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Graflex Series D 4X5 Shutter malfunction and other questions
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rsweatt



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:27 am    Post subject: Graflex Series D 4X5 Shutter malfunction and other questions Reply with quote

First of many questions to come probably, as I just got the camera and am anxious to get to shooting.

1) S/N 328230 - any ideas on date of manufacture?

2) I am checking the shutter function and discovered that at all tension number settings, I can not wind the curtain aperture to the 1/8 position. It is like it runs out of room just before it locks in place at the 1/8 position. The slit goes past and out of site as I am winding it, but it will not reach the locked position. Not about to force it as the last thing I need is to tear the material. Any advice on what the problem is and thoughts on fixing it?

3) I cleaned the ground-glass. The reflex mirror sure could use replacing as the surface is kind of cloudy. Is there a source? I have a nice front surface mirror in a scrap viewer. I could probably have it cut to size as an option. Thoughts?

4) I am reading alternatives on modifying the back to take modern film holders. This I am reluctant to tackle, but I have two spare Graflok backs. Just don't know whether to modify it by adding a Graflok, or modify the existing back to take modern film holders. My plan, in either case, is to just use 2-sided 4X5 film holders. I don't plan on using any Polaroid backs. Thoughts?

5) It came with one film holder, the slotted kind. I just discovered how to turn the metal plates over to take cut film. If I could acquire 8-10 of these holders I would just forgo the modification to the back, but looking on ebay, they are scarce and expensive. Any ideas for a source?

Appreciate any advice.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3208
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. 1943 4x5 RB Series D.
2. A. Remove the camera back. Wind the curtain and check for it being stuck to itself at or near the lower roller.
B. Check the thickness of the curtain material, new it was .008 to .010 inch thick, swells with age if allowed to dry out and once it reaches .025 thick the curtain needs to be replaced or stripped and recoated depending on the condition of the base material.
C. Someone else has had the wind plate off and reassembled with the top roller position off. Wind up: the bottom stay of each aperture opening should be 1/4 inch above the top film gate roller to the bottom of the top roller; Run down: M lever pulled and held back (mirror released but not reset) the top stay of each aperture should be 1/4 inch below the bottom film gate roller to the lead edge of the lower tension roller. Releasing the M lever or resetting the mirror the curtain will lower an additional 1/4 inch. The curtain will bounce 1/8 to 3/16 inch when stopping at any aperture or tension.
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Jim C.



Joined: 18 Feb 2011
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Graflex Series D 4X5 Shutter malfunction and other quest Reply with quote

rsweatt wrote:

3) I cleaned the ground-glass. The reflex mirror sure could use replacing as the surface is kind of cloudy. Is there a source? I have a nice front surface mirror in a scrap viewer. I could probably have it cut to size as an option. Thoughts?


If the mirror is cloudy you can clean the mirror, but carefully if it's a front surface.
Many reflex graflex's have had the mirror replaced at one time and it's a regular mirror.
Lens cleaning solution works well with FS mirrors.
The Bay would your option for FS mirrors, you'll have to cut to size.

rsweatt wrote:

5) It came with one film holder, the slotted kind. I just discovered how to turn the metal plates over to take cut film. If I could acquire 8-10 of these holders I would just forgo the modification to the back, but looking on ebay, they are scarce and expensive. Any ideas for a source?


Graflex style film holders do come up from time to time on the Bay,
the other option is a film magazine or a Bag Mag.
Grafmatics were made also but they seem rarer than the slotted film holders.
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rsweatt



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips.
Regarding C. -

1 - When I wind the shutter, the bottom stay of each curtain opening travels about 3/4" to 1" beyond the top film gate before latching.

2 - When I trip the shutter the top stay lands about 3/4" below the bottom film gate.

3 - When I reset the mirror the curtain lowers about another 3/4".

The curtain is kind of loose and creased:



Also, I can see about 1/8" of the curtain showing in right-hand side of the film gate, none showing on the left:


Not sure if those are indications of any failure or not. Otherwise, the shutter seems to function. Figured I would get your input on these discoveries before I tackle removing the back.

BTW, the shutter curtain material is .009" thick.

Thanks
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rsweatt



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Graflex Series D 4X5 Shutter malfunction and other quest Reply with quote

Jim C. wrote:
Many reflex graflex's have had the mirror replaced at one time and it's a regular mirror. Lens cleaning solution works well with FS mirrors. The Bay would your option for FS mirrors, you'll have to cut to size.
Thanks Jim. The mirror must be the original, as it is front surface and looks like it has been cleaned before, and / or the coating is just deteriating. Still works fine, but with my old eyes, I need all the brightness I can get for sharp focusing. I do have a FS mirror that is in much better condition, but as you said, I will need to cut it to size.

Jim C. wrote:
Graflex style film holders do come up from time to time on the Bay, the other option is a film magazine or a Bag Mag.
Grafmatics were made also but they seem rarer than the slotted film holders.
There are several of the film holders on ebay right now but the price is double, triple, quadruple what you might expect to pay for modern film holders in used condition. And...I have plenty of modern film holders

The Grafmatics, that hold 6 sheets, can be had pretty easily for $50+. I am guessing this camera takes an older Grafmatic, of a larger size with different light trapping?

Thanks
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Jim C.



Joined: 18 Feb 2011
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Graflex Series D 4X5 Shutter malfunction and other quest Reply with quote

rsweatt wrote:


The Grafmatics, that hold 6 sheets, can be had pretty easily for $50+. I am guessing this camera takes an older Grafmatic, of a larger size with different light trapping?

Thanks


I also have a more modern film holders than I can use

Be careful with Grafmatics, you need one that has a groove where
the modern ones have a raised strip, model numbers are not a indication
that it's the correct one for Graflex SLR's. I've got one that likely
is a Franken-matic, right model number wrong plate.

See this link -

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~paulewins/resources/grafmatic.htm
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3208
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The back is easy to remove, 4 oval head screws, 2 per side; 8 flat head screws along the back side, 4 top, 4 bottom; rotate the film holder frame 45 to access them. Some bodies require the 2 rear screws of the wind plate to be loosened 2 turns. Back lifts straight off.

The curtain is running to one side. This can be caused by the rollers missing a shim, the bushings being backed out of the body slightly, or the curtain improperly attached to the rollers.
Lower roller shim between the roller and bushing to limit side travel to less than .003 inch; top roller shim between the roller shaft and the wind plate to limit side travel to less than .003 inch.

Sounds like the top roller needs to be set 1 gear tooth lower at the wind plate gear.

A potential source for an 1168 Graflex Grafmatic:
http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/122468-1168-grafmatic-can-i-use.html

check your private message(s).
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 152
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bag mags (made only for the Graflex SLR) work well if they're in good shape -- leather intact and soft, all 12 septums present, intact and straight. These show up on the auction site frequently for a price that's a fraction of what 6 film holders would cost. Once you learn how to work them they're easy to use. I have one that does the job without trouble. Look for "Graflex film magazines" in Cameras & Photo on the auction site.
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rsweatt



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took your advice Billy. One is on the way. This will prevent me from destroying the camera back in my attempt to modify it (I know me).
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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

now that you have the service information, Which is true?
A. Got it fixed
B. A work in progress
C. Broke it.
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rsweatt



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
now that you have the service information, Which is true?
A. Got it fixed
B. A work in progress
C. Broke it.
This is the kind of thing I have to mentally prepare for...as I so often screw things up. If I hadn't of blown my entire budget on the camera its self, I would be boxing it up and sending it to you.

Anyway, I am studying your instructions. I am going to set up a workspace this weekend, take pictures and notes as I progress, and am still anticipating I will have problems and screw it up and still have to box up the parts and send it to you
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3208
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B. work in progress.

remove the back. run the curtain all the way down. hold your digital camera as if on a copy stand and take a picture encompassing the entire camera back side. wind the curtain up as far as it will go and take a second picture. post both pictures here. check the total side play of both rollers with no tension (curtain fully run down) by pushing the roller to one side and measuring from camera edge to roller then push the roller the opposite way and measure again from the same point, subtract the smaller from the larger to get the side play movement. You will have to remove the bottom plate to measure the lower roller. All this involves is using a screwdriver, a ruler, camera, and your computer.
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
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Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsweatt, for when that bag mag arrives: Charles Monday (known as 45PSS on this forum) has elsewhere posted a scan of the original bag mag manual:
http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00Ibmj
The manual helped me a lot.
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rsweatt



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy Canuck wrote:
rsweatt, for when that bag mag arrives: Charles Monday (known as 45PSS on this forum) has elsewhere posted a scan of the original bag mag manual:
http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00Ibmj
The manual helped me a lot.
Billy, Charles didn't miss a beat and sent me the pdf. Thanks.

Charles, I will start as per your instructions, this afternoon.
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rsweatt



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Charles, here is what I have come up with:

Shutter run all the way down:


Shutter wound as far as it would go and lock (3/8 position)


Just for the heck of it, shutter open:


Measuring the side play of both rollers (curtain run down):
Top - .5mm or right at 1/32"
Bottom - Same

I took a picture of the position of the bottom roller. The top one looks pretty much centered. The bottom roller is all the way to the left side of the camera leaving about a 1/8" space between it and the right side of the camera body.
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