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tom thomas
3-Feb-2010, 13:42
I just noticed when I signed in that I haven't visited this forum since 30 June 2009 when I'd just found good homes for the LF camera lenses I'd won at an auction.

It's been an odd seven months for me as my chronic lung congestion was lung cancer which was removed (along with the two lower lobes of my right lung) on July 8, 2009. Recovery including chemo (certified cancer free now) sure has been a long drawn out affair. I'm afraid I had little interest in any hobbies but I'm feeling so much better, spring can't be that far off, and I'd like to get out to try out some of my old cameras again.

My wife and I had spent May in France visiting family and house hunting. I'd already had an odd cough before leaving and it returned with a vengance while there. Doctor sent me to specialist upon our return, CAT scan showed nasty growth (1 3/8 in diameter) in lung, and things went quickly from there.

We did return to France in September and bought a townhouse in a very small town near Avignon. We plan to share our time between our two homes now. The village dates back to the 13th Century so there are plenty of old buildings in the area to take photos of. Roman and Greek ruins too.

I kinda went nuts on E-Bay a couple days ago and bid on a Graflex Pacemaker Speed Graphic camera with accessories. I won it so I'm wondering now if I'll be a Large Format camera user.

By the way, I'm surprised none of you guys didn't beat me to in on E-Bay. It was hidden over in Parts Camera listing so perhaps not noticable. Seller said it had been in storage a long time somewhere so dusty. I'll enjoy cleaning it up.

It's a Graflex Speed Graphic 2X3 with a Kodak Ektar F:4.5X101mm lens. Pre 1955 as the Kalart Range Finder is sidemounted. Since it's 2X3, is it Large Format or should I consider it MF.

It includes a Graflex 23 Graphic 120 Roll Film holder, one Fidelity Deluxe 2X3 cut film holder, 4 Lisco Regal 2X3 and 7 Graflex 2X3 Type 5 cut film holders. Assuming it works, I'll probably use the 120 roll film holder as I'm not set up to do my own film development.

The seller also says it includes a 35mm black (color?) folding film adapter. There is a photo of stange looking film adapter with what could be 24X36 opening. Has anyone heard of a 35mm adapter for a Graflex 2X3? I'll find out what it is when I actually get the thing in the mail later this week. It includes a Slick tripod, film changing bag, light meter, Tiffen Series 6 ring adapter, and other stuff.

I've never used a camera of this type before so I'll probably hit you guys up with lots of dumb questions. I've found the Graflex tech site which will certainly be helpful.

Thanx in advance for past help and future help too.

Tom in Oklahoma

Robert Hughes
3-Feb-2010, 15:00
Welcome back, and congratulations on beating the Big C! My significant other is 3 years free of breast cancer and doing great. Good luck on your recovery, and the camera project. :)

Dan Fromm
3-Feb-2010, 15:05
Tom,

Wonderful spirit!

2x3 (and 3x4) Graphics weren't offered with the top range finder. Tell us your new treasure's serial number and I'll probably be able to tell you when the s/n was assigned.

After the camera etc. arrive, return to www.graflex.org and read the FAQs. Once you've read them you'll know whether your baby has a Graflok back. If it doesn't have a Graflok back, the roll holder can't be attached except more-or-less permanently.

I'm not sure about the 35 mm adapter.

Felications, good luck, have fun,

Dan

Vaughn
3-Feb-2010, 15:10
Congrats on your recovering --scary stuff!

Large enough for LF -- and my guess you will eventually move to a 4x5, but the 2x3 will be lots of fun! I have a 35mm adapter for a Rolleiflex, but have not heard of one before for a roll back.

You'll have fun just setting it up in the living room and playing with it -- that is a good way to learn.

Vaughn

tom thomas
3-Feb-2010, 17:31
Hi and thanx for the responses.

Dan, I agree now about the viewfinder. I'd misread the description at graflex.org. Only the 4X5 had the rangefinder on top starting in 1955.

The photos of the camera on E-B didn't show the serial number. I'll locate it when it arrives. Hopefully the plate hasn't been removed. The photos show the exterior of the camera all the way around. Where should I look?

I'll download and sort out the photos of the camera and accessories. I'm also suspicious of the description of the "35mm Black Folding Adaptor?" entry in the list of accessories. Perhaps it's another film back with mask.

I'll post the photo of it later after I get it sorted out.

On cancer, I was very lucky as it hadn't attached itself to my chest wall despite it's Stage II size. The type I had was the non-smoker version, even though I smoked. I did spend time in 'Nam so was exposed to Agent Orange. I also have several other symptoms I'm working with the VA on.

My surgeon had told me he was just going to investigate first, take samples,etc then decide. When I was out, he told my wife he was going to start by removing everything, then seeing if there was any cancer in lymph glands he also removed. We had a few anxious days waiting the results, no spreading so I was cancer free after the surgery. The chemo was preventive, four treatments to knock out any strangers hanging around. Now I'm certified C-free. I just dont' breathe deeply.

I do feel very lucky and have so much empathy for those who continue with it. My best wishes go out to any of you and yours as you continue to fight it.

tom thomas
3-Feb-2010, 17:49
I skimmed the photos out of the E-B listing.
Here is the adapter I think the seller referred to as the 35mm Black Folding Adapter. Anyone know just what it might be?

I attached a couple others too, perhaps they will help identify the age.

Thanx, Tom

Jack Dahlgren
3-Feb-2010, 18:17
I skimmed the photos out of the E-B listing.
Here is the adapter I think the seller referred to as the 35mm Black Folding Adapter. Anyone know just what it might be?

I attached a couple others too, perhaps they will help identify the age.

Thanx, Tom

The lens dates from 1946 so I'd imagine the camera is likely of the same age.

-Jack

Dan Fromm
4-Feb-2010, 03:11
Tom, your camera is a Miniature Speed Graphic (made 1938 - 1946), not a 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphic like mine. It been decades since I've had a Mini and I don't remember where the s/n is hidden. I do recall having to look hard for it. Perhaps inside the box on the top.

Since the 35 mm adapter's picture shows a couple of springs odds are that your Mini has a spring back. After the camera arrives, check the pictures on www.graflex.org and tell us which back it has. If Graflok -- invented after the Mini was discontinued, but retrofits were offered and 2x3 Pacemaker Grafloks will fit the Mini -- all is well. If Graphic or Graflex, your life will be a little more interesting than planned.

Jack, my 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphic made in 1947 has a uncoated 101/4.5 Ektar made in 1946. There's no reason to believe that the lens was a replacement. I suspect Graflex bought it from Kodak to be put on a Miniature Speed Graphic (production ended in 1946) and didn't use it as originally intended.

There's a sort of serial number book for Graflex products. I have a copy, so I think I have the date on which my camera's s/n was assigned right. It can't have been made before 1947, that's when Graflex started making Pacemakers.

In general, using lenses to date cameras with interchangeable lenses is risky.

Jack Dahlgren
4-Feb-2010, 06:29
In general, using lenses to date cameras with interchangeable lenses is risky.

I agree, but in this case it appears to put you in the ballpark. Even yours is only off a year which is pretty close. I have a similar lens on my pacemaker speed and it matches what I know of the camera date.

If there were something uncommon on the front I'd be a lot less confident about the date.

tom thomas
4-Feb-2010, 15:58
Hi Guys, Dan and Jack,

What a surprise, a huge package on my front door step delivered by F*d*x this afternoon. My Graplex is here. Overall great shape, little bit of corrosion on some metal parts, bit of mildew inside on the bellows but the Kodak lens looks clear and just a bit dusty. Some wear on the leatherette in places and it has come loose along the rear bottom. The aluminum frame shows a bit of corrosion where the leather is loose.

Dan, It took me awhile but I finally found the serial number. Stamped or molded into the back edge of the side mounted Kalart range finder. Serial Number is A65496 for the body. The Kodak Ektar F4.5/101 lens serial number is EO 6528.

Jack, from the lens serial number, I also found at graflex.org that the camera should/could date to 1946. But I'm wondering as the physical layout of the camera doesn't match any of the camera photos posted there. I do have the focal plane shutter which makes it a Speed Graphic, the speeds are O,A, B, C, D. The shutter curtains seem to be in great shape and responsive.

Plus the Kodak lens is mounted in the Kodak Flash Supermatic shutter mechanism with two flash posts and F sync. It needs a bit of exercise but working on all speeds and aperture is smooth, no oil.

The back has a flip open door, leather side sunshades and a glass viewfinder lens. The back is removable with two screws that secure the spring loaded mounts. Here is a photo.

What doesn't match any photos is the style of the sport viewfinder. The rear part is dull chrome-colored and mounted with screws atop the camera back edge. It flips up not sideways like the ones I've seen pictured. Here is a photo of the top of the camera so you can see what I mean. It looks almost like the rear sight I've seen on military rifles (much larger peep hole though.)

The front sport finder wire is not rectangular but has the curved bump at the top. You can see it in the photo of the front that I posted yesterday.

Hum! The photo attachment option isn't working at the moment. I'll close this reply and send them separately.

Oh, I'm wondering about the 35 mm adapter I mentioned yesterday. I don't think it is part of the Graflex but part of a darkroom photo enlarger instead. It does have a removable 24x26 35 mm film mask mounted in it and knobs to manually crop the negative by sliding them around. No brand name on it though.

tom

tom thomas
4-Feb-2010, 16:27
Hi, I had to close IE and reopen it to get the photo attachment to work. Here are top, rear and side photos. The sport rear range finder is visible laying flat atop the camera in the top view. The rear shows the flip open focus window with the glass behind it. Which back is this?

I do have the 23 Roll film adapter (120) which seems to mount fine if I remove the original back and secure the adapter back with black spring clips and screws. This will be my film option as I know how to work with 120 and my Canon Scanner has the masks for 120 film. Oops, I just realized the mask is for 2 1/4 square negative and this will be a 2X3 negative. Jury rig time or I'll be cropping my wide angle shots. Darn.

Oh, there is an interesting accessory with the camera. It came with a Staticmaster camel hair brush that contains a radioactive Polonium strip. It's a Model 1C200 that was made by Nuclear Products, Inc of El Monte, CA. Guaranteed till Oct 74B. This should help me figure out when this camera was in use anyway.

I vaguely remember seeing ads for this anti-static brush way back when. Hope it doesn't glow in the dark now.

There was also a like new Sekonic L-248 lightmeter with case and strap. Dead 625 battery though. Yuck, Mercury Cell. I'll have to order a replacement battery or use one of my modified ones from a Yashica 124G TLR to at least try it out.

Tom

al olson
4-Feb-2010, 17:07
Hi Guys, Dan and Jack,
...
Dan, It took me awhile but I finally found the serial number. Stamped or molded into the back edge of the side mounted Kalart range finder. Serial Number is A65496 for the body. The Kodak Ektar F4.5/101 lens serial number is EO 6528.
...
tom

Congratulations, Tom. I am wondering if you might be looking at the serial number for the Kalart? I have a pre-1940 Speed Graphic. My serial number is stamped into the inside of the top of the camera. Check yours by turning it upside down and look inside.

Back as late as the 1960's most press cameras, when ordered new, came equipped with a normal or wide-normal lens. The manufacturer or distributor would take the requested body and lens out of their inventory and put them together to fill the order. These most commonly supplied items being of contemporary production.

The lens that came with the camera, stayed on the camera because one lens was all we could afford. Even though it was possible to interchange lenses, it took a specialist to adjust the rangefinder.

I believe that a lens of your vintage would be the one that came with the camera. Further, it would be unlikely that the production dates for the body and for the lens would be multiple years apart. After 64 years, I would go with 1946 as a close estimate for when the camera was built.

Dan Fromm
4-Feb-2010, 17:38
Tom, this http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/miniature-speed-graphic.html is your camera. Miniature Speed Graphic.

This http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/features.html#FocalPlane describes a Pacemaker Speed Graphic's focal plane shutter. It and yours have two controls, one that selects the shutter's slit width (on yours, O, A, B, C, D) and another that selects the shutter mainspring's tension (I think it is at the bottom rear of your camera's right side, should have a knob and a window with numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Shutter speed is selected by both. There should be a plate somewhere on your camera that gives the shutter speed for each combination of slit width and tension. There are many, from 1/10 to 1/1000.

The s/n you gave is associated with the RF. I'm not sure that it is even a serial number, could be a part number. Go to www.graflex.org and ask where your camera's s/n is hidden. Also ask for advice on how to use it there. Odds are you'll get better advice there than here.

Cheers,

Dan

Dan Fromm
4-Feb-2010, 17:42
Tom, your camera has a spring (Graphic) back, not a Graflok or Graphic back. The only roll holder that I think makes sense to use with a 2x3 spring back is that Adapt-A-Roll 620. But then, I wrote the AAR 620 on graflex.org. Go read it.

More to the point, without the "spring kit" a Graflex-made roll holder can't be attached to your camera. Once it is on, focusing on the ground glass is impossible.

Cheers,

Dan

Glenn Thoreson
4-Feb-2010, 18:26
I believe you mentioned you have the spring kit for holding the roll holder on. If the lens is original, which it probably is, your focus scale and rangefinder may be in adjustment. Check them against images on the ground glass at different distances. Use a magnifier for checking the image on the glass. If everything agrees, you're good to go. I like the 6X7 roll holder, as 6X7 will print directly to 8X10" paper. You can pick up holders in 6X6, 6X7 and 6X9. The serial # should be stamped on the inside of the top, right behind the latch piece. Great cameras! Have fun with it. :D

tom thomas
5-Feb-2010, 10:25
I found the serial number. Thanx for the advice Al and Glen. It was stamped under the top front edge to the left of the cover latch as you described. Numbers about 1/8 inch so easily read with a CSI-style flashlight.

Oh, Glen. This is a 2X3 Model. I have a Graflex Model 23, 120 Roll Film Adapter that came with the camera. It appeas to be masked to 2X3 in or 6X9mm.

Dan, the serial number is 396321. Any help finding the age? The number on the Kalart rangefinder must be it's serial number. It is machine etched into the metal so probably not a part number.

Dan, the 23 Roll Film Adapter appears to be well used so I assume it was used with this camera. If I previously verify that the focus scale is accurate within it's range, do I need to focus every shot on the internal glass?

I'll probably be doing mostly landscape shots at infinity, using the aperture for depth of field. Most 120 film now reasonable ASA so I can try higher shutter speeds for effect.

Glen, I'll check the accuracy of the lens and the focus scales. I did take it outside yesterday and was able to see a bit and focus sharply at infinity (handheld). It was too bright for me to see clearly for a closeup (4.5 feet or so.) The ground glass in the Graphic film holder is very stained with yellow (cigarette smoke) so I'll have to dismantle and clean it a bit before continuing. Also the lens is dirty which is affecting brightness.

Thanx in advance.

Tom Thomas

Jack Dahlgren
5-Feb-2010, 10:53
Dan, the 23 Roll Film Adapter appears to be well used so I assume it was used with this camera. If I previously verify that the focus scale is accurate within it's range, do I need to focus every shot on the internal glass?

I'll probably be doing mostly landscape shots at infinity, using the aperture for depth of field. Most 120 film now reasonable ASA so I can try higher shutter speeds for effect.

Glen, I'll check the accuracy of the lens and the focus scales. I did take it outside yesterday and was able to see a bit and focus sharply at infinity (handheld). It was too bright for me to see clearly for a closeup (4.5 feet or so.) The ground glass in the Graphic film holder is very stained with yellow (cigarette smoke) so I'll have to dismantle and clean it a bit before continuing. Also the lens is dirty which is affecting brightness.

Thanx in advance.

Tom Thomas

Those big screws on the back that hold the spring back do not appear to be original, but look like they were installed so you could switch back and forth between ground glass and rollfilm holder. This method of switching would be slow. You would either use film holders and ground glass OR put the roll film back on and rely on the viewfinder & rangefinder/focusing scale. You wouldn't do both.

The other type of back allows swapping ground glass and rollfilm back much more quickly, but you don't have that kind so don't worry about it. Just verify that your rangefinder works (at a variety of distances) and mount the roll film back on it.

As for just setting it to infinity, well, perhaps you could focus a bit short of infinity so that you maximize your depth of field. Look up hyperfocal distance to see what that is all about if you haven't heard of it before.

One thing to watch out for with the focal plane shutter and roll film back.
Unlike a lens mounted shutter, the focal plane shutter will expose the film when you cock it by rolling it back up. So if you are using the focal plane shutter and the roll film holder, make sure you put the darkslide back in before you cock the shutter for the next shot. Using the lens shutter avoids this issue.

Dan Fromm
5-Feb-2010, 10:57
396321 is in a block of 2,000 serial numbers assigned 5/14/46. Just when it was used is an open question.

Tom, the roll holder replaces the ground glass. Once you attach it you won't be able to use the ground glass for focusing. If your RF is accurate this will not be a problem as long as you use the lens the RF is set up for. If you change lenses, then you'll be in trouble.

That the roll holder is well-used proves nothing. You'll need the spring kit to attach it. No spring kit, no use roll holder.

jnanian
5-Feb-2010, 13:04
I skimmed the photos out of the E-B listing.
Here is the adapter I think the seller referred to as the 35mm Black Folding Adapter. Anyone know just what it might be?

I attached a couple others too, perhaps they will help identify the age.

Thanx, Tom



hi tom

i agree that the 35mm adapter looks like it is for an enlarger.
the 35mm back i had that was for a 4x5 camera was a recomar kodakchrome back.
the springs look like the same sort of springs that are on my durst.


john

tom thomas
6-Feb-2010, 15:31
Hi,

Thanx for the info Dan. Two spring clips came in the box of stuff. They have bent clips on the ends instead of screw holes like the ones holding the original back. Here is a photo of them. Are they the correct ones?

I'll check out the range finder accuracy manually before I use the roll film back. It is a Graflex Model RH-85 from what I found at the other site. It has a red winder lever and film counter for 8 exposures on the top.

I doubt if I'll use any other lenses with this camera but who knows after I try it out

Thanx to your help I now know I have a Graflex Minature Speed Graphic made ca 1946. It sure has been interesting to find out about the camera. Now to CLA it a bit, then exercise the shutter real well, remember how to present the internal shutter so I can use the lens mounted one. If weather cooperates, I hope to try it soon.

Thanx again
Tom Thomas

Dan Fromm
6-Feb-2010, 16:14
Tom, I'm sorry but I don't know what the things look like. Glenn Thoreson may be able to help you on this.

Ask on www.graflex.org.

tom thomas
7-Feb-2010, 10:03
No problem Dan. I'll just mount them in place of the existing back and try to mount the 120 film back. If it works, great for me. I'll be almost ready to go out to try it when the nasty weather clears a bit here in the Tulsa area.

Thanx again for all your help identifying my camera.

Tom