View Full Version : Current versus Past 6x9, 6x7 Backs

neil poulsen
28-Jul-2008, 16:21
I just compared a modern Horseman 6x7 back with a couple of older Graflex backs and found out that they're significantly different.

The side-rails that hold the Horseman back in place are thicker and deeper than that of both of the Graflex backs. In fact, I have a regular back with ground glass on my old 6x9 pre-classic Arca camera that holds the Horseman back fine. But the Graflex backs are quite loose, too loose to be even close to workable.

Correspondingly, I have a sliding back for the same camera that hold the Graflex backs just fine but won't hold the Horseman back. (The Horseman side-rails are too thick.)

So, just a couple of questions.

Are modern 6x9 backs different from the older-style Graflex backs?

Might these Graflex backs be different from others? (They were in a local store.) In fact, I recently saw a Graflex back for sale, and the seller stated that it would only work on Graflex cameras? (Not on cameras with modern international backs.)

Or, might my Horseman 6x9 back be different from other 6x9 backs?

Thanks. I'd kind of like to know what's going on here, before I start ordering backs for my newly acquired camera. (Mentioned above.)

Bill L.
28-Jul-2008, 16:47
The "graflex" back is an older, pre-graflok (or universal) back, requiring a different mechanism than the the graflok back. I think I saw the same auction on e-bay - every now and then an true graflex back roll holder comes up for auction (I keep my eye out - I've got a Graflex RB series B that has a graflex back and one 6x9 roll film holder for it). You can find a description of the backs at www.graflex.org. As for the Graflex rollfilm holders for the Graflok back - I have a 6x9 Graflex (the brand) holder for a 4x5 graflok back, and it fits my Canham DLC45 just fine. As far as I can tell, if the holder says 23 Graphic on the back, it is a 6x9 rollfilm holder for a graflok back. If it says 23 Graflex on the back, it might be for a graflex back and might be for a graflok back (though you can tell easily enough by looking at the front (camera side) of the holder.


neil poulsen
28-Jul-2008, 18:30
Thanks for the response. Another couple of questions.

What does one look for on the "camera side" of the back to tell if it's graflok or grafex?

Unrelated, can a 20 exposure back be used for a standard 120 (vs. 220) roll of film?

Glenn Thoreson
29-Jul-2008, 11:45
There are some significant differences in some of the various brands of roll holders. Not all will swap between camera brands. The 6X6, 6X7, 6X9 and the RH-50 70mm Graphic roll holders for medium format cameras will swap back and forth with the RB-67 camera and one variety of Linhof roll holder. The Super Rollex, if I remember correctly. There is another Linhof roll holder that doesn't work properly on other cameras. Horseman, being a high quality expensive item, may have purposely made their roll holders to fit only what they intended. A prestige issue, if you will. There are also other roll holders that interchange with the Graphic style, such as the Suydam, et al. You undoubtedly have a Graflok, or international back on your camera as no modern roll holders exist that fit Graflex backs. They never made 'em. And yes, you can run 120 film through an RH-20 Graphic roll holder. The clearances should be fine. You just have to remember that you're out of film at #10. I don't know about any of the other brands. Another edit: Be very careful not to confuse the words "Graflex" and "Graphic". Two entirely different things that have fostered confusion and controversy since day one. In the case of your roll holders, they are "Graflex" brand, but "Graphic" style.
The term "Graflex Back" refers to an obsolete camera back, not a roll holder.

29-Jul-2008, 12:26
From the Mamiya Universal camera use I know that to use a Horseman roll film back on it you need to make a small adjustment on the sliding bars of the G adapter. The camera otherwise accepts the Graflex Graflock RFH with no problem. Thus there is a small difference between the two, indeed.