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Focusing problems/ what am I doing wrong?

 
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rgvbobcat



Joined: 24 Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Edinburg Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Focusing problems/ what am I doing wrong? Reply with quote

I am a Nature and art photographer from South Texas and I have recently started shooting a Graflex Super Graphic it has a 135mm f/4.7 Graflex Optar lens. the camera is clean and in good working order, I recently cleaned the ground glass, This did make a big difference, but I still have a strange problem.
When I shoot landscapes I don't seem to have any problem focusing through the ground glass. I shot Pictures at a local wetlands reserve and had no problems. Today I tried to do a portrait of my son and I could focus his shirt and the chair he was sitting in but I couldn't really get his face clear no matter what I tried. I do wear reading glasses when I use this camera, I've tried without them and it doesn't work. I know it's something i'm doing or not doing, so any help ya'll can give would be welcome, thanks in advance.
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JZ Yaeger
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3634
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Did you reassemble the fresnel and ground glass in the correct order?
Fresnel first smooth side facing the lens then the ground glass with the
smooth side facing the rear of the camera.
2. Are you using the infinity stops and are they set correctly?
3. What shutter is your Optar in?
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rgvbobcat



Joined: 24 Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Edinburg Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the ground glass yes I did reassemble it correctly, I was extremely careful and how I took it apart and how I resembled it the infinity stops I have absolutely no idea how to set those nor do I know what shutter my shutter is in. How would I find out what shutter my optar is in? And is there a video on how to set the Infiniti stops?
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JZ Yaeger
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rgvbobcat



Joined: 24 Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Edinburg Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you mean shutter speed?
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JZ Yaeger
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rgvbobcat



Joined: 24 Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Edinburg Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand where you're coming from now sorry a little slow today you're assuming that I'm looking at process photographs wondering if some of my settings are wrong such as shutter speed which is a valid point. However I will not have my first processed photographs back until next week. What I'm reporting is what I've noticed today when I tried to do a portrait which is the first one I've done. What I've done up until now has been Landscapes Etc which I haven't had any trouble with. But I should have this portrait back by the end of next week and we'll see if it's focused or not I'm still going to go ahead and set the infinity stops
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JZ Yaeger
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3634
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How would I find out what shutter my optar is in?

The lens trim ring has the lens name, focal length, maximum f stop which you have found. Outside the lens is the shutter which has the speeds and aperture controls, the shutter name is at 6 O'clock or directly under the lens.
Quote:
And is there a video on how to set the Infiniti stops?

I don't watch videos, I read service manuals. There is no service manual available on line for the Super but there are for the Crown/Speed. All set up the same.
On Anniversary Speed Graphics and earlier (1912-1946) infinity was set with the rails fully retracted into the body. On Pacemaker Graphics and Super graphics (1947-1973) the rails are to be fully retracted then moved forward .040 inch .010 inch. Either starting position can be used depending on whether you want to be able to focus beyond infinity slightly so you can find the sharpest focus at infinity/very distant objects. Now with the camera mounted on a tripod point the camera at a target at least 5000 feet away, the further the better.
Set the aperture to its widest opening, open the shutter on T or B with a locking cable release. Using a good 4x to 6x loupe critically focus the infinity target on the ground glass by unlocking the front standard and moving the front standard until critical focus is obtained. Lock the front standard and verify it is square to the rails, if not correct and recheck focus. I use a digital caliper with depth gauge rod to determine if the standard is square bu checking the distance from the end of the rails on each side.

With existing infinity stops sliding the front standard up to the stops and locking it then checking focus at the ground glass will confirm if the stops are set correctly/ to your liking. No need to move them if they are.

A 135mm lens will close focus at around 6 feet, closer distances will require extra bellows extension and exposure compensation.
Wollensak Optars were generally sharp but a few were not. When Wollensak quit making lens Graflex switched to Rodenstock. My Super Speed has a Rodenstock Optar and it is very sharp.

Someone may have had the lens apart to clean it and not reassembled it correctly. The 135 is a tessar design.
This is a Zeiss Tessar https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1sPJkp-MdghRDhwVGVIMnVKa28 other makes are very similar. Its easy to unscrew the front group from the shutter and verify that the front is curved outward, the rear curved inward, the rear group front flat with the very rear curved outward.
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rgvbobcat



Joined: 24 Oct 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Edinburg Texas

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I understood your directions correctly

Wollensak
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JZ Yaeger
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3634
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wollensak=Optar/Raptor lens names, Graphex/Rapax shutter names.
You may find this guide book helpful
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1sPJkp-MdghaXh3eDAxZW9UOFU
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