Focus on Graflex XL cameras

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by peter_hoang|1, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. hello

    i am having some issues with my graflex xl camera. the focusing barrel is ver
    smooth after i lubed it up, but if i were to mount the lens on the camera it
    becomes very very stiff. does any one know how to fix it? thank you i look
    forward to your replies.

  2. First, can you clarify? Do you mean that the focus ring turns easily when a lens is not mounted but is stiff when a lens is mounted?

    The XL is notoriously weak with respect to it's focusing mount. There are 3 small plastic tabs that are integral to the focus ring (you can see them when the lens barrel is removed). These tabs can break and make it difficult or impossible to focus.
  3. The focus ring is repairable.

    As for stiff focus, the ring is set to the actual focus bearing by friction and three set screws. If the bearing turns freely alone, but stiff with the focus ring on, try loosening the set screws slightly.

    The other main source of friction is the high tolerances between the lens board helical tube and the inside of the focus ring and bearing. These can be gently polished with a superfine nail board (not the rough ones) you can buy at any drug store.

    As for the tabs, they break . . . ostensibly designed to protect a lens . . . but can be remolded. It is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, but takes a little trial and error to create really nice, fresh and clean tabs . . . and you're off shooting again.

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