Graphic "Riteway'' Film Holders
Standard two-sheet film holders.
Grafmatic Film Holders
Graphic Film Pack Adapter
Roll Film Backs
Adapt-A-Roll Film Holders
The Grafmatic holder (not to be confused with the obsolete Graphic Pack Film holders), will hold size sheets of film in one container. The sheets are held in individual steel widgets referred to as "septums." As of early 1997, the going prices were advertised as high as $80-$120, but many individuals report sale prices less than that for holders in good condition.
Graflex made Grafmatic holders for Graflex-back cameras, which are a different size and have a slot instead of ridges for a light-trap on the film-plane side, so make sure you are getting one for a Graflok back. Also, watch out for bent septums, and don't force them in or out. Try practicing loading and unloading in the light, with spent film or developed sheets to get the hang of it.
Grafmatic backs have a megnetically activated numbering wheel. It impints on the film and image of a segment of a circle with a number in it. Some people find this distracting; if you do, you can remove the wheel fairly easily.
The Grafmatic holders are not difficult to use, but there are some subtleties:
Warning: 4"x5" 16 Exposure Pack Film (Tri-X, etc.) is no longer available.
Operation and packaging seem similar to a Polaroid Pack Film back.
The dark slide for the 2"x3" holder is the same as the dark
slide for the 2"x3" roll film holders,
so they can be good replacement sources.
There were two sets of models: the numbered series and the RH series. The numbered series includes the Graflex "22" (2-1/4" sq.) and the Graflex "23" (2-1/4 x 3-1/4, though there was some variation +/- 1/4" in various models.) In the later RH series, there were 3 image sizes: RH-12 (2.25" sq), RH-10 (2.25x2.75") and RH-8 (2.25x3.25") and holders were made for 2.25x3.25, 3.25x4.25 and 4x5" cameras with either Graflok or Graflex backs. The RH-20 appears to be the only back designed for 220 film (2-1/4 x 2-3/4).
The later Rochester-made Graphic roll film backs (with the lever wind, usually marked Singer-Graflex or "Rapidvance") hold the film flatter than Cambo or Calumet backs do; if you like to use wide apertures you might find this significant. By and large, the lever wind units have the rollers and the knob wind version do not, although there are exceptions. The non-roller units do not hold modern film flat: it bows approximately 3/32" towards the film, causing shallow focus at low F/stops. These units are to be avoided.
There may also be a slight overall difference in the film plane between my non-roller and roller versions (at least sometimes).
Horseman has current production Graflok roll-film holders. Since the Mamiya RB67 has a 2x3" Graflock back, you can use can take Mamiya roll film holders on a 2x3" Graphic with a Graflok back. Calumet sells non-Graflok roll film holders, but some people rate the lever-wind Singer-Graflex holders flatter.
A warning for those considering purchasing 3x4" cameras: a conversation with WD Service about this revealed that there were no roll-film backs mounted on 3x4" inserts with the pin-rollers so critical for film sharpness. The problem may be subtle and hard to deduce at first because it might appear to be just field curvature or some aberration.
The following table lists a number of the Roll Film backs made by Graflex. Manufacturers may be listed as Graflex, Singer Graflex, or General Precision Graflex. Not all roll film backs are listed.
|2-1/4" x 2-1/4"||120||12||"22" Graphic||Knob|
|2-5/16" x 3-1/8"||120||8||"23" Graphic||Knob|
|2-1/4" x 3-1/4"||120||8||"23" Graphic||Knob|
|2-1/4" x 3-1/4"||120||8||RH-8||Lever|
|2-1/4" x 2-3/4"||120||10||RH-10||Lever|
|2-1/4" x 2-1/4"||120||12||RH-12||Lever|
|2-1/4" x 2-3/4"||220||20||RH-20||Lever|
|2-1/4" x 2-3/4"||70mm||50||RH-50||Lever|
|405||Plastic||3.25x4.25 pack film|
|550||Plastic||4x5" pack film|
|545||Steel/brass, black enamel||4x5" sheet film|
|545i||ABS plastic, lighter, supposedly improved||4x5" sheet film|
|An advantage of the 545 and 545i sheet film
holders is that they allow you to choose any film for any shot, and
not be stuck with the same film for a full pack (8 or 10 shots).
Useful if you're shooting 100 then 400, and want to use the same
speed test Polaroid. Ditto for color vs. B&W.
In 1995, used 545 film holders sell for about $90-$120.
The 545 sometimes needs cleaning and maintenance in the field. See S.K. Grimes' article on the subject.
You can use the Polaroid film holder for Fuji QuickLoad film holders, and for Kodak Readyload film; however, many people report problems. The Fuji Film QuickLoads work better in the Poloroid holder than the Kodak films, which tend to jam, but the film positioning seems to be off in both.
|Polaroid Type 55 B&W film (Polapan 100)
produces quick prints with an ISO of 80-160, depending on
Polaroid Type 57 B&W film (ISO 3000!) is quite a surprising film.
See Polaroid's Web page for more information on their peel-apart sheet and pack films. While you're there, consder trying some fun things with Polaroid film in your Speed Graphic, such as image transfer or emulsion transfer.
Warning: Avoid the Type 500 sheet film holder, which was last made in 1969 and is incompatible with current film. It won't engage the dark slide catch, though some people have reported being able to use the 500 holder after some experimentation.
The Fuji QuickLoad back is designed to accept Fuji QuickLoad holders, which each hold one sheet of film.
The Fuji QuickLoad holder and back combination seems to be more reliable than the Kodak pair, but the film and the holder are both more expensive, and bulkier (one sheet per holder vs. two).
Fuji offers an array of positive and color negative films in Quickload Holders, but no black & white films in the US. (In Japan they sell Neopan Commercial, an EI 80 general purpose film. As of 2005, also sell Acros 100, at a 3x price over color film.)
You cannot use Kodak Readyload film in a Fuji QuickLoad holder; it tends to jam.
Polaroid film cannot be processed in a QuickLoad holder.
Fuji QuickLoads seem to work well in the Poloroid holder, but the film positioning may be off some.
The Kodak Readyload back is designed to accept Kodak Readyload holders, which each hold two sheets of film. You expose one side, pull out the holder and flip it over, and then expose the other side.
Readyload packets work much better in the Kodak holders than in the Fuji QuickLoad or Polaroid holders. Make sure you have the latest Readyload holder: earlier ones had many more problems, and Kodak has replaced at least some of the early ones for free. If you look very closely near the opening where you insert the film packet, you will see a very small Roman Numeral III on the latest holders. You need to search a bit to find it.
Many people have reported light leaks with Kodak Readyload packets. Assuming you have the latest holder, light leaks generally result from not getting the paper packet firmly pressed in to the metal clip at the end. Barry Sherman suggests the following method: after the exposure, hold down the release button, firmly slide the paper packet into the clip, then move the complete packet a couple of inches (the clip end stays in the holder) and slam it back against the far end of the holder a couple of times. You can expect at most one or two leaks from about 100 Readyload packets this way, at least with the yellow packets. You can also look closely at cardboard going into the metal clip after you remove the Readyload from the holder. If you can see any space between the cardboard and the clip, you will probably have a light leak (this gives you a chance to re-expose the image on a different Readyload). It is said that the newer black packets have less problems than the older yellow packets, as the metal clip was re-designed.
Kodak offers an array of positive and color negative films in Readyload holders. For black & white, they offer TMAX 100.
Polaroid film cannot be processed in a Readyload holder.
The Adapt-A-Roll film holder
accepts 620 film, but can be cajoled into taking 120. Its main
advantage that it can be used with 2x3 Graphics with Graflex backs,
as an alternative to cut film.
Adapt-a-Roll holders were also made for 4x5'' cameras.
An advantage of the Graflarger back is that it is an inexpensive way to print 4x5 negatives without having to buy (or store) a real 4x5 enlarger. A disadvantage is that the cold-light head does not produce the same response with multigrade papers as does a tungsten source (regular enlarger), and that it cannot work with color materials. Some people have reported success with multigrade papers, although with a shift towards lower contrast.
While difficult to locate, a Graflarger back sells for $90-$150, depending on its condition and whether it has all the components (negative carrier, head & power supply, stand, base).
Graflarger backs were made in 2x3, 3x4, and 4x5 sizes.
Civilian flashes are chrome or aluminum, and military are matte black. Kalart and Heiland also made compatible flashes, and Graflex made two different series of flash units: the Graflex series, and the Graflite series. The later Graflite series is more functional, and is described in the brochure for Graflites with some accessories for the Graflites.
Listed below are some Graflex Graflite series flash parts.
|2747||Graflex 7" Reflector (large screw-base lamp socket for GE #11, GE #22, and Sylvania Press 40 bulbs)|
|2749||Graflex 5" Reflector (large lamp socket to small bayonet lamp socket right angle converter, for GE #5/Sylvania Press 25 bulbs, etc)|
|2773||Graflex Synchronizer Battery Case (3 D-Cells)|
|2712||Graflex Side Lighting Unit (large lamp socket)|