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First time Graflex Guy! Question #1...
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Urchinn



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 10
Location: 01945

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:23 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

First time Graflex owner with a few (a dozen?) questions! My first question is how can I add photos here? Second...my new Century 23 (I think that is what it is) looks in fine shape: bellows light tight, shutter sounds good, etc., but, when I wanted to put the lens/bellows back in the box, the door is about an inch away from closing. I don't really want to push the lens/bellows into the box with any force, but maybe I have to? Lens board is all the way down, railing is retracted, and it all looks good...but that door won't close. Any ideas?
Thanks
Tony
Marblehead
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1571
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You must push in the bellows/front standard assembly all the way into the box until it goes no farther, then lock it down, and then (very important!) rotate the carriage knob(s) until the whole bellows assembly is truly back in the camera box as far as it will go. If you try to force the door closed before doing so you'll bend the ends of the running rails on the front door. Been there, done that. After I straightened the bent rails, I secured them in place with a blackened brass washer (Magic Marker) under each screw: an elegant fix, if I do say so myself, and very unobtrusive. Extra klutz protection from OAF (Owner Assisted Failure). If, having fully done the preceding, and the door is an inch away from closing and will not go any further, the damage is probably done already. If you're lucky, though, the problem could just be a very stiff spring (the flat metal piece about 1/4" wide that projects just above the door hinge).

Last edited by Henry on Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Urchinn



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 10
Location: 01945

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:50 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

But that goes against decades of camera knowledge (Don't force anything)! I'll try it. Anyway, here are some photo links that should work. If anyone has anything to say about my camera/lens/whatever, please share your thoughts. Thanks so much
https://web.500px.com/photo/312162409/century-by-tony-jonaitis-iii/
https://web.500px.com/photo/312162193/century-by-tony-jonaitis-iii/
https://web.500px.com/photo/312162207/century-by-tony-jonaitis-iii/
https://web.500px.com/photo/312162205/century-by-tony-jonaitis-iii/
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Urchinn



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
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Location: 01945

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:03 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

Henry...nope...you can't push it down any farther...and still the lens blocks the door from closing. When I got this camera in the mail, the door was closed, latched, and portable-looking...after just one extension of the bellows, the door hasn't been able to close! Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhh...
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your last picture shows that the carriage is not fully retracted yet. Turn that knob CCW until the carriage won't travel any farther. I just tried this on my Century, with the carriage in the same position as your photo, and I can clearly see the problem and the solution.

Is that a lens hood on the lens? Try removing it!
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Urchinn



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
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Location: 01945

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:07 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

Don't forget...newbie here. I'm not sure what you mean by the carriage (the metal rails that the lens locks onto?)...and what is CCW? Oh Counter-Clock-Wise? Okay, photo or not...that railing is fully retracted.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metal rails that move, controlled by the knob(s) on the front door. CCW means "counter-clockwise." Turn it all the way CCW (as you're facing that side of the camera as in your photo).
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Urchinn



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No...not a lens hood. It doesn't budge, that is for sure. Anyway, this is what it all looked like when I originally opened the door.
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Urchinn



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:20 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

Nope...nothing...and the door stops in the same position (an inch away from closing). This old camera collector has met his match. I can usually figure out this kind of thing, but every variation of closing this camera to its full and totally boxed position has been in vain.
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Henry



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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you remove the roll film holder and the lens board, and peer into the box from behind with the aid of a flashlight, you may be able to see what gives?
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Urchinn



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:27 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

Geez...I don't know how to remove those things yet.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, Century Graphic basics. Your camera has a Graflok back. Slide the shiny metal tabs on the back, top and bottom of the roll holder, all the way to the right, and catch the holder before it falls on the floor! Next, on the front standard you'll see what looks like miniature versions of the sliders top and bottom of the lens board. Slide the top one up and to the left, and the bottom one down and to the left, holding the lens board all the while so it doesn't drop to the floor, and remove the lens/lens board. You can now look through the camera box.
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Urchinn



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
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Location: 01945

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:50 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

YES! As in YES I am learning more about my new camera! Anyway, the plot thickens here, because with the lensboard removed, the door will still not close! Apparently it isn't the fault of the lens. Investigating further...
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a flat spring about 1/4" wide, centered on the door hinge, that projects out about 1/4" and makes contact with the front door at just about an inch from full closure---just where yours appears to stall. It's possible that it's a very stiff spring. If you're very sure that you've eliminated all other possibilities, you might try a little extra push to overcome the resistance. (The purpose of that spring is to push the door open when you press the hidden release button.)
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Urchinn



Joined: 09 Jul 2019
Posts: 10
Location: 01945

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:00 pm    Post subject: First time Graflex Guy! Question #1... Reply with quote

Yes, I see what you are talking about. You can force the door to close on that spring, but the pressure makes the door pop back out even after the door is fully closed.
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