The US made MicroPress

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IanG
Posts: 81
Joined: December 23rd, 2016, 11:31 am

The US made MicroPress

Post by IanG » August 2nd, 2017, 9:17 pm

A few years ago I borrowed a MicroPress to check it out, I also diagnosed the light leak.

I'm totally convinced that most of the camera was made in the US, the wooden body, shutter, trackbed, front standard. I find anything written here in the UK stating they were wholly British made a complete lie.

I regularly service Speed Graphics, and the MicroPress parts (made by Graflex) are absolutely identical except for the threads. Why after 60+ years is no-one being truthful.

When the MicroPress was released there were severe Import restrictions here in the UK, but parts weren't covered. Just how early were MPP and Graflex colluding to get around Import restrictions. Probably very early, it's no co-incidence that the Mk1 to Mk VII MicroTechnical cameras use the same sized lens boars as Pre-Anniversary and Anniversary Speed Graphics,

In hind sight it's impossible to know how close MPP were to breaking the law, they were almost certainly flounting it with the MicroPress. It is a Speed Graphic in Sheep#s clothing. Other links with Graflex definitely compoud this.

Ian

Roland
Posts: 19
Joined: November 8th, 2018, 7:44 pm

Re: The US made MicroPress

Post by Roland » January 26th, 2019, 1:55 pm

One Dutch collector has recently restored an MPP MicroPress.
He is also a Graflex specialist.
To his surprise many Graflex parts, that look identical, cannot be used for the MicroPress.
He has the feeling that the minor changes, that still prevent inter-changeability, were made on purpose.
This leads me to assume that MPP and Graflex had an arrangement allowing MPP to use Graflex designs for the British market (and so intellectual property) as long as MPP cameras would not compete with Graflex on the US and other markets.
Preventing inter-changeability of parts may have been part of this agreement.

Other parts/ dimensions are still identical. And may even have been made by Graflex.

IanG
Posts: 81
Joined: December 23rd, 2016, 11:31 am

Re: The US made MicroPress

Post by IanG » February 1st, 2019, 5:21 pm

That's not the case, the minor differences are just threads etc, the MicroPress casing, shutter, track bed, front standard, shutter release mechanism, were all made by Graflex. On one MicroPress I restored you could see where the cast in racks had been ground away to attach the MPP racks. I have been able to swap parts over (both ways).

The link between MPP and Graflex was totally secretive quite different to gentleman's agreement. There just wasn't time between MPP showing their prototype MicroPress which is a MkIII MicroTechnical with a built in Wray shutter, and the largely Graflex MicroPress which went on sale.

There really is no other explanation, if above board MPP would have had to pay royalties to Graflex and that would be public knowledge and the link not totally secretive.

Ian

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