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Broken viewfinder
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flea market a couple weeks ago, guy from the neighborhood offering a Crown Graphic 2 1/4 x 3 1/4, Graflok with groundglass viewer and level-operated 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 (10 frame) 120 back. Bellows, lens, shutter, Kalert rangefinder, etc, all looked and felt decent. My wife actually said, "why don't you buy it?"
The parallax correcting viewfinder mounted on the top didn't adjust. Played with it. Noticed the aperture inside the rear of the view finder was offf center. Thought it was a fault, but now I know better. Tried wriggling the rear rim to spin the adjustment.

The rim cracked. Chips of plastic (bakelite?) all over the floor. I should have cleaned inside the rim, as there was a buildup of grime. Now, what to do?. There are two teeny screws in the rim, one of which is in a cracked section that's barely hanging on. I figure they anchor the rim to the parallax mechanism, and if they crack off, I can write off the viewfinder.

Any preferred ways of stabilizing the broken rim will be appreciated, as would any source of replacement. And, yes, I know, it was a knucklehead move, but at least I stopped.

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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is annoying and frustrating for you, but let me relate my experience with the Century, which came with the Kalart but not the optical viewfinder. I was able to buy one, with the mounting hardware, and I duly installed it, only to find that I never use it! IMO, the parallax adjustment is superfluous (others may disagree), unless you epoxy your head to the camera so nothing moves in relation to your eyeball location vis-a-vis the finder. Or else use it with tripod, but then why not use the ground glass? The Kalart is infinitely (!) more useful, used in conjunction with the sports finder (a/k/a "wire frame finder," though it isn't really such on the Century) for hand-held work. Both the sports finder and the optical finder are close rivals when it comes to inaccuracy, in my judgment, but with just a little practice I found it easy to get the hang of it. IOW, I wouldn't fret over the optical finder!
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For hard to find parts or immediate repairs, I resort to epoxy. I generally use PC-7, comes in two cans that are mized equally when used. It's the best I've found so far. But any of the paste epoxies that state they can be machined or tapped will work.

The trick to getting a close shape/tight fit is to form the epoxy to the mating piece. But something must be used to keep them seperated or they'l bond together. Ordinary kitchen plastic wrap works fine. You can also fit it close enough, then file and sand it to perfection after it's cured.

Just don't believe what any of these say on the label about curing time. For a full cure and to bond sufficiently for working, give it two days at least. It all depends on temperature and humidity and how stong a bong you need for the working.

There's very few parts that can't be fixed or duplicated with a good epoxy...

After that, you can look on ebay where they do come up occassionally. And you could try the Graflexchange at:
http://www.southbristolviews.com/graflexchange/index.php

As far as the viewfinder use... I like it for what it is. I have recently set up a Super for a 'point&shoot' system. With a good cam & lens, a grafmatic and the right mask in the viewfinder, all you have to do is focus and shoot. Of course it's not ideal as you do have to move your eye from the rangefinder to viewfinder, but it's as close as it will get...

Hopefully the next Graphic camera will have a fully integrated rangefinder/viewfinder with optical zoom to match the lens!
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry and Rich, thank you both. Increased my peace of mind. First, it's nice to have a camera that has four (4!) ways to compose a shot. That makes the viewfinder a bit less critical. Secondly, I will try to do some repairs to at least stabilize the viewfinder eyepiece and perhaps make the thing useable again.

Is epoxy better than "Super Glue" (or the variations thereof)?

Also, I cadged some fiberglass cast material from the physical therapist some time ago. It's cuttable, flexible, and activated by water. I may experiment on a dowel stick or two and see if it's feasible.

[ This Message was edited by: Polaski on 2005-06-29 11:55 ]
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paxety



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 69
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Henry. For the 2x3, the viewfinder is so small, I never use it. I use the ground glass when using the tripod and the sports finder when hand holding. I don't think you will miss the viewfinder.
john

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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the 'super' glues work well to stick non-absorbant pieces back together. It can't fill voids and certainly can't fill in an area of a missing piece. There are a lot of things it won't stick well to...

Epoxies are better at filling voids and holes and completely duplicating missing parts. Possibly not the best to be used as a 'glue', stricktly for sticking pieces together.

Without actually seeing the pieces you're working with, I couldn't say. If you have all the pieces and just have to glue them back together, then a more standard 'glue' might be a better choice. I like Barge Cement as far as glues go, but it depends on what's being glued together...

I have no idea about the casting material? But it sounds like it would be fun to play with


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bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EBay has one up for auction this week...Bert
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MidWest Photo and Pacific Rim often have them. Not hard to find a replacement.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3203
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2005-12-24 21:29 ]
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, some more pieces fell off the revolving eyepiece, including one that holds a tiny screw that obviously is intended to protrude into a groove in the viewfinder barrel. I think that leaves one left. Not much longevity hope here.

I really do like the viewfinder, especially since I found a mask #12 that will give me a decent approximation of a 6x6 negative on this 2x3 camera. (Also got a rh12 roll film back).

To get a replacement viewfinder entails buying another 2x3 Graphic (Not cheap), a replacement part at a dealer (definitely not cheap), or loot one off a parts camera. There's a parts camera available (maybe) cheaply, but my question is: the patrs camera is a 3x4. Will the veiew finder from that 3x4 parts camera fit a 2x3 Crown Graphic. I know the iserts are sized according to film size, but is the BODY of the viewfinder the same?

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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1882
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2005-10-25 11:32, Polaski wrote:
Well, some more pieces fell off the revolving eyepiece, including one that holds a tiny screw that obviously is intended to protrude into a groove in the viewfinder barrel. I think that leaves one left. Not much longevity hope here.

I really do like the viewfinder, especially since I found a mask #12 that will give me a decent approximation of a 6x6 negative on this 2x3 camera. (Also got a rh12 roll film back).

To get a replacement viewfinder entails buying another 2x3 Graphic (Not cheap), a replacement part at a dealer (definitely not cheap), or loot one off a parts camera. There's a parts camera available (maybe) cheaply, but my question is: the patrs camera is a 3x4. Will the veiew finder from that 3x4 parts camera fit a 2x3 Crown Graphic. I know the iserts are sized according to film size, but is the BODY of the viewfinder the same?

The 3x4's finder is no shorter than the 2x3's. Go for it.

Cheers,

Dan
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fact, if it's the longer version it may be easier to use on the Century with roll holder attached. The short finder requires quite a bit of "facial contortion" (at least for me) to get this ol' eyeball up to that tiny hole.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to clairfy what's been already said, there are short view finders and long viewfinders. Both were sold with 2x3 cameras and the long ones are better when using a roll back.

Since this is a detatchable finder, try calling/emailing mpex or pacific rim and see if they have just the finder in their junk bin *******. It's too small an item to put up on the web.

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bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Polaski,
It is best to remove the rear piece if you are going to try to repair it! Takes a bit of fiddle'ing to get everything back in place, but doesnt require a college degree! The eye piece is common to both the short and long version used on the 4x5 Speeds and Crowns! The viewfinders show up on Ebay quite often!
Have a nice day.....Bert
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Top



Joined: 06 Apr 2002
Posts: 198
Location: Northern New England USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure I have most of a short VF (including the revolving eyepiece) in the parts box. PM me.
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