I own a Speed Graphic (not sure how old but anyways) that is in almost perfect condition (from a working point of view) the focal plane shutter works at all speeds, nothing is really damaged, etc, except for one problem that doesn't really impact performance; the camera will not close. I traced the issue to the inner bed rails not aligning and the plastic kind of part inside appears to be damaged (the white part circled in red)

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Here is a view of the inner bed rails bent from the side

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Technically I can close it, if I press down on the inner rails, but sometimes the bellows part of the camera comes off of alignment and it is a hassle to put it back on the rail.

This really depreciated the value of the camera, is there anything that can be done about the broken parts?


The white plastic pieces don't look like they belong. When comparing your photos to my Crown Graphic, the bed and rails appear the same but I definitely don't have anything that looks like the white pieces in your photo.Your hinge doesn't appear to be out of alignment, so I'm thinking that someone placed something under the inner section of railing to shim it up for some reason.

I would try to remove the rail guides for that short inner piece of railing and take a better look at the plastic and possibly remove it. Unfortunately, I think you may first need to remove the connection to the rangefinder in the back left.

  • The white plastic pieces appear to be something that is missing. On your Crown Graphic if you pull up on the inner bed rails (gently of course) do the rails move up at all?
    – ToastHouse
    May 12 '17 at 2:49
  • @ToastHouse No, the inner rails are solid against the bottom of the box, just like the rails on the bed. May 12 '17 at 11:18
  • It appears these parts are physically broken. Apparently, this comes from forcing the camera shut, which I have never done before. However, the parts have screws in them, so it seems they can be replaced.
    – ToastHouse
    May 12 '17 at 20:51
  • I have seen people offer just the rails for sale on ebay. And sometimes a broken camera just for parts. May 13 '17 at 12:07

I think this is a body condition, I have a mint condition (as in not seen much use) Century Graphic where the rear rails lift slightly as they are wound back into the body. From what I can see, I think the bed on which the rear rail guides sits are a little proud. I suspect it's a manufacturing inaccuracy. An idiosyncrasy that does not affect photo taking, and I don't think it's unique to your camera. The plastic bits referred to appear to be alloy deposits from the slight misalignment.

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