Adjusting Hugo Meyer Rangefinders
The Hugo Meyer rangefinder is found on many Speed Graphics. It was
offered as an alternative to the more common Kalart rangefinder on both civilian andmilitary models. These rangefinders can be identified by their oblong windows, Kalart rangefinders all have round windows.
If the rangefinder is sticky it should be removed from the camera and the cam surfaces cleaned. Removing it requires removing the actuating arm from the shaft and removing the four screws holding the rangefinder body to the camera. There is a torsion spring associated with the actuating arm, be careful no to loose it and note its position.
The cover plate on the camera side is held in place by a single center
screw and locating
pins at top and bottom. Removing it exposes the actuating cams. They should
be cleaned with a suitable degreasing solvent like lighter fluid (Ronsonol) and
re-lubricated with a
very little light oil.
The mirrors can be accessed for cleaning by removing the windows. Each is
held in place
with two small screws, one at the top and one at the bottom. Use cotton
swabs and lens
cleaning fluid for cleaning.
To set up the rangefinder, use the follwoing procedure:
- First check the infinity setting for the lens.
Generally Speed Graphics are set up with the lens infinity stops set with the bed extended about 1/16 inch from it maximum rearward position.
- Focus the lens manually on a target at least one half mile away and set the infinity stops at this position.
- Set the eccentric on the camera bed, on which the actuating lever rides
to its maximum forward setting, the slot will be horizontal.
- Set the camera up 36 inches from film plane to focusing target. I suggest
using a target similar to the one used for Kalart rangefinders with a separate target for taking lens and rangefinder. The cross lines for the rangefinder are drawn at the same distance from the lens target as the rangefinder upper window is from the lens. This is to avoid parallax which can make adjustment impossible.
- Focus the camera carefully on the target and tighten the focus lock.
- Hold the actuating lever against the cam and tighten the lock screws.
- There are three adjustments on the rangefinder. Two are located under the
number label near the inside edge. This is held in place with two screws.
It is not necessary
to remove the screws, just loosen them and the label will swing away
through which the adjustments can be reached. The adjustments are made with
a 1/16 inch
Allen key. There is a lateral coincidence adjustment on the side of the
- With the camera set at 36 inches adjust the lower adjustment for
coincidence. Then focus
the camera on a target at infinity and adjust the upper screw for
coincidence. Repeat these
two adjustments until there is no further change.
- Check in middle distances for coincidence.
- Check the lateral adjustment at infinity before doing the rest of the
The procedure automatically adjusts the rangefinder for the focal length
of the lens used.
Brought to you by Graflex.org Speed Graphic FAQ.