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Super Graphic vs Super Speed Graphic

 
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:55 am    Post subject: Super Graphic vs Super Speed Graphic Reply with quote

Hello, all! I'm seriously considering buying a camera, but can't decide between the two.

I've done a fair amount of research and am leaning more towards the SSG. I like the idea of the Graflex 1000 lens (the SG's a standard 135mm Wollensak) and the possibility of potentially using the electronic shutter (from my understanding, the lensboard with the solenoid is difficult to find for the Super) though I've no idea how tough it is in reality to make it work again.

But I'd like to hear advice from people with experience owning one or the other how they feel about their SG/SSG cameras. They're about the same price (i.e. expensive) and condition (i.e. reportedly good).

P.S. Now that Fred Lustig's dead (RIP), is there anyone else that's recommended for potential repairs/CLA? Also, I don't know any machinists nor do I have access to a metal shop (in case I need a different cam for a future lens): how do people find someone reliable?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3783
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference between the Super and Super Speed is the label on the body.
The Super Speed came with a 135mm Rodenstock Optar in Graphic 1000 shutter. There are two versions of this shutter, the first has flat shutter blades which hit each other and stripped the drive gears at high speeds, the second has two opposing blades with bent corners to prevent them from hitting each other.
If the camera can be examined before buying the shutter should cock by turning the front ring clockwise with light pressure similar to installing a jar lid. If its hard to turn its time for a CLA. I'm no longer in a position to do CLA's on these shutters at this time.

The electronic shutter release in done by brass strips embedded into the bellows to the lens board. The solenoid is inside the base of the front standard and a lever/rod assembly is incorporated into the lens board. The 22.5V batteries are difficult to find and expensive.

Make sure the back is complete as the focus panel from other cameras will not fit and the Super Graphic panel is next to impossible to find.

Toyo bought the rights to the camera after Graflex ceased operation so you might find a Toyo Super Graphic on the market.

As far as use A Super with properly clocked shutter will be as easy to operate as a Super Speed. They're a nice aluminum body press camera without the electronics and a touch easier to use with the electronics working.


https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4653
https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6211
https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4647
http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/Super%20or%20Super%20Speed%20Graphic%20Service%20instructions.pdf
http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/Super%20Super%20Speed%20Graphic%20IPB.pdf
http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/SynchPlugSchem1.jpg
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wiux



Joined: 04 Jun 2019
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed reply. Sorry if I'm being slow, but do you mean that getting the electronic shutter to work really comes down to finding the batteries?

What do you think about this solution, seen here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9gimnnFl1k) of using CR2032 batteries? I've never seen the original batteries in person, so I'm not entirely clear what the video means by "four stacks of four" as my understanding was there were only two original batteries needed.

Sadly, I can't examine the shutter in person. Do you happen to know serial numbers for when the change from flat to bent happened? I know it's a weird question, but you never know unless you ask, right?

Finally, I guess what I'm still on the fence about is twofold: whether it's just as easy/hard to get the electronic shutter on the SG to work as the SSG & whether getting the 1000 lens is worse than the 135mm.
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Sagebrush



Joined: 02 Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beware of ordering the 22.5 volt batteries from China that you see on EBay. They are too thick to fit into the battery compartment.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3783
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.amazon.com/Exell-Battery-412A-Alkaline-BLR122/dp/B009Z1ERAE

Batteries in series : voltage adds, current is limited to the lowest current rating of the batteries.

2 22.5V batteries in series provide 45V. The batteries charge the capacitors which discharge and provide the current that is necessary to operate the solenoid that trips the shutter. The batteries last for months under heavy camera usage or years under light camera usage.

Connecting batteries in series is Positive of battery 1 to negative of battery 2, positive of battery 2 to negative of battery 3 repeating until you get the voltage desired with the positive of the last battery in the stack and the negative of the 1st battery being the circuit connect points. In the video 4 of the batteries fill the depth of the battery compartment and 4 stacks of 4 are needed to produce the voltage required.

The battery door of the SSG is dependent on batteries being installed and will not stay in place if the batteries are not present. Battery doors are getting harder to find and are frequently missing.

The switch that operates the shutter release is on the top left of the camera. The brass contacts corrode (tarnish) and have to be cleaned. The rangefinder assembly has to be removed to service the switch. The camera electronics are mounted in the rangefinder assembly.

The brass strips in the bellows break causing a failure in the shutter release and flash triggering circuits.
https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=5113


The change from flat to bent corner shutter blades occurred early on in production and there is no serial number record of the change.

There was a design change in the bellows electronics connection and it is documented in the service manual.

You will be very hard pressed to tell the difference between a Wollensak 135mm Optar used on Super/Speed/Crown Graphic and the Rodenstock 135mm used on Super Speed Graphic. To test mount the same camera on a tripod, photograph the same test target with extremely fine detail on very slow film with both lens, enlarge the processed negatives 100X or larger and inspect carefully.
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