Pacemaker Crown Graphic

more about the restoring project

By Jo Lommen

Unpacking the new purchased camera is like a birthday present. It is not always a surprise to find the camera in a filthy and neglected condition. "Sold as is" and " I'm not familiar with old cameras" are definitely expressions belonging to the kind of condition of the camera you can expect.

This is the ultimate challenge for the restorer. In this case the camera seems to be altered by a professional (night?) photographer as there is an extra electric circuit for powering the Kalart focus spot and a separate battery holder to power the solenoid tripper.

Obviously, the camera  has been used over several decades. Repair marks, personal adaptations and for all, hard treatment are clearly visible on the camera body. The fact that the camera was still in working order, proves the ultimate quality of these Graflex cameras. 

Carefully removing dirt, dust and rust is the first action and it was no surprise to find the electric wires completely brittle and even burned black there where the electric circuit was shortcut

To do this, one has to  disassemble all parts of the camera such as lensboard, standard, track, bed, bellows, bracket, bed brace etc.

An overhaul instruction book is very useful, but disciplined working on a very clean bench with several boxes to keep the parts is even better. 

Writing down notes and taking photos while disassembling, prevents making mistakes when reassembling.

Some parts are no longer useable and sometimes one has to find alternatives in small shops far away from High Street.

Please note that there is a certain amount of risk involved in trying to repair a camera. No guarantee is made as to the accuracy or suitability of these procedures to a repair you are contemplating. These repairs vary in difficulty - assess your skill levels carefully before tearing into your camera, as we are not liable for any damage to person or property.






Most of these pictures tell their own story, but the last one is more or less a tricky one.

Make sure to isolate the bracket by an underlay and two isolation caps to provide a short circuit of the electric connection from the Kalart Rangefinder to the battery holder.


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