PDA

View Full Version : Big Bertha



kenmet
1-Jun-2016, 05:57
Hi,

I am a new member and publisher of the Graflex Journal. I am interested in members using Graflex cameras, especially the Big Bertha. I heard that Dan Schwartz is working on a restoration.

Ken

mdarnton
1-Jun-2016, 06:04
I'll just sign on and say that I recently discovered that no one wants 3-1/4x4-1/4, so it's easy and cheap. Since I only shoot x-ray film and cut it up myself to size, there was no leap at all except to buy the various tools needed--camera, holders, hangers--and put a couple more pieces of fence tape on my paper cutter. It appears, based on prices, that people are willing to pay an arm and a leg for a Speed Graphic but just about nothing for 3x4 SLRs!

I've had a 4x5 Super D for decades, but the end of Type 57 Polaroid had me mothballing that.

LabRat
1-Jun-2016, 06:50
Hi!!!

Long time Graflex user/restorer for as long as I (barely) remember... Great cameras!!!

But not to be negative, but worth mentioning is with different experiments/usage with FP (+ mirror) models and longish lenses, I find that there is some initial recoil (more & less) at different speeds/tensions that have effects on blurring the image slightly, unless maybe the camera is bolted to a slab of granite or something... Maybe the Berthas were OK for press photos at ballgames with newsprint, but for fine art/detail studies there's that vertical blur that keeps showing up in photos...

But really, any camera with mechanical shutter + very long lens can be iffy, even if it's just shooting outside on a warm day with heat rising between the camera + subject... (I was once viewing the NYC skyline through a telescope from Sandy Hook 25 mi away over water and I was watching the atmosphere INVERT the skyline image before my eye every few seconds!!!) But camera vibration usually can show up somewhere/sometimes...

I shoot several Graflex models, and my "Little Bertha" right now is a 2X3 Speed with a 400mm Wolly f4.5 true tele, and with that format, it provides a tele effect I can't get with my larger cameras...

But they all have their own "personality"... And a lot of fun to shoot!!!!

Steve K

Randy Moe
1-Jun-2016, 07:15
Stay tuned. I am working on something similar to the last 2 comments.

domaz
1-Jun-2016, 09:05
I ran across this article the other day (written by one of the forum members here) on Big Berthas: http://www.galerie-photo.com/baby_bertha-v3-2013-04-15_en.pdf (http://www.galerie-photo.com/baby_bertha-v3-2013-04-15_en.pdf) Very interesting read on the challenges involved.

Randy
1-Jun-2016, 09:10
Have had numerous Graflex 4X5 and 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 models but at the moment am down to one Mini Crown and one RB 4X5 Series D - just in case Kenmet would like to see - my modifications (http://www.pbase.com/rsweatt/rb_mods) to the 4X5.

Randy Moe
1-Jun-2016, 09:39
Nice link.


Have had numerous Graflex 4X5 and 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 models but at the moment am down to one Mini Crown and one RB 4X5 Series D - just in case Kenmet would like to see - my modifications (http://www.pbase.com/rsweatt/rb_mods) to the 4X5.

Dan Fromm
1-Jun-2016, 13:57
Ken, one of us has information that's way out of date. By the time my Baby Bertha article was completed Dan Schwartz' web site had dried up and blown away. Has he come back from wherever he disappear to?

EdSawyer
2-Jun-2016, 09:33
I have and shoot several graflexes including 4x5 RB SuperD, 3x4 RB SuperD converted to 4x5, 4x5 speed and crown graphics. Great cameras, well built, fairly easy to maintain.

Pete Roody
2-Jun-2016, 10:34
Geoffrey Berliner shoots with a Big Bertha and other graflex cameras:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDL0vK_x5jl/
https://www.p1c.online/media/1222132957394212928
https://www.p1c.online/media/1221240269824301497
https://www.p1c.online/geoffreyberliner

MAubrey
2-Jun-2016, 10:54
I was just going to mention Geoffrey Berliner.

There was a piece in Petapixel about him just a few months ago: http://petapixel.com/2016/03/22/graflex-big-bertha-camera-spotted-wild/

mdarnton
2-Jun-2016, 13:27
Poor Ken drops in to talk about Berthas and opens an untapped, gushing well of general Graflex interest!

kenmet
3-Jun-2016, 14:40
Have had numerous Graflex 4X5 and 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 models but at the moment am down to one Mini Crown and one RB 4X5 Series D - just in case Kenmet would like to see - my modifications (http://www.pbase.com/rsweatt/rb_mods) to the 4X5.

Randy,

An interesting modification to a Graflex. As I am always looking for ways to encourage owners to use their cameras, so could I publish your work in the Graflex Journal?

Ken

Jac@stafford.net
3-Jun-2016, 15:06
I am curious about modifying one of Hasselblad's 500mm lenses to cover 4x5" especially if I can use its 2X telextender. Any clues?
.

Randy
3-Jun-2016, 18:03
Randy,

An interesting modification to a Graflex. As I am always looking for ways to encourage owners to use their cameras, so could I publish your work in the Graflex Journal?

Ken

Of course, copy and paste as you like - but make sure to correct any of my grammatical and spelling errors :)

EdSawyer
4-Jun-2016, 07:02
i'd be surprised if a blad 500mm lens would cover at infinity on 4x5. Maybe at headshot portrait distances... Better yet, the nikkor t 360/500/720 lens would be a great choice.

I4YM
5-Jun-2016, 18:40
Hi Ken. I have three 4x5 Graflex cameras. A '59 Crown, a '38 Speed, along with a Graflex RB Series D. Enjoy..

skuuterboy
6-Jun-2016, 12:29
I shoot 5x7 with a Graflex Home Portrait and 4x5 with several Auto Graflex fixed back models and also a Super D. I love these cameras. My primary studio camera is a hybrid Graflex D/Toyo 4x5 monorail which accommodates a 12 lb. Kodak Aero Ektar f2.5/306mm lens. I love these marvelous cameras.

kenmet
7-Jun-2016, 06:51
I shoot 5x7 with a Graflex Home Portrait and 4x5 with several Auto Graflex fixed back models and also a Super D. I love these cameras. My primary studio camera is a hybrid Graflex D/Toyo 4x5 monorail which accommodates a 12 lb. Kodak Aero Ektar f2.5/306mm lens. I love these marvelous cameras.

skuuterboy,

Good to read that you are still using and enjoying Graflex cameras. As the publisher of the Graflex Journal I want to bring current user experiences to our readers. If you are interested, I would like to have pictures of you and your cameras and their results, along with some written material.

Ken Metcalf
Publisher, Graflex Journal
metcalf537@aol.com

Randy Moe
7-Jun-2016, 06:55
Thanks for the link to the publication.

A valuable resource.



skuuterboy,

Good to read that you are still using and enjoying Graflex cameras. As the publisher of the Graflex Journal I want to bring current user experiences to our readers. If you are interested, I would like to have pictures of you and your cameras and their results, along with some written material.

Ken Metcalf
Publisher, Graflex Journal
metcalf537@aol.com