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History of F&S/Graflex military cameras

 
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:13 am    Post subject: History of F&S/Graflex military cameras Reply with quote

Hi all,

Just before I post this on my website please read it and point out any errors, great or small. Sorry about the length of it, but there is a lot of info.

Official Military Folmer & Schwing and Graflex cameras

1916? - 1918?......3A Graflex - Front door is stamped ' U.S. ARMY, SIGNAL CORPS, G-3 No xxx' (1-100). Ordered in c1916-18 for US Army Signal Corps. Finished in brown saddle leather with OD green brass metal hardware. Autographic back, Wollensak Velostigmat Series II f4.5 6inch lens. Obviously VERY RARE.

1939...................Pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic. US Army Air Forces C-3 Ground Camera. Standard black leather/grey bed hardware. Compur shutter/Carl Zeiss f4.5 15cm lens later replaced about 1941 with Alphax shutter/Kodak Anastigmat f4.5 6 3/8" lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of front door. Rare.

1941 - 1943?.....Anniversary Speed Graphic. US Army Air Forces C-3 Ground Camera. Standard black leather covering but chrome or black bed hardware depending on year. Lenses and shutters include Alphex shutter/Kodak Anastigmat f4.5 6 3/8" lens, Kodak Supermatic/Kodak Anastigmat f4.7 6 3/8" lens, Graphex/Optar f4.5 6 3/8" lens and Kodak Supermatic/Ektar f4.7 127mm lens. In some complete outfits there was also a Kodak Supermatic/Bausch & Lomb f6.8 88mm WA lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of front door. Quite common but rare in the complete leather cased C-3 outfit.

1941 - ?..............Miniature Speed Graphic. US Army Air Forces C-4 Ground Camera. Standard black leather/chrome hardware finish. Graphex shutter/Optar f4.7 101mm lens. Three red dots in the front glass of the top viewfinder and a special black solenoid above the lens are obvious differences from civilian versions apart from the official military plastic plate attached to outside of the front door. Probably the only official military Mini Speed. Quite rare, especially in small leather cased outfit.

1942 - ?..............Anniversary Speed Graphic. Royal Air Force (Great Britain) Type 1 Ground Camera. Standard WW2 black leather/black hardware finish. Kodak Supermatic shutter/Ektar f4.7 127mm lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of the front door. Quite rare.

1942 - 1944........Anniversary Speed Graphic. US Army Signal Corps PH-47E. Standard WW2 black leather/black hardware finish. Kodak Supermatic shutter/Ektar f4.7 127mm lens. Official military metal plate attached to top of the camera body.

1942 - 1944........Anniversary Speed Graphic. US Army Signal Corps PH-47F. Standard WW2 black leather/black hardware finish. Ilex Acme No 3 shutter/Paragon f4.5 5 1/2" lens. Official military metal plate attached to top of the camera body. Unusual model.

1944 - 1946........Camera, Combat (Combat Graphic). Special US Navy and Marine Corps 4" x 5" wooden body camera designed for the Pacific war. Marine Corps version in OD green, Navy versions in OD green or battleship grey. All have black Supermatic shutter/ Kodak Anastigmat f4.7 127mm focusing lens beginning with 'EE' serial number. Official military metal plate attached to shutter winding side of camera body. After WW2 some were painted black and sold on the civilian market as 'Graphic 45' cameras. Only about 1500 made.

1947 - 195?.........Pacemaker Speed Graphic. US Air Force C-6 Ground Camera. Fully standard Pacemaker with Graphic back, body release for front or rear shutter operation, black leather covering and chrome bed hardware. Equipped with Kodak Supermatic shutter/Ektar f4.7 127mm lens. Later versions may have Graphex shutter/Optar lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of the front door and large metal depth of field table on top of the camera. Quite common but rare in the complete vulcanoid cased C-6 outfit.

1947 - 1948.........Pacemaker Speed Graphic. US Army Signal Corps PH-47-H. Fully standard Pacemaker with Graphic back, body release for front or rear shutter operation, black leather covering and chrome bed hardware. Equipped with Kodak Supermatic shutter/Ektar f4.7 127mm lens. Later versions have Graphex shutter/Optar lens. Official military metal plate attached on top of the camera. Quite common but rare in the complete OD green vulcanoid cased PH-104 outfit.

1949 - 1952.........Pacemaker Speed Graphic. US Army Signal Corps PH-47-J. The first OD green Pacemaker with full Graflok back, body release for front or rear shutter operation, black bed hardware. Equipped with either black Kodak Supermatic shutter/Ektar f4.7 127mm lens or Graphex shutter/Optar f4.7 127mm yellow dot lens. First camera to use the black anodised US Army Graflite flash handle. Official military metal plate attached to outside of the front door. Quite rare, especially in the complete OD green vulcanoid or metal Haliburton cased PH-104 outfit.

1949 - 19??.........Graphic View II. US Navy. The only(?) Graflex view camera with an official military metal plate, mounted on the upper right of the front standard. Special black bellows fitted instead of the usual red. Equipped with Kodak Supermatic shutter/Ektar f7.7 203mm lens or other options. Again, quite rare, especially in the complete vulcanoid cased outfit.

1953 - 1955.........Pacemaker Speed Graphic. US Army Signal Corps KE-12(1). The second OD green Pacemaker with modified Graflok back (no sliders), no body release for front or rear shutter operation and black bed hardware. Equipped with a Graphex shutter/Optar f4.7 127mm yellow dot lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of the front door. Reasonably common but quite rare in the complete OD green metal Haliburton cased KS-4A(1) outfit. **Because there is no body shutter release this version is often mistaken for an Anniversary model and sold as a WW2 camera on auction sites. It is not.

1953 - 1957.........70mm Combat Graflex. US Army Signal Corps OD green rangefinder camera. Because of its large size and design it is often referred to as 'Gulliver's Contax'. Equipped with a spring wound focal plane shutter and 4" Ektar f4.7 127mm lens. Official military metal plate attached to rear of camera. Hard to find and quite rare in the complete OD green metal Haliburton cased KS-4A(2) outfit with dedicated flash and three Ektar lenses.

1953 - 1955.........Pacemaker Speed Graphic. US Navy Camera: Still Ground, Press Type 4x5. Fully standard Pacemaker with Graphic back, body release for front or rear shutter operation, black leather covering and chrome bed hardware. Equipped with Graphex shutter/Optar f4.5 135mm lens. Official military metal plate attached on top of the camera. Rare, especially in the complete vulcanoid cased outfit.

1955 - 195?.........Pacemaker Speed Graphic. US Property (maybe Navy) Camera: Still Picture 4x5 Press Type. Fully standard Pacemaker with top rangefinder, Graflok back, body release for front or rear shutter operation, black leather covering and chrome bed hardware. Equipped with Graphex shutter/Optar f4.5 135mm lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of the front door. Rare, especially in the complete vulcanoid cased outfit.

1958 - 19??.........Super Graphic. US Property (maybe Navy) Camera: Still Picture 4x5 Press Type. Fully standard metal Super Graphic with built-in rangefinder, Graflok back, electric body release for front shutter. Equipped with Graphex shutter/Optar f4.5 135mm lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of the front door. Quite rare.

1958 - 19??.........Super Graphic. US Property (maybe Air Force) Camera: Still Picture 4x5 Press Type. Fully standard metal Super Graphic with built-in rangefinder, Graflok back, electric body release for front shutter. Equipped with Graphex shutter/Optar f4.5 135mm lens. Official AF military metal plate attached to outside of the front door. Quite rare.

1961 - 19??.........Super Speed Graphic. US Army Camera: Still Picture KE-12(2). Fully standard metal Super Speed Graphic with built-in rangefinder, Graflok back, electric body release for front shutter. Equipped with Graphex 1000 shutter/Optar f4.5 135mm lens. Official military metal plate attached to outside of the front door. Webbing hand strap instead of leather. Quite rare.

1965 - 1973.........Graflex XL. US Army Camera: Still Picture KS-98A and KS-98B. All black finish military version of the modular system XL camera. The only difference between A and B versions is the level of equipment in the cased outfits, which contained several rollfilm backs. Quite difficult to obtain.

NOTE: During WW2 many Speed Graphics, all black and otherwise, entered the military supply chain. The US Navy did not appear to have a military designation (or metal plate) for Anniversary Speed Graphics. Canadian and other Armed Forces didn't seem to have officially plated Speed Graphics, apart from the above mentioned RAF Type 1. I have an 'unplated' all black Anniversary Speed Graphic that just has the red Signal Corps acceptance stamps on it.

In the Pacemaker cameras I have a couple of highly unusual PH-47-J and KE-12(1) versions, with completely black leather (both usually OD green) and black metal hardware.
The PH-47-J type has no plate but 4 rivets where one was on the door, while the KE-12(1) type has a small metal plate on the door stating 'Property of US Govt, 4x5 Still Camera'. I have no idea as to the origin of these two cameras.

Aerial (aircraft) cameras and the reflex models are another story and not dealt with here...yet!

If you have confirmation of dates or other specifications please feel free to contact me.

Cheers,
Bruce
http://graflex.coffsbiz.com


Last edited by bruiser on Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:55 am; edited 3 times in total
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willysmb



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 117
Location: France _ Europe

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic job. Many thanks Bruce... Laurent
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Laurent!

I hope all is well in Paris.

Best regards,
Bruce
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willysmb



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 117
Location: France _ Europe

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Paris is under the sun, and the Speeds are in the streets...
Do you receive my email 2 years ago ?

By the way, do you have informations about Large format in Signal corps ( 2D and Deardorff V810 ) ?

I'm very impress by your presentation, Many many thanks again.
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Laurent,

Yes I received your email 2 days ago

I'm only covering the Graflex military cameras at the moment because once you start on the Kodaks and the Deardorffs then it's Leica, Bolsey, Fairchild, Linhoff, etc, etc.

I know the Navy especially used Series B and Auto Graflex cameras and mainly in 4x5 size. Do you know any others?

Cheers,
Bruce
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willysmb



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 117
Location: France _ Europe

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the combat Camera Navy, I got one, in grey finish, but I never read any confirmation about the original grey color.
I'm not sure that this Grey Vs was not a post war modification... and a local one...

I noted that the Graflok back was differents from Civilian and Military (Pacemakers) the mlitary one's permit to place the ground glass with or with not the fresnel .
The military fresnel was differents at the corner.

I never found any confirmation in books about this different back.

Yes...for the mail... 2 days ago... apologies. Do you agree my request?
Laurent
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen a colour photo of a sailor on board a warship holding a grey Combat Graphic but now I can't find it! They did exist.

The normal Graflok back on the PH-47-J will also take the Graflex roll film holders but the later military version Graflok on the KE-12(1) won't as there are no slides to grip the edges of the holders. Who knows why.

And I will put your camera on the website!

Cheers,
Bruce
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bruce, Europe calling...
Mail sent about C3 lenses and data about manuals.
BTW you do a fantastic job with this website.
Thanks a lot.
G
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Just added a little info (to the original post at the top) about the US Navy Graphic View II. Does anyone know if the Graphic View II was used by other Armed Forces? Was the Graphic View I used at all?

Does anyone have any military plated Graflex SLR cameras?? Or even with the US Navy anchor stamp, Signal Corps acceptance stamp, etc ???

Cheers from Down Under,
Bruce
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In his book " L'Architecture et sa Photographie " 1998 Taschen Editions, architectural photographer Julius Schulman (1910-2009) writes he used a Graphic View 4x5 during the two years he spent photographying surgical operations for the US Surgeon General Office in WWII.
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bignatedunk



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Location: fort worth tx

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: graflex ks-4a(1) Reply with quote

I have in my posession a ks-4a(1) in the orriginal halliburton army green case with tripod, film pack adapter, film, and everything else that came with it.... Does anybody have an idea of what this is worth? It is in excellent condition as is the tripod and other accessories. Thanks a lot everyone
_________________
hmmm, does this take pictures
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Most outfits like yours seem to go for about $550-$650 if complete. Depends mainly on how bad the buyer wants it.

Cheers,
Bruce
http://graflex.coffsbiz.com
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