View Full Version : Converting Anniversary Speed Graphic Back Question

Jack Dahlgren
19-Dec-2009, 20:49
I have the spring back, and want to convert to a graflok so I can use the roll film holder I just got.

Has anyone done this before? Should I just find a donor camera and switch the backs? I have a number of ideas for adapting the spring to fit the roll film holder, but then I'd lose the ground glass.

Any ideas, suggestions, experiences welcome.

20-Dec-2009, 00:26
you should be able to just buy a graflok back and screw it in place. just be sure to buy the correct one, there are two different ones, with the only difference being the sport finder on it.

20-Dec-2009, 07:53
Check graflex.org for instruction on how to easily/cheaply convert your sring back to one that will accept Graflok accessories. It won't make the spring back into a true Graflok back but it makes the focus panel removable to make room for roll holders. The focal plane is unchanged and you don't lose your GG in this process.

As has already been answered, you could just swap a Grafloc back onto yours but one in "average" condition will cost you approximately $100 so you might as well sell yours and just buy a newer model unless there's some sentimental value to yours.

20-Dec-2009, 08:41
I have done that in the past. Do a serch in eBay for "graflok" and make sure th GG frame is included (check eBay 200414614386 ). Should be like a 5 min job.

20-Dec-2009, 11:01
The wood at the back edge of the body of the Speed Graphic that meets and hold the camera back has an indentation all around its inner and outer edges with a slight elevation in the central portion of the back wooden edge to serve as a light trap. The thickness of these elevations and indentations is not the same through the Speed series of cameras, and even if the screws are properly matched between the different types of backs, the backs will not fit all cameras because of mismatches in the spacing of the metal edges of the back and the dimensions of the grooves and ridges of the wooden body back edge. So, obtaining a back that will fit your camera can involve a bit of luck. I have an early Anniversary Speed with a Graflex type back that I have been unable to mate with either of two Graflock or one Spring back that have passed through my hands since originally acquiring the camera, and ultimately chose to find appropriate type holders for the Graflex back instead. Fortunately, the Speed backs are in some demand, so one may not lose much, other than a bit of hope, by purchasing a back and then reselling it if it turns out not to be a match.
Ultimately, Speeds are about fun, so really no harm in trying and taking a chance. Who knows but it may well pay off, all the better for you.

Jack Dahlgren
20-Dec-2009, 12:08
Thanks to all for your input. I looked at backs on ebay and they are just about as expensive as a complete camera. In fact, it looks like there is a business in buying old cameras and selling off the parts.

But since I like this particular camera for sentimental reasons (and it cost me all of $35 ) I'm going to work up my own bracket so I can swap out the focus panel and put in the Roll-film holder instead of supporting those ebay camera cannibals. :-)

The money I save can go for a camera with movements some day...

20-Dec-2009, 12:28
Jack... please investigate the simple conversion explained on www.graflex.org.

Michael Cienfuegos
24-Dec-2009, 07:39
I was able to put a Graflok back on my pre Anniversary Speed with no problem. I have no light leaks, but to be honest, I think it worked just as well with the Spring Back. I had put a washer under each mounting screw to allow for the Grafmatic changer to more easily fit under the spring back, I don't have any roll film holders for this 4x5 camera and probably won't buy any, and I'm seriously thinking of putting the spring back back on the camera. :(