2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Speed Graphic

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by zing, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. zing

    zing Member

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    Hellos, I have film holders and sheet film on the way! What I am wondering is what backs are available for it.

    I saw a post that said 22 and 23 backs are available. Will any 23 back fit or does it specifically call for a 23 back made for a 2 x 3 camera? I would like a back that holds several sheets of film at once and one to use 120 film with.

    I've asked a couple of sellers on a famous auction site and none of them knew for sure which back I needed.

    Is there a source for color sheet film or will I need to cut my own from larger film or should I use the 120 and be happy with it?

    And finally what is the thickness of the factory lens boards? My camera didn't come with one.

    These cameras are so awesome and I find myself looking at others before I've even shot the first film in it!!

    Thanks for any advice!!

    Bill
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    First off, for sheet film, if you're interested in FP4+, run don't walk to The View Camera Store to get in on the Ilford special order for FP4+ in this format, since the pre-order period is going to close at the end of the month, I believe. You can find their link in the "Sponsors" section. If you're not in the US, there are other dealers participating in the Ilford special order for custom sizes who can probably get the film, but The View Camera Store has been combining orders for this size in particular, so within the US or if you don't otherwise have a participating dealer in your country, it's probably easiest to use them.

    Color you'll have to cut down and most likely process yourself, so unless you're regularly doing that, rollfilm may be easier.

    You need backs made specifically for a 2x3 camera that uses a Graflok type attachment. Graphic and I think RB67 backs work, but not Linhof 23 backs.
     
  3. Ria

    Ria Member

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    There are roll film backs available for the 2x3 Graphics which are usable without modification if you have a "Graflock" back. This consists of two chrome pieces top and bottom on the back that unhook and allow the removal of the ground glass and focussing hood. There are two sliding brackets that will then attach an alternate back to the camera. If you do not have a Graflock back it is still possible to use other backs; but it would require some modifications, which, although not difficult, would make it unfeasible (in my opinion) to switch back and forth from cut film back to roll film back.
    Assuming that you have a Graflock back, there are available what are called "Grafmatic" backs which attach to the camera and hold 6 sheets of cut film in individual septums.
    A roll film back would need to be one designed for the small Graphic.
    As for the lens board, unless you have one of the earlier models of this camera, it will require a metal lens board with a lip that fits into a goove in the lens standard.
    You might want to check out graflex.org, it is an excellent source of information regarding these sorts of cameras.
    Ria
     
  4. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    The APUG link in sponsors section doesn't work. Try View Camera Store Also, for some reason they are not advertising Ilford FP-4 in 2 1/4X3 1/4 size. You need to call them to place this special order size.
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Zing, I second the motion that you should visit www.graflex.org and work your way through the FAQs.

    There are, practically speaking, two models of 2x3 Speed Graphic: Miniature Speed Graphic, 1938-1946; 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphic, 1947 - 1963 or so. These two have focal plane shutters. There are also two similar cameras without focal plane shutters: 2x3 Pacemaker Crown Graphic, 1947 - 1963 or so; Century Graphic, 1949 -1970. I mention them because people, especially eBay sellers, use the words "Speed Graphic" very loosely.

    The Mini Speed uses a stepped wooden board. I've never needed one, but people insist they're easy to make. Pacemakers, including the Century, use a metal board with a lip. One source for them is www.skgrimes.com.

    The Graflok back was introduced in 1949. The Century Graphic has an integral Graflok back; 1949 and later 2x3 Pacemaker Graphics offered the Graflok as an alternative to the standard spring back. Graflok backs were sold for retrofitting to earlier 2x3 Graphics. All of the backs for 2x3 Graphics interchange; I removed the Graflok now on my 1947 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphic from a Miniature Speed Graphic.

    Graflex offered 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 (6x6), 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 (6x7), and 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 (6x9) roll holders to fit 2x3 Graflok backs. These holders can't be used with a spring back.

    There is, though, a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 (6x9) roll holder that slips in like a sheet film holder and can be used on most, if not all, 2x3 press cameras with spring backs. Also on 2x3 Graphics with Grafloks. This is the Adapt-A-Roll 620. It was made for 620 film (same film and backing paper as 120, but on spools with narrower axles). The AAR 620 will feed perfectly well from a 120 spool but must take up on a 620 spool. I use AAR 620s because they will give 9 shots per roll instead of the usual 8 if loaded carefully. Since 620 spools are uncommon, I respool exposed film on to a 120 spool before sending it to the lab. That's what changing bags are for.

    There are no sources for 2x3 color sheet film. If you want 2x3 color sheet film, you'll have to cut down a larger size. Just use roll film.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan
     
  6. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Any idea of the price for FP4? The HP5 is $25.00 per 25 sheet box. I Glaziers going to put in an order for FP4?

    Curt
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2008
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Alas, it's also about $25 a box. Glazers is doing the TMY order. I don't know if they're also in on the Ilford order. You can e-mail Dennis at info@viewcamerastore.com to place an order with them.
     
  8. zing

    zing Member

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    Thank you all for the help! I looked very closely at the area where the bottom of a lens board will go and it looks like there will have to be an indention in the bottom center of the board for one to fit. It has a focal plane shutter also.

    Again,many thanks

    Bill
     
  9. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    It depends on the model. I have one that was made in the 40s, and it has a fixed back that will only take standard sheet film holders. Later models have Graflok backs, and they will accept roll film holders (6X6 and 6X9) also. I seem to recall that a Polaroid roll film back was briefly available, but the film for that has been unavailable for years.
     
  10. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Depends on which era 2x3 Speed you have. If wood, I usually make 1/4 inch thick boards with a 1/8 by 1/8 cutout on the edges. Metal, you need to look around for those.

    You need to get a graphmatic for your B&W 2.25x3.25 film, black and white only. If you have permanent spring type back, you need stay with B&W or cut your own.
    If you have a graflock back, 120 is the way.

    tim
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "What I am wondering is what backs are available for it."

    Spring back (Graphic back) or Graflok back. Maybe Graflex back as well, if I am remembering my terminology correctly...At any rate, the one you hope to get is the Graflok, as it takes the roll fim holders.

    "I saw a post that said 22 and 23 backs are available. Will any 23 back fit or does it specifically call for a 23 back made for a 2 x 3 camera? I would like a back that holds several sheets of film at once and one to use 120 film with."

    Yes, 22 and 23 rollfilm holders, and they have to be made for 2x3 format. There are also 4x5 and 3x4 ones, so watch out and get your measurements from sellers before buying.

    For several sheets of film at once, you can use a Grafmatic holder. Yet again, these are not the most common in 2x3 size. Make sure you get measurements first.

    Also, the later RH-designated lever-advance rollfim holders are reputed to hold the film more flat than the earlier knob-advance backs (22 and 23).

    "I've asked a couple of sellers on a famous auction site and none of them knew for sure which back I needed."

    I have no idea how these EBay fools even get a hold of this stuff, and given that they know nothing about it, how they even manage to sell it at all. Buyer beware. Know your stuff before bidding.

    "Is there a source for color sheet film or will I need to cut my own from larger film or should I use the 120 and be happy with it?"

    You will have to cut down your own from 4x5 sheets in absolute darkness. When I did it (once), I made a wooden template from a piece of factory-cut black and white film. It is not hard after a few tries, but you should only bother doing this if you will be doing individualized processing for each shot. For instance, if you want to push one shot one stop, pull another one stop, process one normal, etc. Otherwise, you are better off with the rollfilm backs. Even with rollfilm, you can carry three (or more) backs, each marked with a different development. It's worth the investment in multiple backs, IMO.

    "And finally what is the thickness of the factory lens boards? My camera didn't come with one."

    Pretty thin. They are sheet metal. The most important part is building the light trap properly. You can make them too thick and tape them on if you need to, but the light trap needs to align with the ridge on the front standard to keep light out. I would just buy one, as they are very cheap. Check out KEH.com for holders, rollfilm backs, and lensboards.

    If you decide you want a sweet 180mm Schneider Tele-Xenar lens for it some day, let me know. I might consider selling mine. I am loath to do so, but the truth is that I just don't use it much any more. Great headshot or landscape lens, and teles can come in handy on a Graflex.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2008
  12. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    2F,

    1.) Graflex backs are the slide type only. They are a special size.
    2.) I have 5 of these holders. they are very common.
    3.) Depends on the series of Speed. Earlier ones use wood boards, later ones use metal. I have both.

    tim in san jose
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2008
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks, Tim. I have had some trouble locating them myself in the past. I have one that was given to me by an instructor. I usually run across 4x5 ones only at the local camera swapmeet. I believe I have seen them at KEH, though, and if I were to dedicate myself to locating them, I'm sure they will turn up right in front of me!
     
  14. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    It's funny 2F, I had one.. then when I decided I like shooting these on my rb67, they all of a sudden appeared.

    Life is like that.

    tim
     
  15. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The lens boards for the Graflex 23 cameras, both Century Graphic and Speed Graphic, are rather special. They are stamped aluminum, about 3/64 inch thick, 2-1/2 inches square, with rounded corners. They are dish shaped, and the part perpendicular to the lens plane forms a light trap with the interior of the camera. It would be difficult to duplicate them. These boards were once common, but they are now hard to find.
     
  16. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    www.skgrimes.com will sell you as many boards as you want.
     
  17. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I bought a few boards for my Century Graphic a few years ago. I'm pretty sure I bought them from Midwest Camera Exchange. IIRC, they were pretty reasonably priced. Probably worth an internet search.

    If you can afford it, buy a few lens boards. I have acquired several lenses over the years that really shine on the Century. Besides the premium lenses (80/2.8 Xenotar, 105/3.5 Color Heliar) I use a Kodak Special Anastigmat (four element "uncoated ektar" from a Kodak Monitor) and a Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat (unmarked focal length -about 160mm/6.3) and a Tominon 135/4.5. Each lens gives a different effect, and are great fun to play with. I have one lens board left. I'm trying to decide whether or not to mount an 85/4.5 Apotar (an amazingly sharp triplet) on it.

    Rick.
     
  18. zing

    zing Member

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    Many thanks for all the helpful replies. The information and sources are much appreciated.
    I now have a second 2x3 camera complete with lens on a board, on the way!

    Bill
     
  19. Tempt f8

    Tempt f8 Member

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    First of all, let me say that I'm glad to find such a wealth of knowledge about 'all things film' on the APUG site. As a new member, I'll be stumbling around to find info concerning my new (old) purchase... a '45 Mini Speed Graphic (2 1/4 x 3 1/4) that must have been updated with a Graflok back. I've already purchased "23" 6x9 film backs that work nicely and still allow use of the ground glass, but here is the 'rub'... while the glass has been cleaned, it is still rather 'lifeless', so I'm thinking of upgrading to better glass. The question arises when I hear about fresnel & glass combinations being better, but since my old Graflex back only has space for one piece of frosted glass (2 1/4 x 3 1/4), I'm not sure if this type of upgrade is advisable or even possible. Any ideas about best (& BRIGHTER) glass replacement? Sorry if this has been covered in another thread...
     
  20. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    my 3x4 is older anniversay model withOUT a graflock, BUT you CAN do rollfilm with an "adapt-a-roll 620"...I have one of these and it works quite well with 120 film--you have to add a little washer out of craft store foam to get tension on the 120 spools---and must spool it ONTO 620 spools--but respooling a fresh roll from 120 to 620 is not necessary---it's a 6x9 / 6x7 / 6x6...6x anything, really back---it all depends on how far out you pull the darkslide---the index on the top is for 6x9 and 6x6 I believe--the frame counter

    anyway--they're all metal--heavy and NICE---it's all I've ever used with my 3x4 speed---make sure you find one for the 3x4--they also made adapt-a-rolls for 4x5 and 2x3!!!!!