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Graflex Super D and Polaroids

 
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Gail



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Hudson Valley of NY State

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:53 pm    Post subject: Graflex Super D and Polaroids Reply with quote

Hello,
I have a Graflex Super D and want to shoot some Polaroids. I obtained a Polaroid 545 Land Film Holder but it seems to me that I need some sort of adaptor device which receives this and connects to the camera. Is this correct and what is this device called? Is the 545 even the correct holder for my Super D? Any help would be great.
Cheers, Gail
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 360
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gail;

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the Polaroid 545 film holder was designed for cameras with the Graflok back.
If you will click on the "Cameras" link on the Home Page then on "Graflex RB Series D / Super D" you will see that the film holders for your camera are not interchangeable with those for the Graflok back.
Someone else may check in with a suggestion for some way around this problem or a how to modify your camera to use the 545 or some other Polaroid film holder.
Welcome to the forum!

C. Henry
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Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gail, welcome.

C. Henry beat me to it, but may I add a little to what he has said. There are three types of backs which may be found on cameras made by Graflex, they are the Graflex, the Graphic (also known as the spring back) and the Graflok (also known as the International back). The differences between them are explained, with photographs here:http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/features.html#GraflokBack

Your camera almost certainly has a Graflex back, which takes different holders to the other two. None of the Polaroid holders which take film available today will fit a Graflex back. All will fit a Graflok back, and most will fit a Graphic back as well. I have heard conflicting reports as to whether the very first Polaroid holder was also made in a version to fit a Graflex back, but I have never seen one. Even it it was made, and you managed to find one, film for it has not been available for about fifteen years.

There has been discussion from time about the possibility of a Graflex/Graphic back adapter, but nobody seems to have seen one. I don't have a Graflex back to measure, but I'm doubtful if such an adapter could be made.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3257
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graflex holders are 5 inches wide and Graphic/Graflok film holders are 4 3/4 inches wide. To shoot Polaroids convert your camera to Graflok. http://www.lensrepro.com/ can convert it for you, there may be other reputable firms that can do the modification also but I'm not aware of them.
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Gail



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Hudson Valley of NY State

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Many thanks! Reply with quote

I surely appreciate the helpful comments, even though I was hoping to find an easy way to make the connection. I plan to get in touch with the NYC firm to see what would be involved in some kind of conversion. I'm located in the Hudson Valley of New York State, making it convenient.

I used to use Tri-X film packs and develop the film myself, but they no longer make the film and I don't have darkroom capability, so the Polaroid option was very attractive. While I would prefer not to do anything serious to the camera, it seems useless as is, so I appreciate the advice I've received and any other thoughts which might be forthcoming.

Thank you all very much. I'll let you know when there is further news!

Gail
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Gail



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Hudson Valley of NY State

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:13 pm    Post subject: Update on Polaroid back Reply with quote

I've been in touch with the folks at Lens and Repro Equipment and they indeed say they can do a conversion, but it will cost $600-700. That's no doubt more than the camera is worth (except for personal reasons), but it's certainly not usable to me in it's current state, so I'm considering having it done.

As before, any comments you may have would be appreciated.

Gail (in the Hudson Valley of New York State)
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gail, before you dump that amount of money into it, do some research.

Graflex holders are not that hard to come by.

Now if you have a good Greflex holder to do a side-by-side comparison of the 545 holder, you will be able to see the difference. Why? To convert the 545 to work in the Graflex back!

Being the Graflex dimensions are larger than the 545, a simple extension could be fabricated to make the 545 wider. That would take care of locking into your slider, if done correctly. I still do not have a Graflex back so I can't verify any of this...

As I remember, the slot/groove at the edge where the film enters (the right side looking at the back) is also different. I'm a bit fuzzy from anibiotics so I can't remember exactly?

This conversion was discussed before but I don't remember if anyone has actually done it yet?

Modifying a 545 will definitely be cheaper than modifying your camera even if you have to pay someone to do it.

Just a thought...
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allas it's more than just adding pieces to the sides of the 545 back. Yes the groove/ridge is reversed on the Graflex back, but more than that, film in a Graflex holder sits farther away from the camera than in a Graphic back, So the 545 back will have to be shimmed in the front. exactly how much I don't know, but the modification really needs to be by somebody with a machinist background.
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 360
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I have no memory of hearing about an adapter to mount a 545 on a Graflex back, from what Les & RichS have to say I believe a good machinist and designer could make an adapter that would allow the use of an unmodified 545 on an unmodified Graflex back.
The key factor is that the Graflex back allows some space for the front of an adapter between the camera back and the front of the 545.
I would suggest that others who might want such an adapter share the cost of design with Gail, as I suspect that cost of designing the unit would exceed the cost of producing it once it was designed.

C. Henry
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Gail



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Hudson Valley of NY State

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to move quickly to do anything--in the fall I'll have some time to think about the possibilities. I need to think about how I might use the set-up if I get it working and whether it's worth it. (My husband has tractors for toys--I have musical instruments and a new Nikon D40. My toys generally cost less than his.) Meanwhile I'd welcome hearing from anyone who is interested in pursuing the question with me and any further suggestions as to how to proceed.

Gail
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Gail



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Hudson Valley of NY State

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Graflex Super D conversion Reply with quote

I finally decided I wanted to have the back of my Super D converted so it could accept a Polaroid back and called Lens & Repro to be sure someone knowledgable was going to be there to take a look at it. The bad news is that they no longer do such work, limiting it to their own cameras!

Does anyone know of any other place I might contact? I know it will be an expensive project, but I hate the idea of having that great camera unusable!

Gail
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Negative Energy



Joined: 14 Sep 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Graflok Back Reply with quote

I'm having a botched conversion on a 4 x 5 repaird by Adam Dau at S.K. Grimes. He quoted the conversion as being around $200 in labor. I'm assuming you would provide the back.

The defective modification was done by Fred Lustig: The back was put on crooked (slopes downhill by about one degree when locked in to the horizontal/vertical stops. It also leaks light and doesn't seem to sit flat.

In Fred's defense, I'll say the rest of the work was A-1. I think he's got a bad machinist.
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