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Front Standard Alignment

 
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miket-nyc



Joined: 18 Apr 2018
Posts: 38
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:34 am    Post subject: Front Standard Alignment Reply with quote

On the Miniature Speed Graphic I'm trying to get into shape, I noticed that the front standard was visibly out of alignment with the film plane. Obviously, you can correct side to side alignment with the infinity stops, but this lensboard was tilted forward. I have equipment for measuring that, and I discovered it was tilted by 1.6 degrees compared with the back.

Removing the bare front standard and checking it with a machinist's square, I discovered that was part of the problem. I replaced it with the one from another Mini Graphic I have, which reduced the error to 0.3 degrees. That is quite a bit better, but still not perfect.

But the thing that surprised me is that the camera doesn't seem to have any way to correct this -- what are people supposed to do if the front standard is tilted forward or backward, start bending things? It would be possible to shim between the body and the back (or even sand the rear of the body, since it's made of wood), but I'm surprised no provision for adjustment exists.

As i said, I'm a former Leica repairman, and I'm used to getting things parallel to better than .001". I realize that would be ridiculous for an old wooden press camera, but for the maker not to build in any way to adjust the thing at all surprises me.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3626
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you certain its the standard and not the bed?
The front standard frame A-518, page 3 of https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ilO7zgtEObzushXFghodNFR2HH300u5S/view?usp=sharing ,
can become bent, warped, or heavily worn so that when locked it does not sit square with the body.
I've straightened the frame of other speeds after they were dropped and mishandled over the years.
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miket-nyc



Joined: 18 Apr 2018
Posts: 38
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
Are you certain its the standard and not the bed?
The front standard frame A-518, page 3 of https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ilO7zgtEObzushXFghodNFR2HH300u5S/view?usp=sharing ,
can become bent, warped, or heavily worn so that when locked it does not sit square with the body.
I've straightened the frame of other speeds after they were dropped and mishandled over the years.


i think it probably IS the bed -- it looks bent down somewhat from where it should be, but there's no obvious way to measure that precisely, the way I measured the front standard. So I used the one that gave me a better result for the alignment of the camera as a whole.

BTW, the alignment as a whole IS very easy to measure. I removed the focusing panel from my Graphic back and set the camera down on a pair of 1x2x3 blocks https://www.amazon.com/BL-123-Precision-Steel-1-2-3-Blocks/dp/B00092CJC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524855363&sr=8-1&keywords=1x2x3+block after measuring how level they were. (I happened to have these, but other flat metal objects would work). Then I put a small flat piece of metal on the lensboard (to clear the sliders), and compared the level of that with the level of the bottom surface. The easiest way to actually measure the level is with a level app on a smart phone. These let you zero the level first on the bottom surface and just read out the difference from that on the top surface.

The second standard (though cosmetically not as nice) compensated for most of the error in the bed, but not entirely. My real question is how would a proper camera repairman in the era of the Speed Graphic fix a bed that's out of alignment? Graflex does not seem to have provided any way to adjust it. Do you just grab the thing and bend it? I think I would rather remove the back and sand or plane the rear of the body.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3626
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
i think it probably IS the bed -- it looks bent down somewhat from where it should be, but there's no obvious way to measure that precisely,

I use a small square, sit it on the bed adjacent to a bed brace and check it against the body.

There are 3 possibilities, the hinge is bent, the bed brace plates are loose, or the bed brace is worn.
I would start by checking the bed braces at the bed and brace plates for tightness, correcting as necessary. If the braces and bed are tight then it will likely be necessary to remove the bed to correct the error.
The bellows have to be removed to allow access to the bed section of the bed hinge (body yoke) and the bed brace plates. Reinstall the bellows to the rear of the camera with Pliobond 25 or similar removable adhesive.

The body is 1/4 inch box grade Mahogany covered with XXX Moroccan leather. Graflex cameras were laid out with an engineers rule. All measurements are in inch, tenths, hundredths, or thousands.
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