Graflex 4X5 12 shot "bag mag" question

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bobfowler, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    One of these old beasties recently came into my possession. The magazine itself is in good shape, as are the septums. The leather, on the other hand, has numerous tears in it and leaks light like crazy. Has anyone ever done a bag replacement job on one of these? If you didn't use leather for the bag, what was your material of choice?
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Bob,
    Although I haven't used/rebuilt one of them critters I would look at darkroom blackout cloth or perhaps sacrifice an old changing bag. That should give you a material with enough flexibility to work.
     
  3. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Hey Bob, I've wondered about those things - what do they fit? I've seen them in auctions for the old reflex cameras, and I guess they're pre-Graflok ... do they take a Graphlex mount, or fit in place of a spring back?

    Nathan
     
  4. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    A couple of people on graflex.org have replaced the bag. One with leather as I remember. It might be worth asking there, or just do a search for bagmag leather as this has been discussed already there...

    The other concern. Is it a film bagmag or a plate bagmag??? They are very similar...
     
  5. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    It'll fit a Graflok back (focus panel off, of course).

    Thanks Rich. You were right, I found an answer. Seems that rubberized darkroom black-out cloth is the material of choice. Mine is a film holder. The septums are a bit different than those for a Grafmatic, but are easy to load.
     
  6. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    Great. I found out about the plate version after buying a box of septums for a grafmatic. It was cheap enough and I'm a collector enough that I didn't care all that much, so I didn't notice they were numbered from 1 to 12... Then I found out they didn't fit my bagmag either... Then, I noticed "Plate" stamped on the box ;-) I have yet to find a plate bagmag to go with them, but they are out there...

    Good luck with it. They are very interesting...
     
  7. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Yeah, the film septums have a piece of black cardboard in them - kinda strange, but they work.
     
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    Bob:

    I've never heard of a bag mag that fits a Graflok back. All the ones I've ever seen or owned were for the Graflex back, which was used on the Graflex SLR cameras, and was an option of the Speed Graphics as well, but definately NOT a Graflok back, so you might want to check again. (Unless of course somebody modified it at some time to fit a graflok back, that's always a possibility)

    -Mike
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Often they are replaced with nylon bags. When I contemplated replacing the bag on my 5x7" plate mag, I was just going to cannibalize a small changing bag for it, but it turned out only to need a small patch, which I did with some thin leather and Pliobond.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    bob -

    a handful ( maybe 7 or 8 ) years ago i had the leather on my bagmag replaced.
    just found the name & address:

    Designers the Leather Clothiers
    106 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 720-3967

    they charged something like $30.00 and the service was worth every penny.

    - john
     
  11. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Sorry, I should have mentioned it was modified...

    It fits!
     
  12. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    Did they do the actual disassembly/reassembly of the bag mag, or just make the new bag? I have a couple of bag mags that could use new bags, but I'm real lazy about taking things apart, and prefer to send off the whole unit, and get it back with new bag already attached.

    -Mike
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    mike - -

    i took the leather off of the box ( a handfull of screws?) and showed them the bag. they made a new one for me with a "lightproof stitch?" and i put it back together once i got back home.
    i am sure if you have a seamstress/tailor that works with leathergoods, you can do it close to home. to be honest, it has been nearly a decade since i had it done and i don't live in bean-town anymore, so i don't even know if this person is still around. i found him after looking "tailor / leathergoods" up in the yellow pages ... the ony one i called, and i think there were a bunch more ...

    good luck!

    -- john
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I completely disassembled my 5x7" bag mag to clean it and lubricate the moving parts. There's nothing mysterious in there. It's pretty easy to take apart and reassemble.
     
  15. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I got a plate mag a while back for plate work and I need to have it fixed too....

    Bit first off....

    How do these things work?
     
  16. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Bag mags arte a bit different in operation from Grafmatics. It's easier to understand if you have one in front of you. This is assuming that the darkslide end is pointing to the right...

    Unsnap the restraining stap on the right end of the mag so that the bag can be unfolded.

    On the bottom of the mag, right by the darkslide, is a "D" ring attached to a moving rod. Pulling that rod out draws the exposed film/plate septum out of the image area and into the bag.

    Grasp the septum (yup, bag and all) and move it to the rear of the magazine and insert it in the back slot. This puts it in the back of the stack.

    You have to be REAL careful that you don't damage the bag with the sharp edges of the septums. Leather will tend to shrink a bit over time and many of these bag mags REALLY need new bags. I plan on making a slightly oversized bag for mine.
     
  17. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    It's really hard to find leather thin enough to do these. I made a new bag from rubberized cloth, similar to that available from Porter's. I would suggest, if making a new bag, that you line it with some kind of tear resistant material. Some of the original bags were lined with wool fabric. There did not seem to be any particular model change to account for this. Perhaps a military issue. To use plate holders with sheet film, try to round up some old glass plates (eBay), insert them with the emulsion underneath, or remove it, and slide the film in on top of the glass. That will easily put your film in registration. If you really want to go high class, keep a lookout for an 18 sheet bag mag. I have one for my 3X4 Speed and I can shoot for a week.
     
  18. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    Hi there,

    Robert Kennedy:
    from the instructions that came with one of mine;

    "Caution:
    When loading the magazine be careful to place septums holding films or plates with the closed ends towards the changing bag. "

    Practice moving the film/septums thru the cycle a few times to get used to it. Be careful not to handle the film while moving it thru.

    Good luck with it.