3x4 Graflex RB Series D

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by mfobrien, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

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    I have the same camera -- it was a gift about 5 years ago. My only hint is to make sure that you have the shutter tensioned at the right setting. Mine has the graflock back, so I also have a Singer rollfilm adapter for 6x9 size negs. Pretty amazing camera, and of course, anyone seeing you operate it will be very curious about it.
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey jay

    i have the 4x5 version of your camera :smile:
    it is a really fun camera to use, but kind of awkward at times.
    it is a pleasure to look down the chimney and see and image right side up, but the trade off is remembering to stop down after you focus (if you don't shoot wide open that is), and to remember to re-wind the shutter after you expose.

    not sure how much your mirror 'slaps', but you can release the mirror without the shutter if you want to ... i know mine makes a heck of a racket when it goes up ... when you store it, make sure all your tensions are "0"'ed out, you'll stretch out the springs....

    good luck!
    -john
     
  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Jay, you may want to watch on eBay for a bag mag or two instead of converting it to use regular holders. 12 shots in one holder is a nice thing to have. With my 2 bag mags I have 24 shots before reloading anything. Now if the J&C 400 would hurry up and arrive in 3x4....
     
  4. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    My bag mags work great but dust in the bag can be a problem. However once properly cleaned they are fine
    Mark
     
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Jay, I have one which is perfect and another which needs to have the leather replaced. Jon (Nanian) said he had his leather replaced by a shoe repair place (I believe).
     
  6. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I have an earlier version of the same camera in 3x4 and am waiting for film to show up before I'm out with it. My lens is a Bausch and Lomb, probably a 150, but there's no markings on it. I considered the bag mag but I like film holders. That way I can shoot differerent speeds and flavors when I want. I'll be Ziatype contact printing mine.

    Congrats. Maybe we should get a club going inside APUG?
     
  7. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    So now I know who outbid me on this one earlier today. :smile: If it's at all in good shape, I do think you will still have gotten a good deal on it. I ended up buying the quarter-plate "B" offered by the same seller, that closed a few minutes later.

    I agree that it's a very cool format. I've accumulated a small handful of Graflex-type holders, and am looking forward to giving this contraption a try...
     
  8. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I'll have to put mine to work this week and grab some shots with it. Mine really needs a new SatinSnow glass added to it for anything outside of bright light, though.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yup -

    i had my bag replaced by an place in boston that repairs and makes leather-goods. not so much shoes, but handbags, hats, nice coats &C ...
    it was years ago, not sure if they are still in business ...
    but just the same, there must be a place near you, just make sure that they do a "lightproof stitch" ..

    - john
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    jay

    i'm not sure about the smaller formats, but the 4x5 version's holders are a little bigger than a standard film holder. i have often thought of making an edge that i can slide my standard film holders into, to make them the same size as a graflex holder ( with grooves and all ) but i never got around to do it ... should be easy to do though, kind of stays on the camera, and using friction keeps the holder in place .... gaffer tape works wonders too -- thanks ross lowell! ( i use that to keep my polariod-back on the camera :smile: )

    have fun!
    -john


     
  11. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    No sweat. You got the D, I got the B, and we both paid very little. What's not to like? Will look forward to hearing of your adventures with it...
     
  12. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Yep, I have a 3x4 rb also. I have a half dozen graflex holders, as well as a dozen of the type 5 standard 3x4 holders. The standard ones fit my speed and kalart press cameras as well as my 1926 Trona with a spring back attachment. When I use up the dozen sheets of film in the Graplex holders on a shoot, I switch to a 6x6 graplex roll film hoilder and adjust my shooting eye or I switch cameras.

    It's a great camera. I feel like Weston when I take it out and shoot, especially on 17 mile drive near Carmel.

    tim in san jose
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    cool beans jay!

    sounds like you have one nice camera :smile:
    oh - you can remove the chimney by tilting it at least in the bigger
    ones, there are clips that hold it on to the camera. you'll then see
    a few screws and a piece of metal that hold the glass in place.

    don't seem like i need to say
    "have fun"

    so i'll say "don't forget to (re)wind"

    - john
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Bag mags are great, and are simple to use. You take the shot, pull the rod on the bottom to move the septum most of the way into the bag and then pull it the rest of the way with your hand using the bag, and then slide the septum into the back of the stack. One attraction of bag mags over Grafmatics is that the bag mags load from the back, so that if you don't shoot the whole stack, you can easily remove the exposed sheets from the back of the magazine, without disturbing the unexposed sheets.
     
  16. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    I have, and love, a 3x4 Graflex, too. The Super D model has two advantages over the older ones, namely a Kodak Ektalite ground glass (Fresnel screen), and a semi-automatic diaphragm (which is a damn good thing, since it's nearly impossible to reach, or even see, the aperture ring). Two of my three bag-mags were still NOS in their original boxes -- sometimes the lifter rod sticks and they have to go to the darkroom. Many were sold with the semi-auto 190mm Ektar (from the 4x5 model) for portrait use. I always wanted one, but they go for big bucks on ebay when they do (rarely) come up. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine.
     
  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    That's what I plan on going with, I just need to get some funds together first.
     
  18. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Welcome to the world of the graflex slr! I have a D 4x5 and an RB auto 3x4. These are great cameras, a lot of fun to work with and work on, I've repaired various things on mine, reset the shutter tension etc, you'll find they are very simple and friendly to work on yourself. There are some great lenses out there to play with, and often quite reasonable as they don't have shutters. A graflex gallery would be great, I'd put some stuff up there. I use grafmatics with the 4x5, and some regular holders, and I have a roll film back for the 3x4. I've also used a bag mag in the past, but not recently. Make sure the bag is clean, and the inside of the camera too, they can get pretty dusty. If you haven't seen it already, check out Graphic Graflex Photography by Morgan and Morgan. You may be able to find it at your library. A good resource and insight into how things were done in the 40's.
     
  19. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Jay, I rarely have equipment envy but you are making things hard for me!
     
  20. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    Well, my B just arrived. It needs to be cleaned, and at this point I don't know whether the shutter timing is even remotely correct, but the glass is in decent shape and the mechanical functions basically seem to work, so it should be possible to start making pictures with this contraption with relatively modest effort.

    This looks like it's going to deliver a very high fun/$ ratio...
     
  21. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Jay, what film are you going to use?
     
  22. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I'm a fan of Efke100 in 3x4 (mostly because I have 500 sheets left in the freezer), but I am hoping the J&C400 gets back into stock soon as I the faster shutter speeds with the big camera would be nice.

    I think Jay is using J&C200, right?
     
  23. mediumformatphoto

    mediumformatphoto Member

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    Here's my favorite: my 3x4 Super D. These are awesome cameras in that they really were designed to be used handheld, and the big viewing chimney gives you a good look even in bright sun.

    Mine has a 161mm f4.5 Kodak Anastigmat (#33), the precursor to the Ektar. It's a darn fine lens. The number one reason to get a Super D is the auto-stop down feature, which is truly nice. I often shoot medium format film in this camera since I have two roll film backs, and it's just a blast.

    The second image I took on rollfilm with the Super D in January - handheld at 1/100th I think.
     

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  24. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I think we need to refresh this thread with some images made with our Graflex SLRs. I know Matt just bought a Super D (lucky guy!) and we need to make sure he is inspired when he's ready to shoot :smile:

    I'll even kick it off, this was a grab shot with the 3x4 series D on Efke100 w/ a 165mm f/3.5 Zeiss Tessar (at f/3.5). It kind of gives an idea of how Andrew and I were both feeling at the time.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. ineffablething

    ineffablething Member

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    Graflex 3x4 Super D, modified with a 4x5 graflock back. Cooke 165mm f2.9 lens.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    This makes me want to go home and go shoot more!

    165mm zeiss f/3.5 wide open. Palladium print.

    [​IMG]