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New here; new Graphics; where to begin; dating?

 
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DennisT



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 8
Location: E WA state

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:42 am    Post subject: New here; new Graphics; where to begin; dating? Reply with quote

Fell into a garage/estate sale yesterday. Came home with:
1. Crown Graphic 4x5 s/n 958734; all there; slight mildew smell; works; needs cleaning.

2. Crown Graphic 2.5x3.5 s/n 733143; all there; needs cleaning; 2x3 roll film back, (hooray)

3. Speed Graphic 2.5x3.5 s/n 703439; enough parts in the box to complete.

I'm trying to remember the difference between the, "Speed," and, "Crown," models.......

I've had a Graphic 4x5 for years that I occasionally use. This will compel me to get going again.

I see many posts about dating and age: I don't know if the, "3-digit" dating system applies to my new 3. If I have the serial numbers listed above, are THOSE the numbers used to date? I'd love to know when they were made.

I've gently tried each shutter at mid-speeds and they all work. I am not in a hurry to furiously clean the devil out of these, but would appreciate a hint or web site that discusses proper restoration/cleaning of Graphics that have sat for long periods. Also I have the age-old problem of some mildew smell. It's really bad in the original 2.5x3.5 Graphic case; don't know how I'll ever get it out of the black fuzzy stuff inside the case.

Comments appreciated about dating and how to begin the right way to get my new children back in service.

Dennis
E. WA state
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use the site "search" function and "body cleaning" as the keywords, check the all the terms dot, and select "speed graphic help" in the Fourms box to limit the results (gives 23 results). This is a subject that has been covered many times with good information from several sources. Such things as Isopropyl Alcohol, Windex, and Leather/Vinyl cleaner to clean the covering work well while Pledge Natural Beauty or Leather/Vinyl Conditioner for the finish after cleaning.

A search for "mildew" gives 7 relevant results.

S/N 958xxx- 1949-1950? Need more info on the camera, type of back and rangefinder.
S/N 733xxx- early 1950.
S/N 703xxx- 1949

Crown- No focal plane shutter.
Speed- Has a focal Plane Shutter, weighs 1/2 pound more than a Crown.
See: http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/graphic-models.html
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DennisT



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 8
Location: E WA state

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:09 am    Post subject: more information Reply with quote

Thank you, 45PSS:

More info on the 4x5: No Graflok back - rats. Has the old Grafic back with snap-open hood. Kalart Snyc. rangefinder. Graphex 135mm lens, (typical I suspect). Came with flash setup and Schneider-Kreuznach Tele-Xenar 1:5,5/127, which I think came out at 1954 on the Schneider page.

Does this help?

I do know my other Graphic has a Graflok back.

Crown vs Speed: Ha, as soon as I saw your definition of the difference I remembered. Focal Plane shutter...that's the wild, racing fabric curtain, right?

Thanks for the dates; I really like having that. I'll put them with the cameras.

I'll check the search function for restoration tips.

Dennis
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://cameraeccentric.com/info.html
lots of catalogs and user information.

Graflex assigned a batch of 50,000 numbers to be used for Crowns and another 50,000 for Speeds. They skipped a block of 50,000 then wen back and used them 10 years later. Makes for dating loads of fun.

Your Crown is probably 1949.

Quote:
Focal Plane shutter...that's the wild, racing fabric curtain, right?

That's the quick one just in front of the film at the rear of the camera body.
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