Graflex 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 Crown Graphic Release Cable

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by JLachiw, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Hello all,

    I recently picked up a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Graflex Crown Graphic and some accessories for next to nothing, and along with those accessories was an RH-10 back. I'd like to use this as a clunky, oversized 120 film rangefinder, but my only issue is the camera doesn't have the cable for the built-in shutter release button. I'd like to get a cable, but the parts I've seen so far are for 4x5 cameras, and if I assume correctly, that would be too long for the smaller form factor. Anyone know of a good source for parts, or somewhere that is selling one? I realize this is a very specific issue, but the shutter my camera came with is the Flash Supermatic, which has a quite short shutter release lever thats difficult to reach while holding the camera.

    If you know of anyone with this part, or perhaps have one you're willing to part with, any information is greatly appreciated.

  2. First off: Does the RH-10 even fit on a quarter plate camera? Mine's designed to only fit a standard 5"x4" Graflok or international back.

    Cable releases are dependant on the type of shutter only. Most recent (post 1945) leaf shutters have a standard taper-screw release socket. Prior to that they may have a simple slotted lever for a 'hooked' wire release, or even no cable release fitting at all.

    Anyway, assuming the shutter is fitted with a taper-screw socket, you can fit any length of cable release you like. There's no specific length for 5x4 or quarter-plate, since the cable has to be long enough to allow the bellows to extend for close focusing.

    In short, a '5x4' release cable should be fine. But I don't believe the RH-10 would fit a back designed for quarter-plate. Sure you haven't got a 5x4 camera?
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  3. Cowboy, it seems that Graflex made RHs to fit 2x3, 3x4 and 4x5 Graflok backs, also spring backs with an adapter. See Graflex Graphic Accessories. The RH catalog on isn't clear about this, but it is certain that older roll holders were made to fit all three sizes of camera.

    Pacemaker Graphics -- the Crown Graphic is a Pacemaker -- have what Graflex called a body release built into the lower right hand corner of the camera. See Camera Eccentric: Info, in particular p. 12. The body release operates the lens' shutter, if there is one, by a cable that runs from the release to the front standard, where there's a linkage and a paddle that engages the shutter's release lever. The body release has nothing to do with the lens' shutter's cable release socket.
  4. Its definitely a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 camera, along with that film back came some normal sheet film holders, marked with 3 1/4 x 4 1/4. Also its quite smaller than my 4x5 Graflex I have. ;)

    Anyways, today I decided to take the body release cable from my 4x5 and transplant it to my smaller Graflex. I thought taking the bracket off the 4x5 was difficult, but then hours later, I had the front standard and bellows off the 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 just so I could screw in the mechanism. I eventually got those tiny screws in, and now my little Graflex has an operational body shutter release. It all took a lot of modifications, time, and yelling at tiny screws that kept falling.

    In the end it was an absolute pain, that I don't recommend anyone trying, but now I have a greater appreciation for Graflex cameras. Everything was surprisingly easy to disassemble, and the design is really simple yet durable.
  5. Be careful when you close y'r camera. Its easy to pinch the body release cable behind the inner rails when you rack the rail in before closing the box. This is hard on the cable, will eventually destroy it. And if the bed rails aren't all the way back before the box is closed closing it will damage the links between inner and outer rails.
  6. "I eventually got those tiny screws in, and now my little Graflex has an operational body shutter release. It all took a lot of modifications, time, and yelling at tiny screws that kept falling."

    - Congratulations on a successful transplant operation!
    But two words of future advice:
    Blu Tack.
    A tiny blob of the stuff on the screwdriver tip will hold a screw in place until it can be positioned and turned into the hole. The only difficult bit is breaking off a small enough amount of Blutack to do the job, while not being too big to completely smother the screwhead.

    Steel screws can be placed by temporarily magnetising a screwdriver with a small button magnet stuck to the blade, but the Blu Tack trick works for stainless or brass screws too. Also positioning plastic parts for glueing.

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