Graflex Series D...

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ChristopherCoy, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I went to a local antique shop, and they had this on the shelves. Apparently it was bought along with a hundred or so other cameras from a collectors estate. It has NOT been tested for working conditions. However I thought it looked like it was in fairly good condition.

    It's priced at $350. I haven't bought it but I'm contemplating it.

    I'm going to go do some research on it now, but I wanted to get some input from those of you who may have one or currently use one.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347474134.376137.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347474148.061868.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347474161.732058.jpg
     
  2. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Be prepared to replace the shutter curtain. Other than that, lot of fun as walk-around camera. And lot of exercise as well :smile:
    The hood looks to be OK.
     
  3. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    From the photos it appears that the lamb's wool on the viewfinder is intact. This camera was well cared for. I would bet most of the functions work.

    Check to see what size film it takes. Series D was made in at least 4 different sizes.
     
  4. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    It's a 4x5 I think. The lens is a Tessar 4x5, or at least that's what it states...


    How would I test the shutter? Should I test the shutter? I'm not a big fan of the you break you buy policy.


    Are the expensive to repair?
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's an RB, (rotating back) series D Graflex. I had one, and they're a ball to use. The shutter curtain may be good, may not. It's about the only weak point. Better go to the Gaflex site for particulars, mine is long gone and I'll leave out some important step on setting the shutter speeds. Looks like the 3 1/4x4 1/4 version.
     
  6. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I shoot with these. I would just take a look at the shutter curtain, I wouldn't wind anything unless I was prepared to buy. Take the film pack holder off and look at the cloth. It is a rubberized material, if it seems smooth and flat and still flexible (as best as you can tell) then the camera probably can be made operational fairly easily. If the curtain seems dry and cracked, then I would walk away unless you want more of a project.
     
  7. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Well, yeah, for the project and 3x4 $350 is a bit too much as well.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i also have a seris d rb
    best 5x4 camera i own, lots of fun
    perfectly weighted and easy to work on
    if you need to retime the shutter on your own.

    i would ask the owner of the shop to give you a "demonstration"
    of the shutter, so if there is a problem it is on his dime ..
    sometimes the metal edges on the slots get bent and jammed up
    so the shutter doesn't wind ...
    if the shutter was stored wound up, there might be some issues too
    with the master spring being stretched. but that is easy to deal with
    when you retime the mechanism ...

    have fun !
    john
     
  9. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    The lens says its a 4x5, what makes y'all believe this is a 3x4? Not that I don't trust you, I'm just curious so that I'll know for futures sake.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it could just be a larger lens the owner put on the camera
    it wouldn't be hard to figure out what format it is, measure the opening
    of the film pack ... or the back of the camera.
    film holders for that type of graflex are bigger than "modern"
    film holders, they are slotted. there are grafmatic backs, and bag magazines
    that are made for that camera as well as adapt a roll roll film holders ...
    if it is a 3x4 sometimes the film holders &c are difficult to find, 4x5, not so hard ...

    good luck !
    john

    if you buy it, look around for a dead version of the same camera so you have
    something to steal parts from ...
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Because it looks just like the 3x4 I had. Lenses can be changed.
     
  12. erikg

    erikg Member

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    It's hard to tell in a picture. Lenses get swapped around a lot on these, although it was common to have a slightly longer than normal lens mounted, I have a 4x5 that came with a "5x7" tessar on it, but that lens was a good bit older than the body. If you are familiar with both size cameras you can tell just by picking it up but the best way to tell is to measure the back or a holder. 3x4 is a nice size for hand holding, very easy to manage.
     
  13. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I'm back at the store. Sign on the door says "back in 10 minutes". I'm going to ask to take the back off and look at the curtain and also measure the opening.

    Thanks for all your help. More pics to come.
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Offer $200.
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Ask that it be demonstrated by the seller to you. If seller is unwilling, make a low-ball offer.
     
  17. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    Ok, it's a 3x4. I took the back off and looked at it. He said I was welcome to "click" it, but I chose not to. Here are some more photos. It looks like it was stored with the mirror up.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347485861.300422.jpg

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347485884.786036.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347485896.463167.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347485908.828407.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1347485919.748322.jpg
     
  18. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I pass on 3x4's. If I knew that it was easy to adapt/obtain a roll film back for one I'd give them more serious consideration.
     
  19. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I was just going to say that it looks like Efke is the only one producing 3.25x4.25 film according to Freestyles website.
     
  20. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I know you have already figured it out but...

    I have a 3x4 RB Series B and it's lens says 4x5.
    I have also seen plenty of 4x5 Graflex SLRs that have a 5x7 lens.
    Maybe it was common practice to put a lens one size up on these cameras.
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I would pass on the 3 1/4" x 4 1/4". I have the 4"x5" and love it.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you want to shoot 120 film
    you can take a 3x4 singer / graflex &c roll film holder
    that was made for a 3x4 camera and tape it on the back
    it might do the trick for you.
    i have a graflex 23 taped on the back of my 4x5
    that i taped on there and i shoot wide open all the time
    never had focus issues ...

    have fun !
    john
     
  23. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I agree, pass on this one... as difficult as that may be.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Or in that case, buy a MF camera and not deal with the bulk. I still fail to see a winning case for using a LF camera for 120 film.
     
  25. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I think Im going to pass on it, unfortunately.

    But this s why I love this forum! I learned a bit today, and saved $350 because of the knowledge that wass shared.
     
  26. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I know how difficult that is to understand because it iis very difficult to explain! :smile: