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Graflex Series D 4x5 Slow Shutter in Cold Weather

 
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jwindingstad



Joined: 01 Dec 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:37 pm    Post subject: Graflex Series D 4x5 Slow Shutter in Cold Weather Reply with quote

I recently used my series D Graflex to take some outdoor portraits in Minnesota, at first the shutter worked fine but then it started to run slow and eventually gummed up altogether. Had to take the camera indoors and let it warm up to room temp before I could use it again. Outside temps were in the mid to upper 30's (F). I'm guessing the shutter needs a CLA, is this something I can attempt on my own or do I need professional help? for the camera that is
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1550
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't answer your question about the do-it-yourself (or not) CLA, but I will simply share my experience (which I'm sure many photographers have also had) that cold temperatures wreak havoc with shutters, and, in fact, with many other mechanical devices (your car, for example). And not just mechanical shutters, but electronic ones as well, because cold reduces battery output. I've had to warm my 35 mm SLR camera inside my jacket on really cold days so it could thaw out enough to fire. I suppose that would not be practical with a Graflex D!
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William Hallett



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The US military manual for the Anniversary Speed Graphic has a brief reference to "winterization" of the camera. (This manual is available at http://www.butkus.org/chinon/ - look under C-3 Graflex Camera, the military designation for the Anni.) No details, unfortunately - it refers to a separate military document on cold weather photography. However, the reference is included in the section dealing with lubrication of the focal plane shutter, so one can probably assume that the "winterization" involved using a lighter lubricant in place of the graphite grease which is specified for the curtain roller bearings. The viscosity of a liquid increases roughly exponentially as the temperature drops, so one needs a lubricant which is less viscous at room temperature.
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