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K 20 - serial # 9068

 
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Geraldine



Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Ucluelet BC

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: K 20 - serial # 9068 Reply with quote

Hi there. I have been searching the internet for information about the K-20. My fathered passed away several years ago now and this christmas my sister decided to pass this camera on to me the K-20 Serial #9068 The Folmer Graflex Corporation. I am very interested in obtaining information about this camera as well as how to use it. It currently has a roll of film in it, which has been there, I am guessing since WWII and there is another full roll, un opened. I would greatly appreciate any information and /or direction regarding this piece of equipment.
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Geraldine Carter - learning
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pv17vv



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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Geraldine, and welcome.

Fellow member Bruiser from Australia will surely have something to say.

Till then, have a look at his website.

http://graflex.coffsbiz.com/

and scroll down the page about military cameras.

Enjoy !

Georges
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bruiser



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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Geraldine,

The K-20 is fine for use as it was designed - an aerial camera. It is permanently focused on infinity but use of the smaller f-stops with bring the acceptable focus closer. I guess it could be used for landscapes and other photography but the noise of it firing would scare any wildlife!

The film in it and the spare are probably way out of date by now but these guys http://www.aerialphotolab.com/film_processing.htm sell and process long large format roll film.

Whether it is economically viable to shoot with is up to you of course but if the camera is functioning correctly it will certainly give great results. They are incredibly strong and reliable.

During WW2 Graflex made about 15,000 of the K-20 and three other manufacturers made about another 10,000 between them. Nearly every US bomber had at least one on board as well as the larger fixed cameras.

After the war many went into commercial aerial photography use and were still quite popular into the 1960s.

Cheers,
Bruce
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Geraldine



Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Ucluelet BC

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject: K-20 Reply with quote

Thank you both for the information and the links.
Is there any way to find out history of this particular camera using the serial number?
What about instructions or a manual? I would only be guessing if i tried to take the film out and to make use of it.
Any further information would be greatly appreciated.
thank you.
Geraldine
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Geraldine Carter - learning
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bruiser



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Geraldine,

Most of them were plated US Army Air Forces or US Navy. The Air Forces ones usually had a contract number starting with 42 or 43 and as far as I know that is usually the year of manufacture. I haven't seen any 41, 44 or 45 contract numbers but that doesn't mean they don't exist!

So it's pretty safe to say your camera was built during WW2 but where it served and any other history is guesswork, unless someone has penciled in a squadron number or ships name. Most WW2 equipment just entered the supply chain and was assigned to wherever it was needed, with serial numbers not often recorded.

Cheers,
Bruce
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Geraldine



Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Ucluelet BC

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: K-20 Reply with quote

Hi Bruce, thanks for that. I took another look and cannot see anything that would represent a year. The only thing penciled in is 'loaded 20 ft may 30. Old film, then a signature JW something' but no year.
Is it possible for you to give me basic directions on how to open and take out the old film? And how to load a new one and shot?
If it takes to much - no worries - but if it is not to difficult that would be great.
thanks again
Geraldine - Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, BC Canada
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Geraldine Carter - learning
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bruiser



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Geraldine,

That doesn't give away too many clues then! To remove the back, unscrew the knurled nut on the left side of the body (as viewed from the rear). It won't come right out so pull on it and slide the back off to the left. Depending on how long the camera has been sitting around it may take a little persuasion. You should then be able to see how the film is threaded from one spool to the other.

As for using the camera have a look at this post: http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=5604

Sending a personal message to Mike Turner, using the small 'pm' button at the bottom of the post, might get you plenty of information on actually using the camera as he sounds very experienced.

Have fun!

Cheers,
Bruce
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