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 LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY
 Anchient Graflex
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Anonomoose
Needs a life...

268 Posts

Posted - 28/12/2001 :  08:23:41  Show Profile  Visit Anonomoose's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have an anchient (1920) Graflex camera, one of those big boxy ones, and want to get it in good working order again. Nothing appears to be wrong with it, the shutter does actually seem to still work, but I would like to get a repair manual or something of the sort just to be sure I don't break this antique. I wouldn't be using it, except it's the only "large" format camera I have. (The actual exposures are 3"x4")

I'd appreciate any advice that's not along the lines of "Buy a newer camera" :)
thanks in advance

glennfromwy
Hero

672 Posts

Posted - 28/12/2001 :  15:08:26  Show Profile  Visit glennfromwy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi ---
I have run across several sources for old manuals but I will have to try to find them again. In the mean time, a good place to start is www.graflex.org.
There is a lot of info on this site and a forum similar to this one. As I remember other sources, I will post them here. Good luck ----
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douguerre
Needs a life...

USA
195 Posts

Posted - 28/12/2001 :  23:15:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Moose,
    if the link that glen provided to the graflex doesn't work, i don't know how beneficial it would be to look.  but, there is a company (magic lantern) who make guides for older cameras and/or for use when people lose their manuals.  i've never known then to make one for a graflex.  but it may be worth your while to give it a shot.  you may find something that may work.

good luck,
douglas

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mdjohnsonphoto
Hero

1186 Posts

Posted - 29/12/2001 :  01:03:19  Show Profile  Visit mdjohnsonphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The last adv. I saw for his business was in a 1987 Shutterbug but you might try Stephen Shuart in Kane, PA (800-458-6092). He had extensive early large format equipment and might have a manual.
Also, while it is much later than your design,  the Bureau of the Navy Publication (Training Manual) "Photographer's Mate 3 & 2" (my copy is a 1971 ed.) has considerable info on the 4x5 Speed Graphic, Kalart and Pacemaker including  B&W photos. There are chapters on the Leica M2 (my attraction to the book) and the Mamiya C3 as well a general discussion of photographic technique. I found my copy at a used book store but it may still be available from the U.S Govt. Printing Office. It is a great resource for your library.

8-)

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glennfromwy
Hero

672 Posts

Posted - 29/12/2001 :  02:18:03  Show Profile  Visit glennfromwy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Moose --
A couple of thoughts on your camera. From your description you have a "Graflex", which is different in several respects from the "Graphic" cameras, such as the Speed Graphic, etc. To obtain a manual or any parts, you need to know the model and series of your camera. This should be on the speed (curtain apperture) plate. These cameras are an extremely simple, rugged piece of equipment. Parts, however, are getting scarcer by the minute. Film holders for this camera are also different than the later Speeds, Crowns, etc. The holders this camera uses have a slot down each side, and are labeled "Graflex". The holders with no slots are labeled "Graphic", and are the standard holder for modern cameras. Before use, you need to check the shutter curtain for pinholes by putting a stong light behind it and running the curtain through all the settings. You need to check the bellows, too. You can buy 3X4 film but the price is outrageous, and only a couple of emulsions are available. Be prepared to cut your own. If you will email me your mailing address, I will make a photocopy of the very basic operating instructions and send them to you.
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mdjohnsonphoto
Hero

1186 Posts

Posted - 29/12/2001 :  20:33:06  Show Profile  Visit mdjohnsonphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Have a look at this webpage/site
http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/graphic-models.html      
It gives a history of the Graflex models.
The later models of the 2x3 - 4x5 prototype are certainly different from your model as Glenn notes. The navy manual I mentioned covers general, rudimentary handling and operation of the camera type which may be of interest anyway.

8-)  

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n/a
deleted

434 Posts

Posted - 30/12/2001 :  22:18:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, Moose,

Is this a Graflex (single lens reflex) or a Graphic (they came in Speed [focal plane & leaf shutters] and Crown [leaf shutter only].

Lynn

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Anonomoose
Needs a life...

268 Posts

Posted - 31/12/2001 :  00:01:14  Show Profile  Visit Anonomoose's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Definately a single lens graflex... looking virtually identical to the one in the page earlier posted.. http://graflex.org/RBGraflex/#Principles . That helped a lot, thanks :)
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mdjohnsonphoto
Hero

1186 Posts

Posted - 31/12/2001 :  04:03:48  Show Profile  Visit mdjohnsonphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
FYI, the Blue Book, Illustrated Price Guide by Myron Wolf has descriptions of the early Graflex models.  The Kodak Anastigmat f:4.5 lens (screw thread interchangeable ) would make it the (3.25"x4.25" ) R.B Graflex-Series B. (circa 1925-51). The Kodak Anastigmat F:4.5* would make it the R.B. Auto Graflex (circa 1909-40 ). It is probably not the 3A graflex as this had 3.25"x 5.5" film format and the Bausch & Lomb Zeiss Tessar Series IIb, No. 5 f:6.3 optic. (circa 1907-26)

8-)

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mdjohnsonphoto
Hero

1186 Posts

Posted - 31/12/2001 :  04:06:27  Show Profile  Visit mdjohnsonphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
FYI, the Blue Book, Illustrated Price Guide by Myron Wolf has descriptions of the early Graflex models.  The Kodak Anastigmat f:4.5 lens (screw thread interchangeable ) would make it the (3.25"x4.25" ) R.B Graflex-Series B. (circa 1925-51). The Kodak Anastigmat F:4.5* would make it the R.B. Auto Graflex (circa 1909-40 ). It is probably not the 3A graflex as this had 3.25"x 5.5" film format and the Bausch & Lomb Zeiss Tessar Series IIb, No. 5 f:6.3 optic. (circa 1907-26)

8-)

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n/a
deleted

434 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2002 :  04:21:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
[quote]Quote: from Anonomoose on 12:01 am on Dec. 31, 2001[br]Definately a single lens graflex... looking virtually identical to the one in the page earlier posted.. http://graflex.org/RBGraflex/#Principles . That helped a lot, thanks :)
[/quote]

Hi Moose,

In all my years in the business, I have never used a camera I loved more nor more enjoyed shooting with than the Graflex SLR.

Kodak invented the first Preset auto stop down diaphragm for  thesecameras.  I had one on a 4X5 with a 165mm Kodak Anastigmat f5.6 (4 element Tessar type similar to Commercial Ektars-super lens).

I keep looking at photo shows for one that is pricedright and in good shape (the newest it could be would be over 40 years old).

All of you should know that the 4x5 Graflex SLR's had a different film plane location from the Graphic type.  While I don't remember exactly, it was about .007" different from all the other film holders in the world.  All the other Graflex film holder sizes were ASA specified.

I always suggest that users replace the Graflex back with a Universal or Graflokback and have the ground glass par focalized with the new back, any competent repairman can do this.  The change allows all standard 4x5, polaroid, and roll holders to be used, making this an even better camera.

If you are looking at old 4x5 film holders, you can spot the Graflex type by the slot milled into the edges of the holder so that the slide locks will engage them.

Lynn

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Tom McCabe
Newbie

7 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2002 :  12:52:22  Show Profile  Visit Tom McCabe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Moose:

  This might be old news by now, but I just stumbled across you question.  Here's an e-mail address that might help you.  Bill Inman is a good point of contact for Graflex cameras.  His e-mail address is graflex3@aol.com
He's a wealth of knowledge on these wonderful cameras.  I have two my self:  a 4x5 from the '50s and a mini-Speed Graphic 2.25x3.25.  Great cameras.

Hope this helps.
Tom McCabe

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glennfromwy
Hero

672 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2002 :  19:42:50  Show Profile  Visit glennfromwy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
OK, fellow Graflex fans----
I have an item that no one I have ever talked to has seen before. Not even the forum at graflex.org got a positive response. It is an adapter that fits in place of the ground glass panel, or film holder on a 4X5 Graflex back that allows you to use Graphic spring or Graflok back. Very nice item, and looks like a genuine Graflex part, but no part number. The finish, wood and milling sure look correct. This adapter sets the film plane back about 1/2 inch but on an SLR if the mirror can be left up, you have ground glass focusing on the Graphic back. A lot of Speed Graphics came equipped with the Graflex back and this will fit those as well as the RB series, etc. Does not alter the camera in any way. And eliminates the need for those very hard to find slotted Graflex film holders. I have a 3X4 Speed Graphic, 2nd version, with a Graflex back. I found it very simple to make a 2X3 Graphic style panel to fit it, with focusing panel and springs from a Newton Nu View camera. Now, I can use either format by simply uncipping the back panel and swapping it. Anyhoo, here's a deal for anyone interested -- I have no use for the nice 4X5 adapter panel. If anyone is intested in having it, send me an email and we can discuss it. I like to trade----
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wr visual encounter
Newbie

2 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2002 :  03:23:46  Show Profile  Visit wr visual encounter's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone.  
It seems that all I read is Graflex, where do I find something about Gowland.  I had it give to me, and darned, if I have no idea of what I want to do with it.  Has a Polariod back with it.  Seems silly to use it as a door stop.  Anyone looking for one, I can trade.

(Edited by wr visual encounter at 4:25 am on Sep. 11, 2002)

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JAC
Needs a life...

149 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2002 :  12:44:29  Show Profile  Visit JAC's Homepage  Reply with Quote

(Edited by JAC at 11:40 pm on Aug. 1, 2003)

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