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Focus problems on a Super D

 
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Mccolalx



Joined: 17 Oct 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Nashville

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Focus problems on a Super D Reply with quote

I just got a later Super D in great shape. It's a joy to use but I'm having focus issues. When I focus on a point with the glass in the viewfinder, the negative's focus point is in front of what I was actually focusing on. I checked the ground glass to see if it was shimmed, and that doesn't appear to be the case. There's felt on the back, which I'm assuming is there for light tightness when the bag mag is mounted, but I was wondering if that was added later (and accounting for the shift in the focus point). The other thing that I was thinking may be the problem is slack in the mirror. It returns well, but it wiggles a little if I move the mirror return lever...it rests in a certain point, but will move just a slight bit if I pull the lever back more.
Anybody have any thoughts on this? Should I just shim the ground glass a little?
Thanks in advance for any help.
Alex
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3258
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You focus at 15 feet with the ground glass, the film plane is focused at
A: 15 feet X inches or B: 14 feet X inches?

The ground glass frame is adjustable for minor differences, about 1/16 to 3/64 inch. Raise for condition A, lower for condition B.

Is the lens mounted properly? Has the lens been disassembled for cleaning and reassembled correctly?

Is the bag magazine the only Graflex film holder you have? If not is the focus off with all holders? Are the spetums seating properly in the bag magazine?

Quote:
There's felt on the back, which I'm assuming is there for light tightness when the bag mag is mounted

Should be Velvet from the factory.

Quote:
slack in the mirror. It returns well, but it wiggles a little if I move the mirror return lever...it rests in a certain point, but will move just a slight bit if I pull the lever back more.

Remove the lens board and film holder. Trip the mirror, it should go firmly against the ground glass opening. Look at the lower edge of the mirror opening and operate the mirror release lever. When you identify the mirror catch put some white lithium grease (about 1/2 the diameter of a straight pin head) on it then set and release the mirror 5 to 10 times.
Does the mirror cock without going back more if Lever H is pulled on?
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Mccolalx



Joined: 17 Oct 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Nashville

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks do much for your response...this has been driving me nuts (its such an amazing camera to shoot, i really want it to work well).
So I fall into the "b" category (I need to lower the gg). I cleaned the lens, and reassembled it properly...the focus issue was there before and after the cleaning.
I've shot with the bag mag and a standard wooden film holder with the same results. Film focal point in front of the gg focal point.
When I cock the mirror, it will still move back a little farther if I put more pressure on the 'H' lever...when I do this, I can see the focus change ever so slightly on the gg (but not as much as I'm seeing on the negative).
Hopefully, that made sense...
Thanks again for your help
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3258
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mirror frame is dragging on the mirror latch, lube it and if necessary adjust it. The problem may be in the release lever. Remove the screws around the lever and lift off to service it. A trace of grease or oil in a camera and or its accessories is worth more and works better than a lot of oil or grease.

The ground glass is in a two piece clip frame. The front of the ground glass usually sits against the lip of ground glass opening and the rear is raised to match the mirror angle.

A film pack adapter or roll film holder comes in handy for adjusting the ground glass on a Graflex SLR if you don't have a ground glass back.
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Mccolalx



Joined: 17 Oct 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Nashville

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I apply more pressure to the h lever, the mirror goes back just a hair more, but when I release the h lever, it springs back to the cocked position. It's like a little back play in the mirror. Should I adjust the mirror catch on the release lever to hold the mirror firmly against the camera body when the mirror is down?
Unfortunately, I don't have any gg for the back.
I do however have a pack film holder that I may try to put a piece of ground glass in just for situations like this.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3258
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.010 play is acceptable. .05 or more is wear or a problem with the latch system. If the mirror locks firmly and does not pop up on its own and you can adjust the ground glass to match the mirror and can live with the play then its fine. The operation should be smooth and easy throughout the latch/release. Light touch to release, no extra pressure on the H lever when the mirror contacts the latch when cocking.

Now open the Film Pack adapter, remove the darkslide and stretch 1 inch wide or wider Scotch Matte Finish Magic tape across the film plane without overlapping or touching anything in the film opening area or sagging. Attach the open film pack adapter to the camera back. Mount the camera on a tripod and point at an object at least 5000 feet away. The farther away the target the more accurate your adjustment will be. With the curtain open and mirror up set the lens to critically sharp focus on the tape.
Cock the mirror and adjust the ground glass to match the temporary ground glass substitute without moving the lens. It will be easier to adjust the ground glass if you remove the view hood completely from the camera.
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Mccolalx



Joined: 17 Oct 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Nashville

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much
I took a 4x5 gg out of a reduction back and just taped it into the pack film holder. I'll be able to adjust everything when it's daylight.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3258
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read about the tape trick on this site in a post years ago and thought it questionable. When fixing another camera and needed to verify the ground glass position I tried it and it works.

Now why wait until daylight? The moon makes an excellent infinity target.

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