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Thread: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

  1. #1
    tom thomas's Avatar
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    I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

    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

  2. #2

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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

    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.

  3. #3

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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

    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

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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

    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

  5. #5
    tom thomas's Avatar
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    Smile Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

    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.

  6. #6
    tom thomas's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex photos

    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
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails graflex18.jpg   graflex2.jpg   graflex3.jpg  

  7. #7

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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex photos

    Quote Originally Posted by tom thomas View Post
    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

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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

    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.

  9. #9

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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post

    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.

  10. #10
    tom thomas's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Back with new questions, Graflex CAMERA ARRIVED

    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

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