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Thread: Gowlandflex

  1. #1


    July was Large-Format GAS Month, so
    I am the new guardian of a whole-plate
    Korona and an early Gowlandflex. The
    Gowlandflex is a marvel, combining the
    dynamics of a Rolleiflex with sheet film.

    I have a problem with mine, and I am
    hoping someone out there might have
    an answer. The viewfinder is misaligned
    vertically with what the taking lens is
    capturing on the film. So, for example,
    if I frame a portrait with the head barely
    touching the top of the frame, the
    recorded image on the negative will be
    cropped just above the eyebrows.

    I've written to Peter Gowland but I know
    he is occupied with many other things. I
    am wondering if there are others out there
    shooting a Gowlandflex, and if so, whether
    they might know how to adjust the view-
    finder to align with the taking lens.

    Sanders McNew

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Gowlandflex

    Try calling him instead...

    from his website:
    Alice and Peter Gowland
    609 Hightree Road
    Santa Monica, CA 90402

    (310) 454-7867
    (310) 454-6779

    Best times to call are in the mornings during the regular Monday-Friday work week.

    Both of the above telephone numbers are voice.


    It has been years, but I called and while Peter was about to walk out the door on an assignment, I talked to his wife and got my answer from Peter via her.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Gowlandflex

    Hi Sanders,
    Great work on your website!
    When shooting close, all TLR's have vert. parallax issues ,
    While I have never seen a Gowlandflex (sounds cool), I have used Mamiya c330's
    They have a bar in the finder that shows the approx. top of the actual framing, of course if moves lower the closer you focus.
    The earlier Mamiya C220 had reference marks on the focus screen to show the same.
    Check your focus screen for possible reference marks?
    Perhaps you could pencil mark the screen for different distances...
    Hope this helps,
    David Silva
    Modesto, Ca

  4. #4
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Honolulu, Hawai'i

    Re: Gowlandflex

    Did you give Peter Gowland your phone number? Presuming he's around and in good health (I haven't heard otherwise, but he is 91, after all) he'll call you. Really. Or call him as Vaughn suggests. He loves to talk with people using his cameras.

    The camera is designed to be parallax corrected. I don't know how adjustable the parallax correction is, or if the cams are fixed for a certain focal length. He's always tweaked his cameras as he's developed them, so I suspect there are a lot of little differences from one camera to the next, but if you talk to him, he'll make sure your camera is up to date.

  5. #5

    Re: Gowlandflex

    Off Topic:

    My first field camera was a Gowland Pocket 4x5 that was mixing a couple of pieces. I called Peter on the phone and he not only told me what to buy at the hardware store to replace the pieces, but also chatted with me for about 2 hours. Wonderful conversationalist.

  6. #6

    Re: Gowlandflex

    I didn't call because I didn't want to intrude.
    And I was hoping to see if there are others
    out there who know something about the
    Gowlandflexes, so we could pool resources
    and knowledge about the cameras.

    David, it is not a parallax problem. It happens
    at all distances. It is a misaligned viewfinder.
    The parallax-correction mask seems to be
    working as it is meant to work.


  7. #7

    Re: Gowlandflex

    Intrude, intrude! Peter loves to talk shop about his cameras.

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA

    Re: Gowlandflex

    Yes, by all means give him a call. Just make sure to have some free time available

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: Gowlandflex

    I would love to own a Gowlandflex so much. The new ones look so good.

    I'm not sure I'll be able to afford it soon enough though!

  10. #10
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Rio Rancho, NM

    Re: Gowlandflex

    I'm jealous, Sanders. I assume yours is a 4x5, rather than the 8x10 TLR model?

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