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Graphic View Tripod Adapter Fix
For every Graphic View owner
by Bob Hutchinson

See the New Graphic View tripod adapter.

Graflex 4 x 5 Graphic View
At one time this may have been the most popular 4x5 view camera among professional photographers. 

To me the Graphic View is one of most beautiful and practical view cameras. Definitely art deco design from the thirties even though they were made later. Simple, productive, effective. It's lightweight, has the movements, is quick to set up and it is well made.

It was designed during a period when photographic tripods didn't have the modern three axis full control heads as they have today. In those days the photographer set up the tripod and leveled the platform by adjusting the legs in a manner similar to the procedure surveyors used to adjust their tripods. 

188B.jpg (32981 bytes)Well, Graflex produced the Graphic View tripod adapter without lateral tilt. No left to right tilt adjustment. I can see how they came to this solution. If the tripod is setup level there is little need for lateral tilt controls. I'm glad we have full control heads today. It would be very inconvenient to level the tripod every time you wanted to make a shot. 

The Adapter is useless
Why have all this height, weight and additional springyness just to have a rail clamp
tripod mount? The fix, if you use a quick release head arrangement, is easy to make with a short piece of steel tubing, a quick release tripod plate for your tripod, one each 10-24 and 1/4-20 round head machine screws and a way to saw the rail clamp off the well made but useless bottom part of the Graflex adapter with a band saw or miter saw.

Follow me through while I make the new rail tripod adapter
With a drift punch, I removed the two pins and disassemble the rail clamp. Then I removed one side plate.

I used the machinist square to set the adapter base 90 degrees from the rail clamp and locked it there with the grip. With my pair of 1 1/2" x 2"x 7" aluminum very square blocks, 188F.jpg (23591 bytes)which I use for many purposes, including props for photography, I fixtured with the blocks and square and rectangular things and setup so a 1 1/2" tapered square stick could be used to as a lever to apply pressure to hold all in place while the awesome carbide tipped blade zipped and zinged effortlessly through the aluminum casting. For normal use make the cut leaving a thickness of 3/8" to the rail surface.

The fix is in188C.jpg (41288 bytes)
Using one of the aluminum blocks and the square on the 6" disc sander (4" belt & 6" disc Home Depot wonder, $99.00) I finished the cut parallel to the rail clamp surface. I cut with hacksaw a 1" length of steel oval tubing and squared the ends with the disc sander. The length of oval 188G.jpg (22513 bytes)steel tubing is chrome closet rod material from Home Depot . I find lotsa uses for this tubing.  With rail clamp base clamped in the soft jaws of the vice I placed the quick release tripod shoe on it, aligned carefully and marked for the 10-24 and 1/4"
machine screws with the automatic center punch (tick). I drilled through and tapped through for the screws, cut the screws to length for 1/4" thread engagement and assembled for alignment. 

188D.jpg (38022 bytes)Once the three parts and screws got aligned and slightly tightened I got out the BIG screwdriver and tightened securely. I reassembled the top clamp parts and the fix is in.

This is the single most productive improvement for the Graphic View camera and provides these benefits:

  • Lighter weight
  • More rigidity
  • Old handle no longer in the way
  • And, important to me, removal of rail adapter not necessary for storage in case. Lid against the rail adapter, with cushioning in between,  holds the camera snuggly in the case rail grooves.

See the New Graphic View tripod adapter.

Click Here to contact Bob Hutchinson.

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