View Full Version : Graflex Series C Prototype? w/ Beam Focus Press Style

29-Jul-2009, 08:50
I recently purchased a very interesting and unusual Graflex Series C and just received it. It is indeed original Graflex and not modified post production. Here is what I've discovered about it. Go to Ebay item# 330347172539 to see some pictures of this camera. It is fitted with the correct Cooke 6 1/2" f2.5 Anastigmat lens. Serial # of the camera is 159104 stamped on the underside of the of the narrower section of the two piece top door. It has the Graflex shutter speed plate that says Graflex Series C on the underside of the same door where the serial # is located. The focus hood has pop up stereo magnifying glasses for easy focusing, never seen this on a Graflex other than on a Stereo Graflex. Here's the cool part. With top door open there's a shelf with a metal plate that has a threaded hole, which I presume holds a flash unit that has batteries in it. Under the plate there are two size C batteries. These batteries power a beam for focusing that is created by a light bulb that is placed in a hole in the center of the ground glass that has two wires attached to it. When lever attached to the auxiliary hardware is depressed to touch the shutter release lever, the light goes on and bounces against the reflex mirror in the down position, casting a beam against the subject. It is possible to focus this light bulb on the subject in the dark without looking into the focusing hood. I can only surmise that this camera was made as a low light press like camera. The flash unit could be placed on the camera with the top door open or closed. The front hood has an auxiliary flange attached to it, also made by Cooke that permits the lens to be mounted to the front of the hood with the hood closed, I can imagine only for closer focus or portraits.This flange also has a ring that screws into it to hold the lens cap in place. The clip to keep the front door closed is on the bottom of the front standard and not the bottom of the camera as in all other Graflex SLRs. On the underside of the narrower section of the top door there is a contact that touches the shelf that transfers signal of teh flash to the camera with the top door closed. There is a flash sync device on the top shutter winding mechanism and this winder has a knob like a Press Graflex and not the usual wing style winder. I think this covers it. I can try to post some pictures or email some pictures to anyone interested. I would love to hear from any one who knows anything about this camera. I've never seen another like it. Thanks, Geoff