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Speed Graphic dating and type...

 
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aviationphotog



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 4
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:25 pm    Post subject: Speed Graphic dating and type... Reply with quote

Hello! First time poster and the first time owner of a Speed Graphic! Always wanted one, especially a wartime dated one, for many years. At a recent flea market I happened to stumble across one that came with an original 1940s large sectional case, several film holders, a Heiland Synchronar, and the standard 3-Cell Graflex flash. The Speed Graphic itself is a very unique looking camera and thus far I haven't been able to exactly nail down what type of Speed Graphic it is. It looks to be between a Pre-Anniversary and an Anniversary. The Kodak lens is dated 1941, but I realize that it could have been added at any time. Some history on the camera, the previous owner was a Major in the Army Air Force (starting as a navigator and working up to eventual Major) who made a career and life out of the military. The camera is one of two Speed Graphics he owned.

So basically, what year would the Speed Graphic be? The serial number on the inner roof of the box is 243139. I checked the serial number chart and it appears to be between a Pre-Anniversary and Mini.

Thank you! This site and forum is a WEALTH of info!


















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Britt Dietz
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

243139 is #52 of a batch of 500 Pre Anniversary 4x5 Speed Graphics listed to be built in August 1939. There was another batch of 21 listed in Sept. 1939 with the first batch of Anniversary Speeds listed in Oct. 1939.

It is identifiable as a Pre Anniversary by the single focus knob on the right and the squeeze together front standard lock.
Operating instructions: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_18.html

The Kalart side rangefinder has been discussed many times, just use the search feature for keyword Kalart or go to http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/kalart-adjustment.html

Nice looking camera.
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aviationphotog



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
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Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
243139 is #52 of a batch of 500 Pre Anniversary 4x5 Speed Graphics listed to be built in August 1939. There was another batch of 21 listed in Sept. 1939 with the first batch of Anniversary Speeds listed in Oct. 1939.


THANK YOU for the information! The camera works great from what I can tell. Rangefinder works perfect and focus lines up. Shutter works perfect with very clean movement. The FPS works great as well from what I can tell moving as it should. I'm happy with my purchase! Now I just need to pop some film in there...

Two more questions if I may... I've seen some talk about a Polaroid back for the Speed Graphic. I haven't been able to find all that much information on the backs, but they sound like something (if the price isn't insane) that I might want to look into, at least for the time being as I get to know this camera. I'm a professional digital photographer, and I've worked with 35mm a lot... but not 4x5 nor Graflex flashes. So having something a bit more disposable and instant would help before I start shooting 4x5 film.

My original idea was to figure out a digital way of getting images, much like many people have posted on here. Reading all the various threads here and on the web about that, it's just not really something feasible. The scanner method is far too time consuming and reliant on a laptop (not to mention the high price). What I had wanted to do was add one of those DSLR lens mount plates to the back, but it never occurred to me until someone pointed it out on of the threads that with a tiny DSLR sensor you'd have an extreme crop. Too bad those mounts can't reduce the image down to the DSLR sensor size.

And finally, anyone have any good suggestions for a good place to get a solenoid plug for the camera to flash? That's one thing, sadly, it didn't come with!
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Britt Dietz
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuji is the only company making instant film that can be used on a 4x5 camera.
If the film is 4x5 sheet then you need a Polaroid 545 or 545i film holder; if the film is pack with 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 image area then you need a Polaroid 405 holder. You may have to remove the focus panel to mount the 405 holder to the camera and rely on the rangefinder for focusing.
See: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/121161-why-polaroid-405-backs-so-expensive.html and http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/121323-fuji-fp100c45-back.html .
Light is photons of energy. It will vary in intensity regardless of source by a predictable amount according to distance from the source one is. When it comes to recording the photons that are reflected by objects those photons do not care if the recording medium is chemical or electronic based or how large the recording medium is. All that matters is that one accurately measures the light and the shutter speed and aperture are reasonably correct. Metering with a handheld light meter is somewhat different than using an in camera meter.
------
http://www.paramountcords.com/graflex.asp
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aviationphotog



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for all the info! As I was reading up on the difference between the Polaroid 545, 545i, 500, and 405s... I'm not really sure which one would be best to get. It sounds like it comes down to price you want to pay for the holder and instant film that is available. The 545 and 545i holders are really cheap on ebay, so that would seem to be the cost effective way to go... but is the correct 4x5 film going to be tough to locate and/or expensive?
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45PSS



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not that up to date on instant film but 4x5 single sheet, peel apart film is near obsolete or non existent.
Check http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ ; http://www.freestylephoto.biz/category/5-Film/Instant-Film for instant film or
http://www.fujifilmusa.com/ instant film is under the professional photography link in the products tab.
A 405 holder will be the best bet for the current 10 sheet pack film that is available new.
A 545/545i in the event http://www.the-impossible-project.com/ gets around to bringing back some of the 4x5 Polaroid films.
A 500 is good for a paper weight.
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aviationphotog



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, things are progressing well! I purchased an original working cord on ebay from the Graflex to the Solenoid, and it worked perfect (after adjusting the tension on the Solenoid thanks to http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=1453.

I also purchased a 545i for about $7 on ebay in pretty good condition. Figure I can't beat that price really, worst case maybe someday that New55 will get off the ground. So, the next question is how to get film for it. Though it's not 4x5 size, would the Fujifilm FP-3000B work in this? That seems to be pretty easy to get ahold of. I've read conflicting people saying there are ways and some saying no way. I'm not sure I want to go about doing heavy mods to this to take a Polaroid 405. Or am I pretty much out of luck instant film wise at the moment?
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45PSS



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FP100C45 is the only currently available film that will work in the 545i.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/278327-REG/Fujifilm_15435638_FP_100C_Professional_Instant_Color.html
At $40 a 10 sheet box and hoarders bulk buying for ebay sales latter on????????
I do not know how to modify it for pack film.
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Jim C.



Joined: 18 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to read this comprehensive post on the Large Format Photography Forum,
# 7 by Frank Petronio

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?56506-What-holder-do-I-need-for-FP100C

For now the FP100C45 ( 4x5 ) instant is available but you better mortgage the house
and stock up, it's been discontinued depending on where you read the info, and what is available
now ( as of Aug 3 2013 ) is warehouse found stock.

The Fuji FP-100C ( 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 ) is readily available.... for now.

Polaroid peel apart is extinct as a Dodo, unless you want to sell a kidney for box of
unknown quality on the 'Bay.

45PSS is incorrect, there is no film available for the 545 holders which take single sheets.
I wouldn't hold my breath for the old style single sheet peel apart instant.
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Jim C.



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to add that you'll need to have a graflok back to use these holders,

Polaroid 550 holder or Fuji PA-45
Polaroid 405 or Fuji PA-145

They are way too thick to fit under the GG frame.
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