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Graphic View vs. Super Speed Graphic: Your choice?
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JasonG



Joined: 06 Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all,

This is my first post here and I am presented with a quandry. I am wanting to get into 4x5, and have the option of purchasing either a Super Speed Graphic, or a Graphic View. I have been weighing the pros and cons of each model, as I have not used either of them before. The Super Speed definitely seems to be more lightweight, and more portable, and also seems to be easier to come by. It also seems more complex, and more maintenance due to the electric wiring.

The GV and GV II aren't as portable, but seem easier to use, learn, and maintain then the SS Graphic.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions? Which would you choose? Thank you!

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sobahguy



Joined: 09 Oct 2001
Posts: 171
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jason,
I think it mostly depends on what you are photographing. With that said, I only have a Super Speed which I am very happy with, using it as a field camera on a tripod, using its limited movements and 135mm in Graflex 1000 shutter. Bear in mind, however, that this shutter has been prone to shutter leaf failure and it is expensive to have Fred Lustig fix, believe me...i just had him fix mine. You might look at getting a Super Graphic, which is identical to a Super Speed Graphic but without the Graflex 1000 front shutter. The wiring isn't that much of a concern, you can use a cable release just as easily and with less vibration than using the red button electronic release. Some of these cameras have the wiring, batteries & electronic lens boards all intact; but on many the electronic release gear has been disconnected or modified & no longer works as intended by the manufacturer. You also have to realize that I have seen many Super Speeds on eBay without the Graflex 1000 shutter (replaced by a different shutter or sometimes with none at all), so that makes them essentially Supers. Some sellers either intentionally or unintentionally try to sell these as Super Speeds. Both Supers will be more expensive than a Graphic View.
So a GVII may be a better choice, and will likely be my next camera when the Mrs re-opens the purse strings It will allow more movements, has a graflok back which will also take all standard film holders & roll backs, but is heavier to back-pack with. Which comes back to what you will be using the camera for.
SG

[ This Message was edited by: sobahguy on 2003-08-06 09:46 ]
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JasonG



Joined: 06 Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks soba,

I've been looking on eBay for GV's and GVII's, and saw a GV that I may look at further. I know the GV doesn't have a Graflok back, but I don't plan on shooting roll film with it anyway, so that's not a problem.

Am I correct in that the GV I's non-Graflok back will hold the Polaroid 545i holder?

Sorry for the multitude of noob questions, but I'm just trying to find the best option for me. Thanks!

Jason
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sobahguy



Joined: 09 Oct 2001
Posts: 171
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, no problem, you can use the Polaroid 545, 545i and 545-Pro with spring & graflok backs, all of these are for sheet films. Per previous posts, I don't think the Polaroid 405 and 505 backs can be used, these are for pack films.

BTW, you can click up above and search this helpboard...do a keyword search for a topic...for example type in "Polaroid 545 spring back" then select "Search for ALL of the terms" then it will return threads similar to your inquiry. The search is quite a handy resource.

Good luck!!

[ This Message was edited by: sobahguy on 2003-08-06 10:19 ]
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sobahguy offers sound advice! I would get the Super Speed given the oportunity (and money), but would not use the front shutter! That makes it just a 'Super'... You can use any Pacemaker lens board and shuter/lens on the Super Speed I believe.

As far as the View being easier to use and learn, that depends on what you're doing and using it for. They are both just boxes with a lens at one end and film holder at the other! You don't have to use any other features of the camera, and learn as you go. The Super has features that may never be used, like the flash computer or range finder light. I don't even use my range finders at all.
I don't have a Super anything, but do use a Speed and GVII. The Speed (Super or not) makes a great field camera. Has more limited movements (although the Super does have more) but is much easier to carry around. The View has great movements but you have to put up with a monorail. The View can use longer lenses, up to 17 inches without going 'tele'. Considering you're looking at a Super, wide angle lenses would be about the same. I have a 75mm mounted on a recessed lens board for mine and I have a feeling the right 65mm might work also.
The View II isn't too hard to carry around in the Graflex fitted case that wil hold just about all the accessories you need. Good for car travel. Not good for backpacking! My Speed setup resides in a backpack very comfotably with all the accessories...

We can offer comments and our preferences, but it still comes down to what you want to use the camera for and which you personally like better. If I had the option for either but not both, I would probably go with the Super. The Speed was my first... But I have to admit that I'm now leaning towards the Views...


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sobahguy



Joined: 09 Oct 2001
Posts: 171
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Just giving it a little more thought since my previous post and after RichS's reply.

I'm fairly new to LF in general & Graphics in particular. After digesting almost everything on this website as well as the posts on the old & current help boards, i decided on just a basic Crown Graphic with a "press" standard 135mm lens and a few holders. I've never looked back or regretted, just became as familiar and proficient as i could with using it as i found it, in every way as it was originally intended to be used. Once i became comfortable with that, i began using flashbulbs and other accessories.

The fun thing about ANY Graphic is that it has broken me of the "point and shoot" 35mm mentality and it has helped me slow down and really concentrate on the mechanics of taking photos, even in my 35mm work. I am not a pro and derive no income from photography; i'm in the insurance field and am just an amateur shutterbug. I decided on a Crown, then "progressed" to other cameras like a Super Speed and Rolleicord, then got an Omega D2, etc,etc...

If you are new to LF, such as I was, I would recommend that you begin with a Super Graphic if most of your work is likely to be hand-held. The Super, as Rich points out, also has a few movements which could be put to good advantage with 150mm, 162mm and/or 203mm lenses. The Super, however, does not have a "rangefinder light" like the later top-RF Crowns do; the red button operates the electronic shutter release.

One thing is certain with whatever choice you make, I think you will be hooked once you have your first 4x5 negative to stare at.

As always, these are just MY experiences and humble opinions.

[ This Message was edited by: sobahguy on 2003-08-06 11:05 ]
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are so right, and well spoken. I couldn't add more...

Except... They got rid of the focus light??? That was one of the neatest things about Graphics even if I don't use a range finder... But the Super does have other neat things instead I suppose...

I really hate to suggest to anyone to not get a GVII. I think everyone should own at least one! But for a first camera, I'm not sure. Even though Views are actually simpler, the movements can be confusing and daunting. And they are more prone to damage. The Speeds, Crowns and Supers make for much better first cameras and have the benefit of being able to hand hold them. And how many of us stick with only one camera?


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JasonG



Joined: 06 Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your input, I greatly appreciate it. I mainly plan on doing landscapes, maybe some architecture, and have been comissioned by a friend to do some portraits of her child. I'm going to do some tintypes for the portraits, using the Rockaloid Tintype Kit, which, according to Rockaloid, will fit in a standard 4x5 film holder. Has anyone else used anyhing similar? Any reviews, tips, etc?
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JasonG



Joined: 06 Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rich, soba, and everyone for your input!

So...the Super Speed has two shutters, one in lens, and one behind the lens? Can you only use one, or the other, or would one have to be removed???
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sobahguy



Joined: 09 Oct 2001
Posts: 171
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So...the Super Speed has two shutters, one in lens, and one behind the lens? Can you only use one, or the other, or would one have to be removed???


Hi Jason,

The Graphics can be confusing indeed!
The "standard" Speed Graphic has both a front (leaf; between-the-lens) shutter which usually had a maximum speed of 1/400th or 1/500th second, depending on its maker; it also has a focal plane (rear) shutter, with top speed of 1/1000th second.

When the Super Speed came out circa 1958, the rear 1/1000th FP shutter was replaced by a newly designed FRONT shutter, capable of the 1/1000th top speed, and the rear shutter was eliminated. So to answer your question, the Super Speed was really only designed with a front shutter in mind. This "Graflex 1000" shutter is the one I mentioned earlier that is prone to leaf failure and jamming.

On the earlier Speed Graphics with both front and FP shutters, you could choose which one you wanted to use. If using the front, you needed to make sure the rear was open; if you using the rear shutter, you needed to make sure the front was open.

[ This Message was edited by: sobahguy on 2003-08-06 12:07 ]
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sobahguy



Joined: 09 Oct 2001
Posts: 171
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...They got rid of the focus light??? That was one of the neatest things about Graphics even if I don't use a range finder... But the Super does have other neat things instead I suppose...


The "range-light" was left out on the Super, perhaps someone else knows why (maybe not enough room in the RF housing?) I agree it was a neat feature which lasted a long time, first as a "focus-spot" accessory for the Kalart rangefinders, then it was built-in as "standard" equipment for the top Pacemaker rangefinders (post-1955). I don't know if there was anything similar on the earlier Hugo Meyers, but i haven't heard of it if there was.

Actually, i find the distance scale/flash exposure "calculator" on the top of the Super Speed to be very handy in actual use, mine is quite accurate & works well, thanks to Mr. Lustig's expertise.

[ This Message was edited by: sobahguy on 2003-08-06 12:28 ]
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3201
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2005-12-26 18:14 ]
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That flash calculator... I'm guessing that it's connected to the rangefinder to automatically give the proper distance, then a guide number is set to get the exposure? A nice feature, but not when you're always changing lenses. That's why I never use my rangefinders... And changing cams is no fun either, although I honestly don't know how that works on a Super.

I forgot about the rotating back on the Super. Wouldn't that be nice!
I also forgot about wide angles and the rails on the Super. Can the camera use anything shorter than 90mm? As far as I know, it has no rail extensions in the rear like the older Speeds/Crowns where the standard would have to sit.
And I'd rather use the 90mm in the recessed board than my 65mm with a Copal 0 (I think?). Shutter is hard to set & read no matter what board it's mounted on... But really, I don't find the 90 too hard to use. Would have been nice if those lens boards were just a little bit bigger though...


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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3201
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2005-12-26 18:15 ]
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, so there are rails inside the body, they just don't move with the focusing rails. So a shorter lens could be used if it was focused by manually moving the front standard? If that's so, it's workable.

When I got my TRF Speed, I was interested in cams. Then I found out about changing them, and finding them. I gave up I like the older SRF Speed better anyway (maybe because it was my first?). But if you had the cams and they were easier to change, it would be nice.

The difference in the 90mm and recessed board may be because I might have an original View II setup. Okay, the speed & f-stop aren't too convenient, but it has an L bracket screwed to the face of the board. A standard cable release screws into this bracket and fires the shutter by pressing down on the actual shutter release button. Easy to screw in & out and use. I leave a short one screwed in though for convenience. The shutter is a Wollensak US Army Signal Corps with all kinds of serial & other numbers on it. The f-stops & speeds are easily readable from the front and the speed ring isn't too difficult to turn. But cocking it is tight on room and itr has the separate synch cocking lever, which is pretty useless anyway because I could never get a bipost connector on it But I do have a cable made up with aligator clips on one end and a PC connector on the other for such situations!


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