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GRAFLEX Super D Focus problem - HELP NEEDED
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milos88



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: GRAFLEX Super D Focus problem - HELP NEEDED Reply with quote

Hello Everyone!
I have a 4x5 Super D that has a big difference in focus between the focusing screen and the ground glass. When The focus is set on the focusing screen, the focus on the ground glass is off by 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn on the focusing knob. The camera is in very good condition and I bought it this summer on Ebay, but I haven't had the time to deal with the problem until now, due to some other business I was involved with. I noticed that the focus is off when I received it, and the seller offered a full refund, but I decided to keep it and try to fix it, so here I am, asking for any help I might get to bring it back to it's usable condition.

I am in Europe right now and the camera is with me.

Thank you all in advance
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3206
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Super D should have a Graflex back that has no ground glass. There was a Ground glass frame that attached to the back like a film holder for close focusing applications. If your camera has a Graflok (international) back then someone has modified the camera.

The camera's ground glass is under the view hood. The image focused through the view hood should be the same as the film plane focus.

You are saying that the image through the view hood is not the same as the film plane.

1.Refer to image 1 in http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6131
and release the view hood from the view hood door. Some Graflex SLR's had a frame attached with screws that held the view hood bottom in place while others used spring clips similar to the 3A. Remove the view hood from the camera.
2. The ground glass should be mounted on an adjustable frame front and rear that may have tension springs as a part of the frame or the springs separate. When the springs are separate keep pressure on the spring until all retaining screws for that spring are removed or the screw hole(s) will be stripped. Identify the type you have.
3. With the accessory ground glass frame installed in the Graflex back or another piece of ground glass mounted to the back of the camera at the exact film plane, mount the camera on a tripod, focus on an infinity target at least 5000 feet away and lock the rails if possible. On friction type rails the focus will not shift unless you touch the knob.
3a. If you have a Graflok back modified camera remove the back and verify that the ground glass is at the film plane by inserting a film holder with the darkslide removed, lay straight edge across the back and measure from the straight edge to the film holder back plate or put a piece of film in the holder and measure to the film surface. Remove the film holder and measure to the ground glass. It should be the same as the surface of the film + / - 1/2 the film thickness. Shim as needed.
4. With the camera on a tripod and focused on an infinity target at least 5000 feet away adjust or shim the view hood opening ground glass until it agrees with the film plane ground glass then secure in position.
5. Reassemble the view hood.
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milos88



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you 45 PSS! My camera is so off, that I think it might be damaged in transport. I will try what you say, and I hope I can contact you again if I encounter problems along the way.

Yes, my camera has a Graflok back, that's why I bought it, so that I can attach various film backs to it.

Thanks again for your help!

Milos
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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, someone mounted a graflok back onto the body and did not shim the ground glass in the view opening.

There should be enough room in the top to put up to a 1/4 inch thick shim under the ground glass if needed.
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milos88



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, once more, 1/4 of an inch is about 6mm, right? How will I know it's 6mm, not 5 or 4mm or 3mm?

Thanks again!

Milos
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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to confuse you. I am saying that there is a lot of room to adjust the ground glass in the view hood.

1. Does the Graflok have a focus panel complete with ground glass?
Yes>see next question.
NO> you will need to find a ground glass that you can position precisely at the film plane to focus on.
2. Is the Graflok focus panel ground glass in focus at the film plane?
Yes>see next step.
NO> Remove the Graflok back and shim the ground glass so that it is the same distance from the back frame as the surface of a piece of film in a film holder. With a piece of film in a holder inserted in the back and the darkslide removed lay a straight edge across the back frame making sure the straight edge is not on a raised section and measure from the straight edge to the film surface at several places. All measurements should be the same. Record the measurement.
Remove the film holder and measure to the surface of the ground glass. It should be the same distance as the film surface. The ground glass is clamped into the focus panel and usually can be shimmed. Heavy weight paper or card stock makes good shim stock.

3. With the camera on a tripod use the Graflok back ground glass and focus on an infinity target at least 5000 feet away. Remove the view hood. Adjust the view opening ground glass to match the Graflok back ground glass. Recheck focus at the Graflok ground glass then the view opening.
Use a focusing loupe if possible.
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milos88



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, again!

I do have a Graflok back, a ground glass in it and a focusing hood, the same assembly as found in later types Pacemaker or Speed graphics.

I will do as per your instructions and will get back to you if I encounter problems on the way...

May I remind you that my focusing difference is about 3/4s of a turn of the focusing knob...That might amount to more than 1/4 of an inch in shimming, but I may be wrong on this one.

I can get a focused picture on both the back ground glass and on the hood's ground glass, but not at the same time, which results in out of focus images when I shoot focusing using the reflex focus hood, which is what this camera is all about...

Once more, thank you for your time and patience

Milos
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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3/4 turn on the focusing knob of a Graflex or Graphic camera gives 3/8 inch rail travel.
3/8 inch =.375 inch = 9.525mm.
Keeping the original angle of the ground glass modify the ground glass mount/view opening as necessary or remount the graflok back so that the film plane is closer to the camera body.
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milos88



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there anything you DON'T know?????

I will try in a few days when I return from my skiing vacation and will let you know how I did, if you don't mind. Thank you!

Milos
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3206
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there anything you DON'T know?????

Yes, tons of information.

I picked up a 1914~1915 3A Graflex and a 1958~1959 Super Graphic and measured the rail travel when the focus knob was turned 3/4 turn on each camera. The rail travel was the same on both so I posted it. This is the first thing I've found to be consistent in Graflex Corp. cameras.
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milos88



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear 45PS!

I am finally going to try to adjust the difference between the focus on my Graflok back and my Viewing hood as per your instructions, remember you were guiding me through the process some 2 weeks ago?

I have on question, though:
Is it possible (easier) to shim the Graflok back instead of having to remove the viewing hood and shim the ground glass inside. I am asking because removing the Graflok back, which, according to you was an aftermarket job, seems like a more doable thing than to have to mess around with the ground glass inside the hood?
Thanks

Milos
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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Focus an infinity target at least 5000 feet away on the graflok ground glass.

IF the focus must be turned forward, moving the lens further from the graflok ground glass to bring the view opening ground glass in focus THEN shim up the view opening ground glass to match the graflok ground glass. You would otherwise have to trim down the graflok adapter, high difficulty, or the camera body which is not possible.

IF the focus knob must be turned rearward, moving the lens inward, to bring the view opening ground glass in focus with the graflok ground glass THEN shim the graflok back outward from the camera body as lowering the view opening ground glass is not possible.

Most if not all back modifications put the new back further out than the original requiring the view opening ground glass to be raised which is easy to do.
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milos88



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A-HA! NOW I GOT IT! Now it is all clear here. I will let you know how I did.

Thank you!
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milos88



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am doing it with a help of a friend, someone who is very technically inclined so I don't have to take too much risk.
I have one question, though. The focusing knob turns smoothly and easy, perhaps too easy, because when I tilt the camera upwards, it rolls back. Is that normal and if not, do you have an idea what should be done to prevent this? there is no locking lever like on Pacemaker graphics, or a concentric one like on Mamiya RZ (around the focus knob). I have never held a Super D in my hands until I bought this one, so I have no experience how other ones work regarding this focusing issue.

Thanks


Milos
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3206
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The focus on a Graflex SLR is friction based. The only cure I know of is to loosen the focus knob mount plate screws and put a .005 to .010 shim under the plate then retighten the screws.

The focus pinion should slide out of the camera body if the mount plate screws are removed. The focus knob is attached to the pinion with a press fit pin. The pin can be removed, a thin flat washer put between the plate and knob then the knob reattached with the pin. I have not done this.

If a screw hole strips in the body, trim a round wooden dowel to just fit into the hole (round wooden tooth pick works well) then remove, dip into wood glue, reinsert, then cut flush with the body covering. After 30 minutes make a center indentation in the dowel and reinsert the screw.
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