board. The lens is a Kodak Ektar f4.7 127mm, fairly common as I understand, and the shutter is the Graphic Supermatic. If I've read correctly the bracket should unscrew from the board, freeing the shutter, but even after quite a bit of pressure it hasn't budged an inch. Any recommendations for getting it off neatly so I can clock the shutter around to reach the cable socket easier?

(never mind) 2. The flash bracket that came attached to the camera was missing the top screw which holds it onto the camera body, so I took the whole thing off to make sure it doesn't do any damage. The empty screw hole is big and seems to have no threads, is there some other connector that goes in there which I am missing?

(fixed!) 3. After disassembling the top rangefinder I found that the battery chamber is somehow missing one of the metal contact strips (specifically, the one that runs over the top of the lightbulb). I had seen diagrams somewhere with exact measurements for making new contact strips, but I lost the link. Does anyone know where I can find the diagrams again?

(fixed!) 4. After cleaning up the rangefinder optics I found that the vertical alignment of the images is off. The horizontal is good, but I had to adjust that using the screw on the 50% mirror. Is there some way to fix the misalignment which doesn't involve replacing the mirrors (should be done anyway)?

(somewhat fixed) 5. If I decide to completely remove the rangefinder system in the future (as I said, I won't really be using it), is it possible to put it back in again without taking out the bellows or some other radical restructuring? I only ask because I may want to sell this someday, you never know.

6. Also, kind of unrelatedly, which kind of film do you guys prefer for landscape/nature work? I know Velvia 50 is one of the international standards, but I've also heard Kodak E100G is good too. I'd like to work with color slide film, and scan the pictures into my computer, so anything in that category will do.

That's all I've got now, sorry for being so wordy. Any replies to one or all of my questions are greatly appreciated, I think it's fantastic that these cameras have a whole community passionate about their care and workings!

EDIT - I switched question 1 around, having successfully removed the rear lens element, but I am now stuck with the shutter bracket. (Edit Edit - no longer a problem!)


Last edited by Kohdi on Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:21 am; edited 3 times in total
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3229
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Yes, the rear group should unscrew from the shutter. The shutter uses standard right hand threads. Holding the shutter firmly or securing it in a specialty vise grip the lens group with a rubber strap wrench and turn. It may require a fair amount of force to break the group loose from the shutter as they become stuck after many years.

Some members push the lens against an inflated car tire mounted on the car and turn the shutter but there is great potential for lens damage doing this due to the fine dirt that can become trapped in the tire rubber.

For very stubborn shutters place it in the oven on the center rack and heat the oven to 150 degrees F or its lowest setting and leave for 15 to 20 minutes (the higher the temperature the shorter the time, do not exceed 200 degrees F), remove, allow to cool enough to handle, and try again. Some put the shutter in the freezer but that allows moisture to condense in the shutter/lens. Low heat will not harm the lens or shutter.

2. http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/servicemanual.pdf

Manual page 22 figure 1- camera complete Items 2 and 5? A standard screw and nut should work.

3., 4., & 5. http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/TRFService.pdf

http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_4.html
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Kohdi



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the help, I'm still working with the shutter but I have temporarily fixed the rangefinder light contacts with handmade wire inserts. The diagrams I was looking for give exact measurements for cutting new contacts out of sheet brass, so if those ever pop up I would be grateful for the link. I also managed to re-calibrate the images in the rangefinder, and it has turned out to be greatly accurate.

Any advice on #6 or the others is still appreciated.
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tsgrimm



Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 158
Location: SE Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.carlvogt.com/

Diagram and dimensions for the missing battery chamber strip(s).
Maybe something else of interest, too.

You may have to hit the refresh button a time or two to get Carl's web site to come up. Anyway, I had to .
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Kohdi



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tsgrimm wrote:
http://www.carlvogt.com/

Diagram and dimensions for the missing battery chamber strip(s).
Maybe something else of interest, too.

You may have to hit the refresh button a time or two to get Carl's web site to come up. Anyway, I had to .


Perfect, that's exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

Any other tips on getting that shutter bracket off are appreciated, as that's now the last thing between me and the field! (apart from actually buying film, of course.)

EDIT - I succeeded in removing the bracket (with quite a bit of force), so all my important problems have been fixed. Hopefully, now I may begin using this great old camera!
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