View Full Version : Got my Speed Graphic today!

Derek Kennedy
9-Apr-2009, 21:36
I'm sure you will understand how excited I am today! I got my 4x5 camera today thinking that it wont be here for at least another week. :eek:

Since I've seen one in person before, I was unsure how to load the film backs into/onto the camera. I did thankfully find a manual on the net that showed a photo of a film back loaded.

NOW that I know how to load the film backs onto the camera - I am an incredibly happy camper! I cant wait for my film order to arrive! :D

Question though for those in the know - I have a cheap (inexpensive) Sekonic light meter that Ive used in the past for cameras (120mm and 35mm) that didnt have a meter with great success. Is the meter use the same with this sort of camera? I mean for example if I have it stretched right out (close ups?) will I need to compensate a bit? Or take the meter reading?

Thanks in advance.


Oren Grad
9-Apr-2009, 21:59
Derek -


You can use the same meter, but exposure compensation for bellows extension is indeed a consideration when you're working close. Here's a page on the LF parent site that has some discussion on this:


Gene McCluney
9-Apr-2009, 22:21
A light meter is a light meter, and will give the same readings regardless of what camera you shoot. There are 2 things that may make your exposures "off" on the Speed Graphic. One, is the shutter not running at the set speed. Most all cameras that are older may have shutters that are inaccurate without clean-up and possibly lubrication. Secondly, as mentioned above if you shoot very close with longer focal length lenses you will have bellows compensation to figure into your overall exposure. The good news is that black and white film is forgiving in small exposure errors, and you will probably get good exposures right from the start. When I shoot color with a 4x5 I always test with an Instant print. I now use the Fuji Instant film in 4x5 pack size, and the 4x5 Instant film pack back should fit on your camera, particularly if it has a graflok back.

Steve Hamley
9-Apr-2009, 22:34
Here's a good way to measure the exposure compensation needed for bellows extension:




Derek Kennedy
10-Apr-2009, 05:27
Thanks for the links and info guys. I will check out those links right away.

Its a wonder how much there is to learn about using all those old cameras I pick up off of the net. That alone keeps my interest levels (and sometimes stress levels) up.