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preview lens

 
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Tom Williams



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Location: Homer, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:08 pm    Post subject: preview lens Reply with quote

Another newbie question - Was there ever made a device I would call a preview lens? What I am thinking of is something small that could be used in the field to check composition for a potential photo without dragging out and setting up a camera - sort of like what you see a film director use to get an idea of what the camera will "see". I have recently acquired a Crown Graflex with a 135 mm lens. Thanks!
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1892
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you want is called a director's viewfinder, but most come in motion picture aspect ratios which aren't close to 4x5. Some have adjustable aspect ratios.

I've never done it but people on the LF forum have recommended using a piece of cardboard with a 4:5 hole cut in it. Go here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/ , search on "director's viewfinder" and "cardboard frame"
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Tom Williams



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Location: Homer, NY

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: preview lens Reply with quote

I recently picked-up a copy of the navy photographer's mate handbook circa 1966 and noticed that one of the graflex cameras had a removable view finder to be used as a preview lens. Wondering if anyone know which model and if one might be available from a "parts only" body.
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 155
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does your Crown Graphic have the optical viewfinder mounted on top of the camera body? If so, this can be removed and used on its own. The no. 4 viewfinder mask is the one to use with a 135mm lens:
http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/viewfinder-masks.html
If your camera has the top-mounted viewfinder, it might already have the no. 4 mask installed.
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Tom Williams



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Location: Homer, NY

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: preview lens Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments.....I think what the navy is talking about is an earlier model - one with a separate view finder (on top) and range finder (on the side). My camera has both range and view finders in one piece on the top. If this is correct, what are the chances of finding a pre 1955 view finder to be used as an "in your pocket" preview device?
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 155
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Viewfinders show up quite frequently on the auction site, e.g. there's one right now:
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/CROWN-SPEED-GRAPHIC-GRAFLEX-CAMERA-TUBULAR-FINDER-/290600061651?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item43a91d0ad3
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Tom Williams



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Location: Homer, NY

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:26 pm    Post subject: preview lens Reply with quote

Billy - Thanks for the suggestion. I found it and it is soon to be mine. :-}
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