Easy Modification for Graflex

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by JeffBishop, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. JeffBishop

    JeffBishop Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi, I've got a couple Graflex 4x5's. One is the Graphic View and the other is a Speed Graphic.

    I wanted to be able to use instant film for light and composition and had the Polaroid 545 holder. The film was far too expensive for me, getting only 20 sheets for nearly $65. seemed extreme.

    So I decided to try the Fuji PA-45 instant film back, because the Fuji film is so much lower in price.

    Anyone familiar with the Graphic View knows that these holders simply do not fit.

    I modified the Graphic View (this would work for the Speed Graphic as well) to accept the Fuji Instant Film back. It was actually quite simple.

    Here's how I did it, in case anyone wants to try this...

    1) Remove the two small screws located in the center of the leaf springs for the back.

    2) Buy longer screws to replace those two with, but 1.5 inches long.

    3) Buy a #421 spring, and cut it in half.

    4) With a dremel tool, grind off the threads on half the screw (head side).

    5) Now, slide screw through the snipped coil spring, and then through the leaf spring, and anchor into the hole there for it; but leave it extended about 1/2 inch out of the back.

    6) Do the same with the other screw.

    End result, is that the back will open further because there's much more room for the leaf springs to accomodate the extra movement.

    The smaller coil springs act as helper springs, holding the leafs tighter towards the camera for regular film holders and to insure the ground glass is secured snug to the camera. (This will prevent focus problems because the glass might not be seated properly).

    I can't figure out how to upload an image, but will gladly email anyone the sketch of this simple modification, which BTW, cost me $1.10 to perform.
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Jeff,

    But I have been doing this very thing on my views for many years now and using pack films on my View 1 and View II cameras...

    Dave
     
  3. JeffBishop

    JeffBishop Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I wish someone had told me how to do this and saved me the trouble figuring it out. I guess I re-invented the wheel, so-to-speak?

    This really does work good. I like the idea of getting 4 10-sheet packs of film (delivered) for a little more than $37.00 too!
     
  4. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If I remember right, we all had a big disscussion about it over on the graflex.org website several years ago, I was in the same situation you were and learned it myself as well, if your shooting graphics, the graflex site is a great place to get information.

    Myself, when using pack films, I love the Fuji 100 FP it is a great instant film.

    Dave
     
  5. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    2 questions: Where did you get your holder? B&H lists the Fuji holder price above the Polaroid holder price by $27.50. You overseas?
     
  6. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

    Messages:
    216
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Orleans,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I probably shouldn't comment for lack of direct user experience, but I was under the impression that the 3.25x4.25 pack film does not require a Fuji dedicated holder. Is this correct?
    The Fuji instant color film that I've seen from a friend's proofs totally eclipses the color fidelity of Polaroid's comparable color pack films. And as pointed out, in 4x5 they're a fraction of the cost. Wish Fuji could make something similar to Type 55 with a negative in 4x5 sheet form.

    Btw, found the answer with a little tooling around on the net.
    The 3.25x4.25 pack film from Fuji does not need a dedicated holder. I think most knew that, but I wasn't sure.
    And, supposedly the Fuji 4x5 pack film will work in a Polaroid 550 pack film holder.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2006
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Fuji pack films were designed specifically to fit the corresponding Polaroid holders; the only Fuji instant films that are proprietary are one or two formats of integral films that fit Fuji-made cameras that aren't officially sold in North America (though it's sometimes possible to find the cameras and film).

    BTW, if you search around, you can probably find the Fuji films for 1/3 less than the best price on Polaroid. I'd hate to see 667 disappear, but if Fuji keeps making their BPF-3000 in the 3x4 size, I'll still be able to feed my old 350 and my 210 pinhole conversion...

    Given I can still buy T55 new, if I borrow against my car, I'd rather see Fuji field a replacement for 665...
     
  8. JeffBishop

    JeffBishop Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format

    I got mine from the o-boy site for $39.00 from Japan. Had it shipped to the US.