Reflex Viewer for Crown Graphic?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by syd, May 16, 2005.

  1. syd


    Hello all.

    I have this question posted at the site also and need some
    advice regarding Reflex Viewers for my 4x5 Crown Graphic. Can anybody
    tell me if there is a Reflex Viewer that will fit a Crown or that can
    be hand held to fit over the ground glass of my Crown Graphic ... and
    if so what, which, where etc?

    Apreciated, Simon.
  2. With so little movement available I would wonder why? You all ready have a viewfinder, sportsfinder and the groundglass. If you really need a reflex viewer, save it for another camera.
  3. syd


    Errr, because I want to compose the right way around from the ground glass. I know I have the sportsfinder and the standard viewfinder but I would like the flexibility of having a reflex viewer also, it's that simple.
  4. I notice that sellers of the reflex unit from Polaroid MP-4 always say that it's easily adapted to a Graflock back, but it looks to me like it would be upside down. Let us know if you find a good way.
  5. The super D Graflex is in essence a 4x5 Speed Graphic SLR, which is what you are talking
    about.I you do not already have one, this works pretty well.
  6. syd


    Surely, but I want to find a solution with my existing Crown Graphic rather than having to buy a super D which is also a larger camera from memory. There must be a mirror box or a viewer that can be held or fixed over the GG of the Crown, no?
  7. Simon, I have modified a Polaroid MP4 reflex viewer to fit my post war Speed Graphic. I just remove the folding hood and the viewer clicks into the same spot. My viewer came attached to a panel which allowed it to pivot up and down slightly. I removed the panel and then did a little filing on the back of the roll pins that attached the viewer to the panel.

    These pins click into the back of the graflok back in the same position as the folding viewer. They need to be filed as they are slightly too large to fit as is. There was no modification to the camera at all.

    As far as I know the Crown has the same version of the Graflok back as the Speed so it should fit your camera. Apparently the MP4 won't fit the Super Speed Graphic which has the revolving back.

    Personally I would like one of the Graflex SLRs, but the asking price is a bit too high for me at the moment - $500+ for a series D and $1000+ for a Super D, so I'll stick to my Speed Graphic.
  8. syd


    Hey Paul!

    That sounds great my friend, is there any chance you have any pics of your unit and how it looks? I would love to see something showing the attachment with your camera. Any chance?

    Best, Simon.
  9. OK, I'll have a go. Firstly the camera with viewer attached and at minimum angle - around 30 degrees from vertical
  10. The viewer will tilt to 5 - 10 degrees past vertical, but the secreen is brightest when it is vertical (as below)
  11. The view is right-side up but still reversed laterally and there is a magnifier built in which is a great help as you can't really get a loupe in there.
  12. syd


    That looks GREAT Paul!

    I have subsequently found an MP4 viewer locally and a couple overseas so I will be trying to get the best deal and grab one. Thanks very much for getting those images together they are a great help in seeing how the unit looks when set up. Is there any chance you could provide a couple of pics of the pins you filed and show a close up of how they fix to the camera? It would great to get a close view of how you modified the unit and got it to fit, not just for myself but for others also. I would apreciate any further efforts!

    You can mail me also at

    Best regards, Simon. ;o)
  13. OK, the pins. If you take out the folding viewer from the graflok back you will get an idea of how long the pins need to be. They are the right width, but the tabs on the folding viewer are flat, so depth is the issue. I filed a bit from the front and back and it really was just a case of taking it slowly and regularly trying it for size. In the end I probably filed the pin down to half of it's orignal thickness. If the worst happens and you file too much off it shouldn't be too hard to replace with a thick piece of wire and start again.
  14. .... and a blurry shot of the front
  15. Oh, and I forgot to say that the pins really do just click into the same spot as the tabs on the side of the folding hood, so nothing needs to be done to the graflok back.

    BTW, when I bought my MP4 viewer it came attached to a plastic panel which simply clicks off in the same way that the folding hood clicks out of the graflex back. It probably held a ground glass screen, but all that was left was a plastic fresnel lens.
  16. syd


    Hey Paul,

    Again great pics and many thanks! With regard to the close up pics, could I trouble you for one last pic showing how the unit clicks into place where the normal focus hood usually clicks in? Just one side would do the trick, just to get a final idea of things.

  17. syd


    BTW* Paul,

    Will an MP-3 viewer do the same job as the MP-4?
  18. Simon,

    You might contact Badger Graphic and ask if the Shenhao viwer might fit. It is monocular
  19. syd


    Thanks John,

    Looks like a fine option but it will far exceed the expense of the MP4 viewer and I'd like to keep costs down at this stage since I'm saving for a modern 90mm.
  20. Ok, here is the right hand side of the standard folding hood, where it clips into the graflok back
  21. and here is the reflex viewer clipped into the same spot. You can see why the pin needs to be filed to fit. Regarding the MP3 viewer, I have no idea whether it will fit or not. I've never seen one.
  22. syd


    Thanks Paul!

    Thats cleared things up a bit, I was trying to visualize which part of the pins you were filing in relation to how they mated with the graflok back ... so essentially the pins stick out at right angles to the graflok ... or horizontally when they mate to the graflok clips.

    Thanks for all your efforts!
  23. syd


    Hey Paul!

    Just got my MP4 today and with a little filing have managed to forge myself a perfect reflex viewer for my Crown Graphic like yourself. Thanks very much for sharing you images, knowledge and suggestions as it's clear and bright image wise and I managed to find myself a near new unit.

    Best, Simon.
  24. Hello Paul & Simon,
    If you are still checking on this post, I am wondering if the mp-4 attaches to the graflok back so that I can have the viewer on the camera and then simply pop in my polaroid 545i film back? Thanks so much if you see this post some 5 years later. I am using an old graflex 4x5 speed graphic camera.


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