Super Speed Graphic- need viewfinder and rangefinder : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a 4 x 5 Super Speed Graphic and it does not have either an optical viewfinder or a rangefinder. I want to know if anybody can tell me where I can purchase these or if I even need them. I had read an article that stated that some of the old time press photographers removed the rangefinder because of the weight. Please help. Thanks. Joe Hermosa

-- Joe Hermosa (, April 29, 2001


Joe: If you're planning on using it as a reasonably light weight field camera (as advocated by many prior postings on this web site) you don't need either. You just focus on the ground glass which is probably more accurate for focus and framing than either of the missing pieces of equipment. Now if you're planning on hand holding large format exposures (which works a lot better than many prior postings would lead you to believe) the viewfinder is necessary. It's been a couple years since I sold my super graphic and I can't remember if it had any quick framing wire hoop device like the speed graphic, but if you have one of those it will work surprisingly well for hand held shots and solve the framing issue. Focus will have to be off a scale you put on the bed to match the lens you are using. I have a hand written scale on a POS cannibalized B& J press camera and with a little concentration, the estimated distances I use when applied to the scale give me sharp pictures. Have fun and good luck.

-- Kevin Crisp (, April 29, 2001.

Along a similar vein, I would kill to find a #4-80 screw to use in the image alignment adjustment of my top RF Crown Graphic. Tried hobby shops and hardware stores, but can't find one, and it's driving me nuts!

#4-40 is the "normal" size. #4-80 is very fine pitched.

Anyone know where I can get one? Anyone got spare parts lying about?

As for the original post, I don't know that many press photographers would remove the RF an VF, but people who want to use a press camera as a field camera often do. I want to use my Crown as a press camera - handheld - and am trying to get the RF working. I'll use my Toyo for tripod shots.

-- John H. Henderson (, April 30, 2001.

Have you ever try to go at .At their message board,there's quite a lot of good guys with a lot of experience with these cameras.

-- Gil. Langlois (, April 30, 2001.

Yes. I've never gotten much help there.

-- John H. Henderson (, April 30, 2001.


Are you sure you haven't got the rangefinder in it? It is a Super Graphic right? Has somneone actually gone inside and removed it a la Gandy's "turn your Super Graphic into a light weight field camera"?

Normally, the rangefinder is built in - you need cams for each focal length.

Also, although you can get an accessory viewfinder, it isn't great. But the pull up from the front standard wire frame finder + the little pop-up rear sight works suprisingly well.

I use this setup for hand held street work - there is even an informal list of doing this (we are wondering if we should have a dress code of black pants, white short sleeve shirts and thin black ties!!).

Gandys site has some great articles on the Super - scroll down to large format. If you don't want to use it handheld, you don't really need the rangefinder - just use the ground glass. (Gandy's artice shows how to strip down and convert a Super into a 4 1/2lb Field Camera.

And contact me of list if you want, with any other questions.

Tim A

-- Tim Atherton (, April 30, 2001.

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