PDA

View Full Version : 3.25 x 4.25 Graflex



Michael Cienfuegos
14-Apr-2015, 12:10
Took my 3x4 Graflex RB Series D to Old Poway Park near San Diego last Sunday. Lots of people picnicking, there is also a steam locomotive, but it wasn't running this weekend, had to settle for a few shots of the tracks and engine house. 161mm/4.5 Meyer Anastigmat, Efke PL100 Film developed in HC-110 Dilution H.

132375

132377

132378

Picnic Photo Studio:

132379


m

Bill_1856
14-Apr-2015, 12:29
Wonderful camera.
You're using an awfully long lens.

Randy Moe
14-Apr-2015, 12:55
I think that's a standard FL, my non Tele 3X4 RB has OE 6-3/8" lens.

mdarnton
14-Apr-2015, 13:09
Have to have room for that big mirror to flop up and down. That's why the 4x5 has a 190mm as its normal lens.

Bill_1856
14-Apr-2015, 14:42
My shame -- I didn't read carefully enough, and presumed it was a Graphic. (My Super D has the superb 152mm Ektar.)

Michael Cienfuegos
14-Apr-2015, 15:29
My shame -- I didn't read carefully enough, and presumed it was a Graphic. (My Super D has the superb 152mm Ektar.)


wanna trade?? ;)

If I had a Super D I would put my Aero-Ektar on board.

m

Randy
15-Apr-2015, 08:33
Thanks for sharing Michael, I have the 4X5 version and I love it, was just out yesterday in the drizzle shooting fresh dogwood blossoms with it. Also, I lived in Poway as a child back in the 60's. Small world.

Michael Cienfuegos
15-Apr-2015, 09:06
Thanks for sharing Michael, I have the 4X5 version and I love it, was just out yesterday in the drizzle shooting fresh dogwood blossoms with it. Also, I lived in Poway as a child back in the 60's. Small world.

I have two 4x5 Graflexes, an RB Series B and an RB Auto-Graflex. They are just too heavy to carry, though I must admit I would love to have a 5x7 SLR. The little 2x3 Series B is a handy one to carry about.


m

Bill_1856
15-Apr-2015, 11:53
I wonder how did Dorothea Lange manage to work with her 4x5 Graflex? She was a tiny little thing, and the camera is a beaste!
Also, Edward Weston's portraits with his 3.25x4.25 Graflex were wonderful, but (IMHO) after he switched to the 4x5 and had to work on a tripod rather than hand holding, they became ordinary (by comparison).

Randy
15-Apr-2015, 13:24
Michael, I agree, the 4X5 is to much to carry, and I am not big, 5' 6" - but I did a few mods to make it a little more manageable. I have posted this before, but just in case you didn't see it - http://www.pbase.com/rsweatt/rb_mods

mdarnton
15-Apr-2015, 14:04
I just got a 3x4 RB Tele, and already have a 4x5 Super D. I'm thinking of converting the 3x4 to a 4x4, with a 4x5 Graflok back. That way I'll be using a film size I can easily handle, in Grafmatics, with a much smaller and lighter camera. I just now took the back off and am contemplating the switch as I sit here . . .

It looks like everything's going to hang out on the sides in a funky way, even if I chop off everything possible on the Graflok back.

Randy Moe
15-Apr-2015, 14:32
I just got a 3x4 RB Tele, and already have a 4x5 Super D. I'm thinking of converting the 3x4 to a 4x4, with a 4x5 Graflok back. That way I'll be using a film size I can easily handle, in Grafmatics, with a much smaller and lighter camera. I just now took the back off and am contemplating the switch as I sit here . . .

It looks like everything's going to hang out on the sides in a funky way, even if I chop off everything possible on the Graflok back.

I held up a Horseman frame, without GG part and it fits width fine, in vertical position. Pictures show the story. I stocked up on Horseman when people were giving them away. I use every part, sometimes differently.

Horseman are better than Sinar for odd jobs. ymmv

132453132454132455132456

mdarnton
15-Apr-2015, 14:58
That looks perfect. Is it from any particular camera?

Randy Moe
15-Apr-2015, 15:09
That looks perfect. Is it from any particular camera?

Any Studio Horseman.

I got a plan for you...

I will PM.

Bill_1856
15-Apr-2015, 15:28
Converting sizes is an awful lot of work. Wouldn't it be much easier to just shoot 3.25x4.25 film? You can order all you want from Ilford right now and once a year. Another great advantage is using a BagMag -- in my opinion a gift of the photo gods.
I had my 4x5 converted from Graflex to Graflock so it would use Polaroid 52 and 55. Since those are no longer available, I wish that i hadn't done it.

mdarnton
15-Apr-2015, 17:23
I'm heavily invested in three other sizes, and really like the idea of a gigantic Hasselblad at this point. The work is sort of what I do, so it's not a big deal, and it will be easily reversible without any trace.

Michael Cienfuegos
15-Apr-2015, 18:02
I hate to tell you guys, but that tiny Dorthea Lange was carrying a 5x7 Graflex, not a 4x5. It was a monster, especially next to her.

I like the Ilford film, it's great, but a 25 sheet box of 3x4 is around the $65 mark, and I can't afford much at that price. I just might have to cut down some x-ray film. Too bad Efke went under, I have only two boxes left in the freezer.

Bill_1856
16-Apr-2015, 07:06
I hate to tell you guys, but that tiny Dorthea Lange was carrying a 5x7 Graflex, not a 4x5..

I don't think so. What is your source? (The well-publicized Migrant Mother negatives are definitely 4x5.)

jbenedict
16-Apr-2015, 08:15
Unless you want to do all of the reconfiguring of the camera (which is fine) it is *very* easy to cut 4x5 to 3.25x4.25...

1. You need a rototrimmer, a piece of mounting board a little bit of tape and the tim. You may want cotton gloves.

2. You are going to make two separate cuts with the rototrimmer. Your choice of long way first or short way. It doesn't matter.

3. Take the piece of mounting board and place it on the rototrimmer in such a way that it is a guide for your cut. You will be taking .75 off of two of the sides. Tape it down.

4. Make practice cuts with a note card cut to 4x5. Try your cut card in a holder to see if it is right. If you want confidence this will work in the dark, do a practice cut with the lights out.

5. Get going with the real film. I have cut all of the film to 3.25 x 5, put it all in the box and then do the 4.25 cut. Or, handle the film once and do both cuts. That is up to you. You must take care not to cut off the notches or you will cause yourself a problem knowing which side has the emulsion on it when you load them into holders. If you are worried about fingerprints, wear the cotton gloves.

6. There you go. An HP Combiplan daylight tank has a setting for 3.25x4.25 film, you and hunt for 3.25x4.25 hangers on eBay. At one time, I found a 3.25x4.25 negative holder for a Beseler 45.

You can devise a similar process for cutting 8x10 into 5x7. A little bit more involved but doable. (since you cut the film in half to cut from 10" to 5", you will have to cut one of the corners off of one of the halves to denote which side is the emulsion and you have to make sure you don't cut the notches off on the top piece.) There are lots of films that are available ready to go in 8x10 that are not available ready to go for 5x7.

It's your choice if you want to go with the Ilford Special Cut. Cutting is a little fussy but the end result will be the same and cheaper. Not sure how you would process E-6 or C-41 in the quarter plate size but it's no problem with B&W.

I have an 3.25x4.25 Speed I use frequently. It's a fun little trip into nostalgia land and the camera is smaller than 4x5 so it takes up less room. I have never used a bag-mag so can't comment on that.

Chauncey Walden
16-Apr-2015, 09:40
I've been cutting 8x10 sheets of Kodak single sided x-ray film down for my 1915 Tele-Graflex. So that works out to .20 a 3.25x4.25 sheet for the camera. There is no hassle about the notches because the ortho film can be cut and loaded under a red LED safelight and you can see which side the emulsion is on.

Michael Cienfuegos
16-Apr-2015, 19:30
I don't think so. What is your source? (The well-publicized Migrant Mother negatives are definitely 4x5.)

I'll have to look it up, but I have seen pictures of her holding the 5x7.


m

Michael Cienfuegos
16-Apr-2015, 19:35
Unless you want to do all of the reconfiguring of the camera (which is fine) it is *very* easy to cut 4x5 to 3.25x4.25...

1. You need a rototrimmer, a piece of mounting board a little bit of tape and the tim. You may want cotton gloves.

2. You are going to make two separate cuts with the rototrimmer. Your choice of long way first or short way. It doesn't matter.

3. Take the piece of mounting board and place it on the rototrimmer in such a way that it is a guide for your cut. You will be taking .75 off of two of the sides. Tape it down.

4. Make practice cuts with a note card cut to 4x5. Try your cut card in a holder to see if it is right. If you want confidence this will work in the dark, do a practice cut with the lights out.

5. Get going with the real film. I have cut all of the film to 3.25 x 5, put it all in the box and then do the 4.25 cut. Or, handle the film once and do both cuts. That is up to you. You must take care not to cut off the notches or you will cause yourself a problem knowing which side has the emulsion on it when you load them into holders. If you are worried about fingerprints, wear the cotton gloves.

6. There you go. An HP Combiplan daylight tank has a setting for 3.25x4.25 film, you and hunt for 3.25x4.25 hangers on eBay. At one time, I found a 3.25x4.25 negative holder for a Beseler 45.

You can devise a similar process for cutting 8x10 into 5x7. A little bit more involved but doable. (since you cut the film in half to cut from 10" to 5", you will have to cut one of the corners off of one of the halves to denote which side is the emulsion and you have to make sure you don't cut the notches off on the top piece.) There are lots of films that are available ready to go in 8x10 that are not available ready to go for 5x7.

It's your choice if you want to go with the Ilford Special Cut. Cutting is a little fussy but the end result will be the same and cheaper. Not sure how you would process E-6 or C-41 in the quarter plate size but it's no problem with B&W.

I have an 3.25x4.25 Speed I use frequently. It's a fun little trip into nostalgia land and the camera is smaller than 4x5 so it takes up less room. I have never used a bag-mag so can't comment on that.

Bag mags are a real trip! 12 sheets of film, but the danged thing is heavy. I have one for each size camera, 2x3, 3x4 and 4x5. I also have a couple of 3x4 Speeds. You are right, they are much easier to handle. I really like mine.


m

EdSawyer
17-Apr-2015, 07:43
I have converted a 3x4 RB SuperD to 4x5. It's not that bad. I have posted on it here before. It's reversible, at least the way I did it. I didn't have to cut anything except a small piece from the brass backing plate where the back mounts, but even that would be covered up and a non-issue if the original rotating back was put back on. It ends up covering about 4 x 4.25 or 4.5" negative format. I mounted mine vertically, using a slightly-cut-down magnesium Graflok back from a speed graphic/etc. There is only a little overhang, about 3/8" per side or less. Overall it's pretty slick and not too cobbled together looking.

btw, an Aero Ektar won't even come close to working on either of the RBs (3x4 SuperD or 4x5 SuperD/D) and focus to infinity. You would be limited to about 6' max focus distance, if that. The Pentac 8" f/2.9 works great however, and easily reaches infinity on both bodies.

-Ed

Michael Cienfuegos
17-Apr-2015, 14:57
I have converted a 3x4 RB SuperD to 4x5. It's not that bad. I have posted on it here before. It's reversible, at least the way I did it. I didn't have to cut anything except a small piece from the brass backing plate where the back mounts, but even that would be covered up and a non-issue if the original rotating back was put back on. It ends up covering about 4 x 4.25 or 4.5" negative format. I mounted mine vertically, using a slightly-cut-down magnesium Graflok back from a speed graphic/etc. There is only a little overhang, about 3/8" per side or less. Overall it's pretty slick and not too cobbled together looking.

btw, an Aero Ektar won't even come close to working on either of the RBs (3x4 SuperD or 4x5 SuperD/D) and focus to infinity. You would be limited to about 6' max focus distance, if that. The Pentac 8" f/2.9 works great however, and easily reaches infinity on both bodies.

-Ed

I guess I'll just leave the AE on my Side RF Pacemaker Speed.


m

Randy Moe
17-Apr-2015, 15:07
I have converted a 3x4 RB SuperD to 4x5. It's not that bad. I have posted on it here before. It's reversible, at least the way I did it. I didn't have to cut anything except a small piece from the brass backing plate where the back mounts, but even that would be covered up and a non-issue if the original rotating back was put back on. It ends up covering about 4 x 4.25 or 4.5" negative format. I mounted mine vertically, using a slightly-cut-down magnesium Graflok back from a speed graphic/etc. There is only a little overhang, about 3/8" per side or less. Overall it's pretty slick and not too cobbled together looking.

btw, an Aero Ektar won't even come close to working on either of the RBs (3x4 SuperD or 4x5 SuperD/D) and focus to infinity. You would be limited to about 6' max focus distance, if that. The Pentac 8" f/2.9 works great however, and easily reaches infinity on both bodies.

-Ed

Do you have a pic of how a Pentac fits? I held one up and it seems I will need a sled to hold the weight on a 3X4 Graflex Tele.

ridax
22-Apr-2015, 04:13
Another great advantage is using a BagMag -- in my opinion a gift of the photo gods.


Bag mags are a real trip! 12 sheets of film, but the danged thing is heavy. I have one for each size camera, 2x3, 3x4 and 4x5.

How do they compare to Grafmatics? Weight (one 4x5 Bag Mag vs. two 4x5 Grafmatics - for 12 shots total)? Speed of operation? Any other considerations? I appreciate my Grafmatics but have never put my hands on a Bag Mag.... an option worth to consider in 4x5?

Thanks in advance.

Bill_1856
22-Apr-2015, 06:04
The best option of all was (IMHO) the film-pack.

ridax
22-Apr-2015, 06:19
The best option of all was (IMHO) the film-pack.

Yes I'd really like to purchase a slightly used time machine some day :) ....
But what about the options that not only were but still are?

Randy
22-Apr-2015, 06:46
I shoot 4X5 with a couple bagmags - I had my doubts when I first started using them but now it has become perfectly natural. Just make sure if you decide on a bagmag that the leather bag is pliable and soft, not dried out and brittle. A lot of sellers (on ebay) have no idea how important that is and they don't even list the condition of the bag in the description, or they may say it doesn't have any holes in it but then you receive it and the leather crumbles in your hands. I have two very usable mags with good leather, that's 24 shots that really don't take up anymore room than maybe 5-6 film holders.

ridax
22-Apr-2015, 09:27
I shoot 4X5 with a couple bagmags <...> that's 24 shots that really don't take up anymore room than maybe 5-6 film holders.

That's equal to 4 Grafmatics. So I've put mine next to my regular Fidelity Elite 4x5's, and the 4 Grafmatics were nearly as thick as 8 Fidelity holders (though I've seen posts claiming Grafmatics were only 1.5 times thicker then regular double film holders). Grafmatics were also longer due to the bigger handles. My kitchen scale says the 4 Grafmatics are about 1900 grams (without film). Looks like 2 Bag Mags are more compact. Maybe a bit lighter in weight, too.

And I'm also thinking about the speed of operation. The single movement of a lever in just one direction that the Bag Mag needs to change its septa is perhaps much faster then the two movements, each of them outwards and then back, of the Grafmatic. And the Bag Mag's lever single movement would probably make much less risk of driving the tripod-mounted camera out of alignment. Are my speculations correct?

Tracy Storer
22-Apr-2015, 10:48
I have never used a Grafmatic, but they came after the "bag mag", and I'm sure were to simplify operation. With the bag mag, you pull a rod which drags the front septum partially into the bag, you grab the septum through the bag and push the rod back in, then pull the septum into the bag and re-insert it at the back of the stack. Grafmatic is pull-push. Sadly I don't think they ever made 3.25"x4.25 Grafmatics. I am getting ready to do a lot (I hope) of work with my 34 Super D with Bag mags, and will share observations as my experience with both the Super D and bag mags grow.

Randy
22-Apr-2015, 11:10
That's equal to 4 GrafmaticsAnd I'm also thinking about the speed of operation. The single movement of a lever in just one direction that the Bag Mag needs to change its septa is perhaps much faster then the two movements, each of them outwards and then back, of the Grafmatic. And the Bag Mag's lever single movement would probably make much less risk of driving the tripod-mounted camera out of alignment. Are my speculations correct?Just mimicking my process of advancing to the next 4X5 in the bagmag, I would say it takes perhaps 3-5 seconds, about what it takes (or less) to put the dark slide in, remove, flip over, and pull the dark slide out on a standard 4X5 film holder. With a little practice, I am sure one could do it in 2-3 seconds consistently, if you were in a hurry.

And of course, if you were worried about camera movement when on a tripod, just put the dark slide in and remove the bagmag from the camera to advance to the next sheet.

EdSawyer
22-Apr-2015, 11:32
Here's the pic of my conversion, with the pentac:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?88781-GRAFLEX-super-D-conversion-to-4x5&p=1058026&viewfull=1#post1058026

jbenedict
22-Apr-2015, 19:43
Here's the pic of my conversion, with the pentac:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?88781-GRAFLEX-super-D-conversion-to-4x5&p=1058026&viewfull=1#post1058026

That's an interesting approach... No more wastage of film than when cutting down 4x5 and you can get away *without* having to cut the film.

EdSawyer
23-Apr-2015, 13:23
Yeah, it's basically a DIY version of the Aero Liberator, but less expensive and less intrusive/complex/difficult. A nikkor-T 270mm also fits perfectly on this, and mounted where the pentac is mounted, gets infinity in the same place (e.g. fully retracted). I have also used it with a Tele-Arton 360 with about a 50mm extension tube attached.

blueribbontea
27-Apr-2015, 20:28
Just mimicking my process of advancing to the next 4X5 in the bagmag, I would say it takes perhaps 3-5 seconds, about what it takes (or less) to put the dark slide in, remove, flip over, and pull the dark slide out on a standard 4X5 film holder. With a little practice, I am sure one could do it in 2-3 seconds consistently, if you were in a hurry.

And of course, if you were worried about camera movement when on a tripod, just put the dark slide in and remove the bagmag from the camera to advance to the next sheet.

There is no hard movement in using a bag mag. Everything is gentle; pull the rod out, squeeze the septum though the leather bag, slide it back into the bag mag and then slide the rod in. No shaking or slamming, and very flat laying of the negatives. You also don't have to worry about the darkslide as the Graflex shutter is self capping and with the mirror down that's a second cap. So if you bring the mirror back down after your shot you're good to go.

Michael Cienfuegos
28-Apr-2015, 09:13
There is no hard movement in using a bag mag. Everything is gentle; pull the rod out, squeeze the septum though the leather bag, slide it back into the bag mag and then slide the rod in. No shaking or slamming, and very flat laying of the negatives. You also don't have to worry about the darkslide as the Graflex shutter is self capping and with the mirror down that's a second cap. So if you bring the mirror back down after your shot you're good to go.

The best part is that the bag mag septa are not nearly as fragile as the Grafmatic septa. They are formed from a thicker gauge piece of sheet metal.

m

Bill_1856
28-Apr-2015, 12:05
the Graflex shutter is self capping and with the mirror down that's a second cap.

My 3x4 Graflex shutter is DEFINITELY NOT self-capping.

blueribbontea
28-Apr-2015, 15:23
When you trip the shutter, it doesn't move a complete curtain into place with no slit showing? What happens after the exposure? How else would you be able to control the shutter speed?

Bill

Bill_1856
28-Apr-2015, 19:54
When you trip the shutter, it doesn't move a complete curtain into place with no slit showing? What happens after the exposure? How else would you be able to control the shutter speed?

Bill

I take it that you don't actually own a Graflex.
The Graflex focal plane shutter cloth is on a roller (like a window shade) with several slits cut into it. They are of different sizes. How fast they move across the film plane is determined by the tension in the main spring which causes the roller to unroll. At a high tension the roller moves fast. How long the film is exposed to light then obviously depends on the width of the slit. A little bitty slit moving across the film plane driven by a high spring tension gives relatively short exposure time. A wide slit moving slowly gives a longer exposure. What combination is determined by how tight the spring is wound, and how far the roller is wound (think of a window shade pulled to the bottom of the window, or raised to the top.) The actual exposure times are determined by the different models of the camera. The shutter is "closed" by the amount of solid cloth between the slits.
It's a beautiful, simple arrangement, and was used on the original Leicas before the truly self-capping shutter of the production model A, but it required that the lenscap must be in place to prevent fogging the film when the shutter was rewound. This is also necessary on the Speed Graphic (or a dark-slide is inserted into the film holder) -- the Graflex beautifully eliminates the problem by closing off the light path by the mirror (you can't rewind the shutter until the mirror has been dropped).

blueribbontea
28-Apr-2015, 20:22
I take it that you don't actually own a Graflex.
The Graflex focal plane shutter cloth is on a roller (like a window shade) with several slits cut into it. They are of different sizes. How fast they move across the film plane is determined by the tension in the main spring which causes the roller to unroll. At a high tension the roller moves fast. How long the film is exposed to light then obviously depends on the width of the slit. A little bitty slit moving across the film plane driven by a high spring tension gives relatively short exposure time. A wide slit moving slowly gives a longer exposure. What combination is determined by how tight the spring is wound, and how far the roller is wound (think of a window shade pulled to the bottom of the window, or raised to the top.) The actual exposure times are determined by the different models of the camera. The shutter is "closed" by the amount of solid cloth between the slits.
It's a beautiful, simple arrangement, and was used on the original Leicas before the truly self-capping shutter of the production model A, but it required that the lenscap must be in place to prevent fogging the film when the shutter was rewound. This is also necessary on the Speed Graphic (or a dark-slide is inserted into the film holder) -- the Graflex beautifully eliminates the problem by closing off the light path by the mirror (you can't rewind the shutter until the mirror has been dropped).

Bill: I don't understand your comment that your graflex is not self capping? What you described is exactly correct, so how is that not self-capping? I own a RB4X5 Graflex and have taken out the shutter, repaired it and reassembled, with three years of steady service since. Your comment in #38 says that your Graflex shutter is NOT... That's what is confusing. My comment was referring to the ease of using the Bag Mag on the Graflex, so that I don't have to replace the darkslide as the shutter is capped and the mirror must be down to rewind for the next shot. With the mirror down and the shutter cloth as an opaque screen the film in the bag mag is perfectly screened from light.

the other Bill

Bill_1856
29-Apr-2015, 06:21
Bill: I don't understand your comment that your graflex is not self capping? What you described is exactly correct, so how is that not self-capping? I own a RB4X5 Graflex and have taken out the shutter, repaired it and reassembled, with three years of steady service since. Your comment in #38 says that your Graflex shutter is NOT... That's what is confusing. My comment was referring to the ease of using the Bag Mag on the Graflex, so that I don't have to replace the darkslide as the shutter is capped and the mirror must be down to rewind for the next shot. With the mirror down and the shutter cloth as an opaque screen the film in the bag mag is perfectly screened from light.

the other Bill
Self-capping is, by definition, like the Leica/Contax/etc shutters, which close the slot except when the exposure is being made, so they can be rewound without exposing the film.
A Graflex requires that the mirror be flipped down to the viewing position in order to rewind the shutter -- thus it requires a separate action, and is not SELF-capping. For example, if the mirror has been tripped independently before releasing the shutter in order to avoid vibrations, if you forget to put it back down after taking the shot, then the roller can't be rewound without exposing the film. There are restrictions built into the camera to avoid this, but it CAN be done.
I won't belabor the point further -- it's still a wonderful camera.