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Ciroflex Model E - Not focusing!

 
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Darkhorse



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Location: orange county

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All,
I recently bough an old Ciroflex model E from the ebay. The shutter's working right that's for sure - I'm getting correctly exposed shots. But nothing's coming out focused! I honestly felt embarrassed when i looked through the photos after picking them up.

some shots have almost been sharp but nowhere near the crispness of the shots with the same kind of camera here:
http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?topic=3936&forum=5&19

could something be out of alignment? am i looking through the viewer wrong?

very disappointing first shots, but at least it's a beautiful looking camera and looks awesome in my apartment.
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a similar problem with a Graflex 22, the successor to the Ciroflex. The focusing calibration is off and I can see no way to re-calibrate. If you can come up with a piece of ground glass (I use a piece from an old 2X3 spring back), check the focus on the ground glass, taped to the film frame. When I focus on something at infinity, the scale only says 18-feet or so. If you can achieve good focus on your ground glass at various distances, you might come up with a corrected focusing scale. Check to see if the viewfinder image is in focus when the taking lens is in focus on the ground glass. If they don't agree, check that the lens elements are properly seated.
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douggrosjean



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 46
Location: NW Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The focusing and taking lenses are not in synch.

Using the groundglass as mentioned above, make sure the focus is right at infinity on the taking lens.

Then adjust the focusing lens. The big knurled ring is actually a locknut threaded onto the focusing lens, and the focusing lens is threaded into the body. A big rubber chair-leg end-cushion can be used to get a good grip on the focusing lens to loosen it.

Once you've got the two lenses in synch, the focus knob is just a friction fit, held in place to the snail-shaped cam by the screw. With everything at infinity, loosen the screw while holding the little snail-shaped eccentric in one place, rotate the focus knob to infinity, and while still holding the snail in place tighten it all back up.

Re-check focus in both lenses at 3', and then again at infinity, and if all's well you're done.

If you have to, you can make your own groundglass for this project by having a piece of glass cut at a crafts store, then buying glass etching cream (acid, basically) at the same store.









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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be very careful with the etching cream, it can cause nasty burns, I know, we have experimented with it and it is far to caustic and can be difficult to spread evenly..

Dave Parker


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Focus on the Picture, Not on the Glass.
Satin Snow(TM) Ground Glass
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the adjustment info, douggrossjean. Actually, I just did the adjustment on the focusing lens...and on the Graflex 22 the outer ring, not knurled, is the lock nut and the inner knurled ring screws the lens in and out...but many thanks for this helpful info that pointed me in the right direction. Fred.

[ This Message was edited by: clnfrd on 2006-07-21 14:28 ]
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Darkhorse



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Location: orange county

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone.

But you'll have to excuse me, groundglass? Fill me in please. Excuse my ignorance when it comes to the inner workings of camera optics.
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Ground glass" is glass that has been "ground" or etched on one side:

http://cgi.ebay.com/4x5-Ground-Glass-new-MI-45GG_W0QQitemZ120009999543QQihZ002QQcategoryZ29976QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
It is used for focusing in most Graflex and other view cameras. The etched side is placed where the film would normally be, facing the lens and the shutter opened on "T" (for Time exposure). In the case here, a piece would need to be cut 2-1/4" X 2-1/4" and taped to the film frame of the Ciroflex to check the focus. Adjust the focusing knob for the various distances and see if objects at that distance are in focus on the ground glass. In a pinch, in the past, I have used wax paper as a cheap and dirty temporary ground glass. Not as perfectly accurate, but usually adequate for most purposes. Some folks make their own ground glass using acid....or by grinding away at a piece of glass with very fine steel wool or sandpaper.
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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy,

Making ground glass with steel wool or sandpaper would be a very difficult way to make it, I make ground glass for a living and using sandpaper or steel wool would scratch the glass, but getting an even surface for focusing would be nearly impossible and you would be focusing on the scratches far more than on the image, if you need somthing to check focus the quick and easy way is cut a small piece of glass a couple of mm bigger than the film gate opening size and then apply some pieces of scotch tape, trying not to let them overlap, you will then have a adhoc ground glass to check your focusing.

Dave Parker
Satin Snow Ground Glass
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never attempted to make ground glass with steel wool or sandpaper, but as I indicated, some folks probably attempt it. I read about it on this site: http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?topic=355&forum=1

My Graflex cameras are 2X3 and 2X2. I usually shop on you-know-where and buy an over-sized piece and cut it to size, as 4X5 and larger have, in the past, appeared to be more readily available. I haven't tried the Satin Snow, but it apparently is highly recommended. Fred.



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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fred,

Yes, I am sure over the years many people have attempted all manor of scratching glass and plexi to make usuable screens, it is interesting to note, that thread for the most part started in 2001, which was 3 years before I introduced our screens, a good many who posted on that thread have purchased screens from us since then.

If I can ever help, please let me know.

Dave Parker
Satin Snow Ground Glass
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna chime in here with a hearty endorsement of Satin Snow ground glass screens. Today with my Century and its gg from Dave "Rangemaster" and Kodak Ektalite fresnel screen I was shooting a dim interior space, formerly the turbine hall of a very large electric power generating station which has been converted to modern corporate uses, and I had absolutely no problem focusing even with the 65mm Optar, which is usually very hard for me to focus; today I had no difficulty finding the "sweet spot". This is the first extended use I've made of the 65 to shoot dim interiors with the Satin Snow gg and it was a pleasure compared with the old (presumably original) glass. And the exteriors were simply dazzling; for once it was a bright sunny day here (actually down below Philadelphia on the Delaware River at Chester, PA) and the light was outstanding.

You will not be disappointed with the Satinsnow ground glass.





[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2006-07-24 16:38 ]
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Darkhorse



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Location: orange county

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a great photo place in town that I could possibly get it repaired at, but as i read in another thread doing so would far outweigh to cost of the actual camera (which was $30).

Looks nice though.



I'm just afriad I'll break the darn thing.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3207
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you get it boxed up, include funds for return shipping and send it to me. I have the mechanical abality and confidence to fix it and return it in a timely manner. I put my address in a private message.
Charles

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The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
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