View Full Version : Graflock backs

Peter Galea
14-Nov-2003, 21:37
What is the advantage of using the "Graflock" back when inserting holders? I have the locking backs on two cameras but have never used them. It seems to me that there would be less chance to jar the camera out of adjustment just sliding the holder under the groundglass. What am I missing?

Michael Kadillak
14-Nov-2003, 21:45
I have exclusively used the ground glass for film holders and used the Graflock back for Graflflex film holders (the metal six sheet septum devices from the press camera days that work great) or other devices that attach to the camera back. My Canham metal 5x7 uses these to attach the 6x17 roll film back.


Alex Hawley
14-Nov-2003, 23:02
The Grafloc back allows use of roll film backs, polaroid backs, and the Graflex holders. If you are just using standard film holders, then there is no advantage to it.

Jay DeFehr
14-Nov-2003, 23:19
Or disadvantage.

Peter Galea
14-Nov-2003, 23:21
Thanks Michael and Alex, I guess I should have been more clear. I do have a Polaroid 545 which I slide under the GG. Should I use only the Graflocks for that, and not slide it in?

Alex Hawley
15-Nov-2003, 00:26
If it works that way, use how ever you prefer. I never liked sliding anything other than film holders under the GG because it scratches the glass. I darn near broke one GG trying to slide a Calumet roll film holder under it like it "supposed" to be able to do.

Walter Glover
15-Nov-2003, 02:11
In the field I find it advantageous NOT to remove the ground-glass and frame any more than is absolutely necessary. Albeit I have a belt pouch I use when it is necessary to protect the GG when using Linhof RFHs for example. But wherever possible I use my Sinar Zoom II and slide it under. It may make more wear and tear of the metal surfaces that seat the GG holder but that is a small sacrifice compared to dropping the GG in the midst of a day-long assignment.

On trips I use Grafmatics at times and these are best used with the slides rather than over-extending the springs of the GG frame.

There are possibly some multi-exposure situations also where locking the regular D/D film holder into a particular position with the sliders might be an advantage.

Robert A. Zeichner
15-Nov-2003, 06:32
I don't particularly like Graflok backs as they are sprung so strongly that I often move the set up trying to insert a holder. This, despite an excellent tripod and ballhead. I suppose if I used rollfilm backs I would be glad I have them, but until then, I find them to be a pain. they also utilize a Fresnel, which I also don't like. They make focusing a little more of a challenge for me over a straight fine grain ground glass. My Graflok so annoys me that I would have to say if I could trade it for a straight 4x5 wooden back for my Deardorff, I would jump at the chance. Wood would also be lighter. This is not a general slam at Graflex products, understand. For press cameras that are handheld, the Graflok was great. I often wish the standard for film holders was the old Graflex type as opposed to Graflok. I have these on my old Graflex RB Super D and I find them far superior to change quickly. They also have the advantage of being flat as all the interlocking grooves are recessed. that makes storage easier. The Graflex design also assures the holder will be sucked down flat against the aperture. Only problem of course, is how one would safely and quickly switch the gg in and out of position.

Jean-Louis Llech
15-Nov-2003, 07:45
I use Fidelity double sheet holders, Grafmatic, Pola 545 pro, Pola 550 backs, 6x9 Linhof Super-Rollex, and I always remove the groundglass before inserting the backs.
- The Pola backs and the Grafmatic are IMO too thick, and inserting them behind the GG may tend to weaken the springs.
- With the Grafmatic (I use it most of the time when focusing with the rangefinder) the right-left or up-down movement for changing the view is rather violent, and it's more secure with Graflock fixation than having the Grafmatic just inserted.
- With 6x9 Super-Rollex, I'm of course obliged to remove the GG. (No problem, I use them very often with the rangefinder of the Linhof).
- With Fidelity holders, each time I can, I prefer also to remove the GG. All controls of the Linhof are secured, and focus is never put out of order.
Lowering and raisong Graflock buttons is, on the Linhof, a very soft movement, and I consider it's easier to remove the GG and place the holder than to insert it behind the GG.
I think also that putting holders in place of the GG contributes to have them more flat than with the insertion method.
By doing this way, I'm sure there will never be any light leaks.

David A. Goldfarb
15-Nov-2003, 09:58
I use the Graflok clips on my Tech V for Grafmatics and rollfilm holders, and I do often shoot handheld with the rangefinder. In such cases I'll often leave the groundglass panel in the bag or at home so I don't risk damage to the glass (which isn't likely, since it has a folding metal hood) and to reduce the weight of the camera. Even on the tripod, I'll sometimes remove the panel to attach the filmholder (I use only Grafmatics and rollfilm holders for 4x5", rather than standard double-sided holders) for the reasons Jean-Louis describes--to avoid jostling the camera.

On cameras that don't have a rangefinder, I think the main advantage is for rollfilm or perhaps digital backs that don't fit easily or at all under the groundglass. On 5x7" Graflok clips will let you use Canham's 6x17 holder.

Frank Petronio
15-Nov-2003, 12:20
I've noticed a big difference in the spring tension of the Graflock backs between brands. Sinars seem very strong, and often I would jostle the camera when working the back. Linhofs feel about right. I had a Wista SP that was too "light." Some of the old Crown graphics I've had had nearly worn out springs and were very weak.

It would be wonderful if more cameras had bail levers to assist with raising the back, while having a high spring tension. I saw one modifiied Linhof on eBay with such a bail, it seems like a really great idea (but I'm too lazy to invest/invent it myself...)

James Driscoll
15-Nov-2003, 15:32

On Sinar spring backs (they also made bail arm backs) you can adjust the spring tension to your liking.

Of course as I write this....I cannot remember for the life of me how to do it...but you can!!!

When I remember....I will post it somewhere!!!

25-Dec-2003, 16:13
as Alex sead 2003-11-14 23:26:22 about the Calumet roll film holder under it can break your glass the newer Calumet holder have plastic glides no thim they don't break glass aas bad