Graflex conundrum

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Anton Lukoszevieze, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    I have wanted to try out a Graflex slr for sometime. Rather than spend big bucks from the start I bought one on ebay quite cheaply. I love it, it is a Series B 3x4, and in fine condition. It fits nicely in my shoulder bag and with 9 ddslides I am away on my bike. I also travel quite a bit and it is far easier to take compared to my Gandolfi :smile: . But, I am now looking toward up sizing to a 4x5 super d. My thoughts are that the availability of film is far larger, there are only 2 types of 3x4 as far as i can tell, and I can cut down other sizes, which can be laborious. etc..
    So my question is, should I stay at 3x4 or move up to 4x5? Not an earth shattering conundrum I know, but bugging me! Any Graflex slr users' thought gratefully received,
    Anton
     
  2. DBP

    DBP Member

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    All I can say is that the only thing that kept me from going the 3x4 route was that I wasn't willing to stock 3x4 in addition to 2x3, 9x12 cm, 4x5 and 5x7. But the 4x5's are relatively scarce and pricier, so I have neither so far.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I ended up with a 3x4, and I like the camera's size. I was unable to find 3x4 film holders with the requisite slots on the side, so through careful Ebaying, I found a 2x3 Graflex rollfilm back with the 3x4 sized baseplate. Now I can shoot all those wonderful various emulsions that exist in 120 rollfilm with it. The 4x5 Super D is quite pricey, even in beat-up condition. The upside of the Super D (in either size) is that it is capable of firing a flash. Some out there have been modified to fire electronic flash instead of old flashbulbs.

    Cutting down to 3x4 is pretty easy, actually, because although you have to make 2 cuts, they're both the same size - 3/4". Just set the cutter, make the first cut, and rotate the film and cut again. Unless you have a burning urge to spend a couple hundred pounds, I'd stick with the 3x4.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    4x5" gives you a lot more options and is a more significant improvement over 6x7cm than 3x4". I don't think I would get involved in shooting 3x4".
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    David- the actual film size is 4 1/4 x 3 1/4. Thus the need for two 3/4" cuts.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I realized that after I posted and edited my post.
     
  7. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    Thanks for the input.
    Scott, did you have any luck with a polaroid back on your 3x4? (as discussed in an earlier apug thread I read). Is the cu-5 /DS-34 adaption the only way to go?
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I haven't gone down that road quite yet - I'm actually considering butchering the Polaroid back I have from my Hasselblad (it's the NPC back, not the Hassy brand back) and adapting it so I can shoot 669 on it. It's just a matter of making a mount for it that will keep the film plane in the right place. I've got to get together with a mechanically inclined friend of mine who hacks up old Polaroid 110s and turns them into 4x5 rangefinders to work on this.
     
  9. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    This isn't a knock on David, but until you hold and shoot a 3x4 Graflex, you might not understand how almost perfect it feels. It's just... balanced. The film holders are a bit scarce. I have a half dozen, plus a 6x9 roll film holder and a bagmag. It all works.

    The size difference between 6x7 and 3x4 is still significant. The lack of film is a PITB, not likely to be resolved anytime soon. I do have enough for another year or two of shooting at my present rate, but I am up the creek if I ever drag out the Kalart Press Camera and start doing any serious work with it. It won't take the 120 back.

    So.. Try and find a 4x5 at a reasonable price. That film will be around for a good long while. I wouldn't give up your 3x4 though. It's a nice camera.

    tim in san jose
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Well Weston certainly did more interesting work with the 3x4" Graflex than he did with the 4x5", but I think there were other factors there.

    My 5x7" Press Graflex also feels pretty good. They're remarkably well balanced cameras. I haven't used a 4x5".
     
  11. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Tim has a good point, the 3x4 fits in the hands very well, by comparison the 4x5 feels like a big box. A 4x5 roll film holder, which are easier to come by can be cut down to fit the 3x4. A 4x5 Super D will go for a good chunk of change, a plain old Series D may be found at a more reasonable price. That's the thing with these cameras, you get one and then you find yourself with more before you know it. I now have 3.
     
  12. roodpe

    roodpe Member

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    Another option would be to modify your camera to use a 4x5 graflok back. A friend has such a camera (3=1/4x4-1/4 Speed Graphic). You do not get the full 4x5 image on the negative but you can still contact print or enlarge the neg. You combine the advantages of a smaller, lighter camera with standard 4x5 holders and 4x5 film.

    Pete
     
  13. paul ewins

    paul ewins Subscriber

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    If you adapted a 4x5 back to any of the 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 RB cameras theoretically you could almost get a 4x4 image in either orientation.
     
  14. roodpe

    roodpe Member

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    Paul,

    I was told the image is larger than 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 on the negative. I can find out the exact size if anyone is interested.

    Pete
     
  15. ineffablething

    ineffablething Member

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    I've had SK Grimes modify a shitload of 3x4 graflexes with 4x5 Grafloc backs. It's the only way to go.

    W.
     
  16. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone,
    i didn't know Weston used a 3x4, that is interesting, I knew Stieglitz used a 4x5. I am inspired to only upgrade to a 3x4 super d with an ektar lens :smile: on order. The 3x4 does feel good to hold. Not sure about upgrading the rear to a 4x5 graflock back. I have 8 3x4 graflex holders and 3 plate holders, in mint condition, I like using them.