Adding Graflok Back to R.B Graflex (Super D)

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Fragomeni, May 16, 2011.

  1. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

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    Ok, so this is apparently a pretty common mod to the R.B. Graflex cameras (specifically the 4x5 and becoming more common now the 3x4) yet I have not seen any tutorials for how to do it. I know Lens and Repro in NY will do it (for a hefty price) and I know there are places to send your camera but what about instructions for those who like to do it themselves.

    I'm curious as to what exactly is involved to do this to a 4x5 Super D. Is is so extensive that it is really only practical to send it out to have it done? I've heard that the Graflok back off of a Super Speed Graphic will fit directly onto a Super D, is this true?

    Anyway, can someone please provide some detailed insight into this endeavor? Thank you.
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    francesco -

    i might be mistaken, but
    the super d's HAVE a graflok back already ...
    the earlier ones, d-series have a graphic back.

    i haven't modified mine, i really saw no need to do it
    because film holders and bag magazines are so plentiful,
    and polaroid and roll film adapters "tape" on the back with no trouble.

    you might want to ask your question over on graflex.org there are people who do it there
    and they can tell you about the shims ...

    good luck !
    john
     
  3. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Although a graflok was an option for the super d, factory versions are rare. It's not a difficult mod, but you give up the rotating feature. Sk Grimes can do it, for those less brave.
     
  4. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

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    Nope, very few Super D's left the factory with Graflok backs. Its a common mod however hence my question.

    Erikg, what do you mean you lose the rotating feature? I've seen the mod done where the rotating back still functioned.

    Anyway, I don't think I'll end up doing it anyway. I have a Grafmatic back, Bag Mag, and 6x9 Rollfim back that fit it just fine so why render them useless. I've got my Fuji PA145 instant pack film holder to fit like a glove by using to hair bands to hold it in place so no worries there. Although it would be more convenient to have the graflok back I was more curious as to why I'd never seen instructions on how to do the mod since it is so common. Oh well, Im happy with it as it is :smile:
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Bert at graflex.org is a retired Graflex and Graphic repairman. Contact him, he built the conversion adapter for me.

    Steve
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks!
    i have only seen them with graflok backs
    and never knew they didn't all have them ...

    bert is the best !
    john
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Because Bert made the adapter for me, I can move Grafmatic 45s and two sided film holders back and forth between my Graflex Model D and my Pacemaker Speed Graphic.

    Steve
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sounds useful !
    while i met bert back when i got my series D .. but he wasn't the
    person who was local that did the mod's ... the fellow
    in the loft below me had a 3x4 graflex and the local guy
    had 2 massive strokes as he mated a 4x5 back on the 3x4 camera
    ( he wanted to do full frame 3x4 images on 4x5 55p/n film.
    seeing this local repair guy was not in any shape to modify my camera ...
    i ended up buying slotted film holders and bag-mags instead :smile:
    now i have shelves full of wooden, and plastic film holders, bag mags and grafmatics
    bag mag plate holders, unslotted plate holders and lastly a 22 + 23 roll film backs that i
    should share between my other 4x5s and the series D ... but i only use on the series D ...
    the polo 545i (i gave to someone for a project), and roll backs all tape well on
    so i realized my savings was well spent :smile:
    tape is cheap, modifications cost $$ :wink:
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The price that Bert gave me was not high. You will have to email him and ask.

    Steve
     
  10. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I did a slight mod to my graflex RB that allowed it to accept regular double-darkslides or graflmatics.
    I will see if I still have the instruction pics i took. Its really really easy and did not destroy the back. Just a snip here and there. it will still accept slotted holders just fine.
     
  11. BobCrowley

    BobCrowley Subscriber

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    Most of the Super Ds came without Grafloks, but they can be added by machining a Graflok back down to fit into the existing rotating back. You do not lose the rotating feature. One has to shim up the ground glass about 1.2mm to compensate for the slight change in distance, but infinity focus is preserved as the native focus has a bit of over travel.

    If you supply the back and the camera, then I think a service charge ought to be about $3-400 to do this, as it will take about 4-5 hours for a nice neat job. You could also do it yourself.

    I have one that I did at http://imagemeister.blogspot.com that you can look at.

    Bob

    http://new55project.blogspot.com
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That is much more than I paid Bert to make one for me.

    Steve
     
  13. BobCrowley

    BobCrowley Subscriber

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    Then you should thank him again.
     
  14. BobCrowley

    BobCrowley Subscriber

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