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models of military cameras

 
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mikemaselli



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Southern Colorado

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have recently added a K-20, a combat graflex, and a KE-2(1) to my collection. Has anyone developed a comprehensive listing of militay models?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1883
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2006-05-12 15:34, mikemaselli wrote:
I have recently added a K-20, a combat graflex, and a KE-2(1) to my collection. Has anyone developed a comprehensive listing of militay models?
Information on military cameras is hard to come by. You might want to look at:

http://pws.prserv.net/varney/20cms/cameras.htm

This link http://www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/jptds/l.html
will get you to an incomplete listing of US military cameras, also look around on the site.
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mikemaselli



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Southern Colorado

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan-- A belated thank you for the information. I just picked up a graflex 4 x 5 view camera which has what appears to be military markings. I am wondering if this is possible and what use the military might have had with a view camera.
Thanks-- all other thoughts welcome!!
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

During WW II, the military contracted with just about everybody imagineable for cameras, at one point or another. Argus, Bolsey, Kodak, Graflex and on and on. Some of the 35mm cameras that the military bought were unbelievably crappy things that makes me wonder just what they were thinking. Heat of the moment, I suppose.

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Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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PatMooney



Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I am wondering if it is possible to ID a Military Speed Graphic either by SN or model? I have a found a KE-12(1) with a sn of 891861 on the tag between the rails and sn 2085 on the US Army tag on the back. Help! Cheers, Pat
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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Post the 891xxx serial number in the date request fourm and you will eventually get a reply. Go to Graflex Graphic model history, accessable from the main page, and check features of the camera to the descriptions listed to determine the model. It's most likely an Anniversary but may be a Pacemaker.

I did a on line search a few years back and found that the military labled their cameras according to what type of photography they were set up for. A speed Graphic with a portrait lens was a given model number, the same model Speed with a wide angle was a totally different model, as was a Speed with a normal lens.
There is NO correlation to format size either!

Charles

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[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2006-08-27 18:30 ]
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David A. Goldfarb



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 142
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought the 70mm Combat Graphic rangefinder camera designed like an overgrown Contax IIa looked like a beautiful thing. Anyone here use one?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1883
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2006-08-31 22:14, David A. Goldfarb wrote:
I always thought the 70mm Combat Graphic rangefinder camera designed like an overgrown Contax IIa looked like a beautiful thing. Anyone here use one?
It was designed by Hubert Nerwin, ex-Zeiss and one of the Contax design team. I've handled them, never used one.
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Les



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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't come across the same material that 4PSS has. I know the Army Air Corp and later the USAAF (Army Air Force) was right royally ticked they were still under the Army and not a separate division. Consequently when the Army Signal Corp showed up at Wright Pat field, to "photograph the war" they were given such a hard time they left, and let the Air Force photograph their own war. This is why you have the C series of view cameras, a C-1 was an 8x10 View Camera, made by Kodak/Graflex (a 2D), Karona, Gundlach or even Deardorff. A C-2 was a 5x7 version of a C-1, the C-3 was a 4x5, usually an Anny Speed, and very late in the war a C-4 was a 2x3 mini.
This was going on while the Signal Corp was handling every other aspect of imagery. Movie cameras, 16mm and 35, still cameras, 8x10 down to 35mm, all of the processing, printing, retouching equipment, as well as specialized cameras for aerial, periscope, Bomb Damage assessment,.... you get the idea.
The signal corp started with PH-47 for the Speed and moved through the letters up to H although not all letters were used. Sometimes a lens of the same focal length but from a different manufacturer, prompted a different suffix. After the war they moved from PH to KA for the camera (Kamera Appliance?) and KS for and outfit (Kamera Set)
I don't know what road the Marines followed or river the Navy followed.

View cameras weren't used in combat obviously, but for documenting construction, destruction, and I suppose in some cases employment ID, but Graflex sold a lot of Photorecord equipment to Uncle Sam and even more to all of the factories back home.

The Combat Camera, like a lot of Graflex stuff, is a point for enless confusion. On paper in Rochester, it was always called the Graphic 45, and this name shows up in the repair/owners manual as well. The design didn't get up and running until late '43 '44 with one batch of Kodak Special Anastigmats being made in '44. Two finishes were sent out to the Pacific....an OD Green for the Marines, and OD Grey for the Navy. Each branch had there own ID tag. There were also a differemt set of instructions for each branch, the only difference was the uniform on the same soldier for the cover.. There were also Graflex back and Graphic back versions made and I can't figure out if these were made concurrently or sequentially, though I'm certain the Gralfex back was the original design as it gives easy access to the batteries housed in the belly of the body. (Why you would want to set off a flash bulb in combat, I have yet to figure out. Further the reason for the Combat Graphic was the leather on the Annies was being eaten up by the bugs and weather of the jungle...and yet they the case issued with all Combat Graphics was......the DeLuxe leather case with velvet interior)


After the war, Graflex brought the camera out with a Graphic 45 tag for civilian use. They had to, Uncle Sam canceled the contract and left a lot of cameras on the shelves. These were still OD Green and were ignored by the public that wanted to get away from anything that looked like war.

The military cameras were supposed to be destroyed, but many ended up at Burke and James with their tags missing and painted black. These were still around in the late 60s from B&J for $75 apiece

There are a few unconfirmed sitings of original black Graphic 45 cameras around.

The trouble is most of these Combat Graphics never saw combat...it was late in the war. So we've got Combat Graphics that weren't, and military Speeds that saw combat but can't be called a combat camera.

Even worse at least one batch of civilian Graphic 45s were drafted for Korea.

And if your're a die hard military fan you can't forget that the Speed war used during WWII as well as Korea and Vietnam. For WWI at least some of the Speeds and a lot of the Graflex 3a's were recovered in brown saddle leather.

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45PSS



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

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One day, make that night, after joining this site I was surfing a US Gov. web site when I came across a list of military nomenclature for equipement. It was there I found the info about cameras, and yes each branch has its own prefix. Its now a few hard drives later and I cannot find the file I saved or the link to the site.
Charles

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Don Miller



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 1
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have, and would be happy to share with you (if I could fighre out how), a photo of my Dad in fatigues holding what appears to be a 4x5 Graphic taken in the Phillipines in 1945. He was a US Army cinematographer and still photographer 1942-1945 (I have other photos of him with a movie camera, and another of their whole crew, including a military vehicle trailer lettered "Newsreel").

I also have a metal pin-back badge that was on his uniform (which I gave to Goodwill a few years back, sorry!) that says "Official US War Photographer" in brass letters on a black enamel ground.

Someone asked why they would need Graphics in a war setting. I have a lot of PR-type photos (generals & VIPs posed as if conferring, funerals, USO shows, etc.) that he took, so they were doing more than just lensing battle scenes (I have plenty of those, too; lots with dead bodies, others just more overviews of bomb or shelling damage, civilian collateral damage, etc.). His newsreel unit was on the USS Missouri filming the signing of the peace treaty that ended the war with Japan, and I have a couple of candids of Gen. MacArthur Dad shot (probably with a Graphic, they're 4x5 contact prints) while they were waiting for the Japanese delegation to arrive. I think they took and printed a lot of these as their own souvenirs. I also have various photos of his fellow photogs holding cameras.
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mmaselli



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 7
Location: So. Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to thank all who have added useful information to my inquiry. I was unable to log on for a while so am behind in thanks. Please feel free to add additional information. Mike
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willysmb



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 118
Location: France _ Europe

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2006-09-01 03:43, Dan Fromm wrote:
The signal corp started with PH-47 for the Speed and moved through the letters up to H although not all letters were used.


The difference between PH-47-E and PH-47-F is the lens provided with the speed Graphic.
PH-47-E was a 127 mm f./4.7 anastgmat Ektar or Velostigmat lens it covers an angular field 53°
PH-47-F was provided with a 5 1/2 inch f/4.5 anastigmat Paragon serie S lens it covers an angular field 49°mounted on No.3 Acme synchronized shutter.

No informations on PH-47-G
Ph-47-H was a Pacemaker (and C-45)
http://www.willysmb.com
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