Grafmatic in spring back

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Cybertrash, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Cybertrash

    Cybertrash Member

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    I have an older model of the Pacemaker Speed Graphic, that hasn't got a Graflok back, but rather the standard Spring back ("graphic back"?). I was wondering if anyone knew if it's possible to use the Grafmatic film holders with this type of back, or is it too thick to go in under the ground glass?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't know if it will work with the Pacemaker, but I've used Grafmatics under the groundglass on several cameras without difficulty.
     
  3. momus

    momus Member

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    If you have trouble getting your Grafmatic into the tighter space on the spring back, you might try this trick. Like David said, it will usually work, although it's a tight fit. Every camera seems to be slightly different in this regard regarding how far you can pull the back out. On mine I had to loosen the spring screws a little to get it in.

    http://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/holders/page2.html
     
  4. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    On the Busch C I have, there were washers that could be added under the spring screws, to give it more room for the roll backs (adapt-a-roll). You might try adding some, even if it meant using slightly longer screws. If you take one out and bring it to a good, old-fashioned hardware store, they may be able to give you longer versions with the same thread.

    I may have been leading a sheltered life, but I've not seen a Pacemaker with a spring back. I thought they only came with the Graflock, like this pamphlet shows. Mine has one.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You must have been leading a sheltered life :D I have 5 Pacemaker spring backs they were the norm, latef Graflex also offered the Graflok back which was standard only on the late versions with the top Rangefinder but sales had dropped significantly by then so the number isn't that high as a percentage of all the PAcemeakers made.

    Ian
     
  6. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    [QUOTE latef Graflex also offered the Graflok back which was standard only on the late versions with the top Rangefinder ][/QUOTE]
    the Pacemaker Graphics were introduced in 1947. The Graflok back was introduced in 1951 or 1952. It was immediately made "standard" on 4x5 Pacemaker Graphics then as an option on other models.
    You could special order a spring back or Graflex back on a later year camera if you wished and that option may have ended with the introduction of the Graphic rangefinder in 1955.

    A grafmatic should just fit but on some backs the springs are a little too short for it to fit easily.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    the Pacemaker Graphics were introduced in 1947. The Graflok back was introduced in 1951 or 1952. It was immediately made "standard" on 4x5 Pacemaker Graphics then as an option on other models.
    You could special order a spring back or Graflex back on a later year camera if you wished and that option may have ended with the introduction of the Graphic rangefinder in 1955.

    A grafmatic should just fit but on some backs the springs are a little too short for it to fit easily.[/QUOTE]

    No the Graflok back wasn't made standard in 1951, it's like the Ektalite fresnal screens they weren't standard with the spring or Graflok backs. I have a very late Pacemaker Crown Graphic with a Spring back and it's not the focusframe for a Fresnel screen, and it;s a side mounted Kalart.

    There's a lot of disinformation about Graflex cameras.

    Ian
     
  8. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    and i had a 1956 pacemaker with graflok and kalart side rangefinder from the factory.
    http://www.alibris.com/The-all-American-cameras-a-review-of-Graflex-Richard-P-Paine/book/235373
    i sold my copy a while back or i would quote you the page.
    this book is considered the authority on Graflex.
    Another source for accuracy is the Graflex Graphic Photography series by Morgan and Lester.
    these camera w____s would do just about any thing for a buck OR they supported their customers by accommodating their wants.
     
  9. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    and i had a 1956 pacemaker with graflok and kalart side rangefinder from the factory.
    http://www.abebooks.com/All-American-Cameras-Review-Graflex-Paine-Richard/9648261600/bd
    i sold my copy a while back or i would quote you the page.
    this book is considered the authority on Graflex.
    Another source for accuracy is the Graflex Graphic Photography series by Morgan and Lester.
    these camera w____s would do just about any thing for a buck OR they supported their customers by accommodating their wants.
     
  10. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Gents, the Graflok back was introduced in 1949 with the Century Graphic, which has an integral Graflok. Century Graphic introduction date from the Bible, 10th edition. The non-book of serial numbers reports that the first block of Century Graphic serial numbers was assigned 8/1/1949. The Ektalite fresnel was also introduced with the Century Graphic, but in the beginning it was an option.

    Graflok backs to be retrofitted on older Graphics were introduced then too. I've seen a Miniature Speed Graphic with a Graflok back that had a flash terminal at the upper left hand corner (as viewed from behind the camera), the correct place for a Mini.

    Ian Grant wrote:
    Misinformation, not disinformation as disinformation is usually understood, and he put some out himself.
     
  12. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    Whoa! Didn't mean to spark controversy. Mine is obviously a later model, with Graflock. I guess I'm not only sheltered but lucky!
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I think you were lucky :D There;s not really any controversy, What muddies the waters is even in the 1960's the Pacemaker's Speed and Crown were being sold with side mounted and top mounted rangefinders, also spring backs.

    In the case of the Top mounted rangefinder Graflex were late in following MPP who had shown a prototype Press version of their Micro Technical in 1949 with a top mounted rangefinder which was never produced, hover the following year 1950 they introduced the MPP MicroPress, essentially a Speed Graphic in a casing made by Celestion (speakers) with a wide base integral top rangefinder.

    Dan's right I should have said mis not dis-information. It doesn't help when articles on various websites and printed sources state that the Top rangefinder replaced the side mounted rangefinder and that the Ektalite versions of the backs replace the plain screen backs, same with Graflok and Spring backs.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2014
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  15. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Ian, the real problem with most statements about Graphics is that there were no rules in Rochester and no one followed them.
     
  16. Roger Hesketh

    Roger Hesketh Member

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    I have a Miniature Speed Graphic with a Graflok back as Dan describes with the flash sync in the correct place for a miniature Speed. It's Ektar lens dates it to 1946 so presumably it's Graflok back was retrofitted. I also have a 4x5 Anniversary Speed Graphic which is fitted with a Graflok back.

    I am surprised that their are apparently so many spring backed Pacemakers knocking about. Or maybe it is not so surprising as well as for the reasons that Ian has given perhaps many were also bought secondhand as a cheap source for a Graflok back to retrofit to an earlier model. Which are IMHO much nicer to work with than the Pacemaker models. The Pacemakers were then sold on with their retrofitted spring backs possibly for little less than they were purchased for in the first place.

    Back on topic. I have seen spring extension kits for Graflex cameras with spring backs to allow the spring backs to be pulled out further to allow roll film holders to be fitted. I nearly bought one once. Proper Graflex kit it was too. Until I stopped myself. Persuaded myself I did not really need it. Already got enough **** and to leave it for someone who really needed it. So if the Grafmatic does not fit under the spring back . It might be worth looking for one of those.

    Edit

    According to Graflex org a Grafmatic will fit under a Graflex Spring back
    .

    Link to info on spring extensions also Graflex org. http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/graphic-back-conversion.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2014
  17. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Roger, my real interest is 2x3 Graphics, not the larger sizes. I once collected serial number data from the non-book for 2x3ers. I don't know whether 2x3ers' production history matches that of larger sizes of Graphics and the non-book lumps production from 2/47 - 2/50 so I can't report exactly how many 2x3 Pacemakers were made between 2/47 and 8/49. My best guess is that around half of the 2x3 Pacemaker Graphics (Speed and Crown) were made between 2/47 and 8/49. None shipped with a Graflok back, some may have been retrofitted with a Graflok.

    A comment on the non-book. It shows two series of serial numbers for Pacemaker Graphics. Graflex started making Pacemakers under their old s/n scheme, in which serial numbers were assigned sequentially and a serial number carried no information about the product to which it was assigned. Some time in late 1947 Graflex switched to a new s/n scheme, set aside huge blocks of numbers by product. Sales weren't as expected and few of the serial numbers that had been set aside were ever used. The book reports s/n ranges and the dates they were released to production, but gives no detail about when serial numbers released between the start of the new numbering scheme and 2/50.
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Dan, I suspect that the peak production of all Pacemaker Graphic cameras was around that 1947-1950 period. Production would have declined as high quality German cameras became more readily available, most likely affection the small models earlier.

    I know from articles by HS Newcombe (an author & photographic dealer) that there was a serious shortage of new camers in the UK after WWI until the early 1950's.

    There must have been similar shortages in the US because some camera manufacturers (Ansco for instance) had to switch to making optical instruments for the US military. Graflex on the other hand had been supplying cameras to the military so in a better position to fill demand.

    Ian
     
  19. Roger Hesketh

    Roger Hesketh Member

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    Dan , Ian I really am surprised. I genuinely believed that the majority if not most Pacemakers had Grafloks fitted. I suppose it is because I have generally bought them with Grafloks fitted. I assumed that was the norm. Dan I also have a soft spot for the little ones too.

    I have two Miniature Speed Graphics one with and one without a Graflok. A Graflok backed Pacemaker 2x3 Speed Graphic and a Century Graphic. I have so many because that was how I gained my roll film holders. I bought outfits including roll film holders often for less than the roll film holders could be bought for on their own. Crazy I know but true. I had intended to sell them on but once they had warmed themselves in front of my fire. Well it would have been cruel and unnecessarily harsh to toss them back out to fend for themselves in a cruel cold world.
     
  20. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Roger, yours is a familiar story.

    My first Graphic a 2x3 Pacemaker Speed made in '47 had a spring (Graphic) back when I bought it. It now has a Pacemaker Graflok back that I took from a Miniature Speed Graphic; backs are fully interchangeable between Mini Speed and Pacemakers. Then I got a Century made in '52 with, of course, an integral Graflok to be able to use a 65/6.8 Raptar. And then two 2x3 Crowns, one made in '53, the other made later (the non-book doesn't contain its s/n), both with Grafloks. I bought one for its lens, the other as a parts camera and kept it as too good for that. There's no way to tell whether their Graflok backs were sold with the cameras or were retrofits.
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You can pass a Miniature Speed Graphic my way Roger, I could use one :D I have 6x7 Graflex roll film holders.

    Ian
     
  22. Roger Hesketh

    Roger Hesketh Member

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    The problem with roll film holders is I never seem to have enough. When I want to use one it always seems to be filled with half used film stock I do not want to use. Yesterday I wanted to shoot 2x3 black and white and found those holders already filled with half used Velvia. I ended up shooting 6x7 instead but very nearly found myself reaching for 2x3 holders. Typing this now though I have had a Eureka moment. Swap the insert in the changing bag to one from a Graflex roll film holder from a larger format camera I am not currently using.
     
  23. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    Aren't Eureka moments great? I have another suggestion, a simple one. Since roll film adapters shoot, at most, 12 shots, just finish off the roll! If you're half-way done with a roll and storing it, it's not getting any better sitting in your bag. I always used to worry about saving that last foot of film on the roll and then I realized that the film was often (for me, not you) so poorly stored in my bag that it was deteriorating. I usually can find a still life to shoot a few images to finish a roll, no matter what the subject of the first half was- or I use it to test a new lens. I know everybody has their own work flow, and the keeping and value of film is a personal thing, but I feel I became a lot more flexible when I stopped leaving half-finished 120 rolls in my camera bags. I can always pop in a new roll and start a project with the right film.
     
  24. Roger Hesketh

    Roger Hesketh Member

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    Thank you for your suggestion. As I believe many of you Americans say 'Your mileage may vary'.
    I am also grateful to you Sir I have learned an important lesson I had forgotten for a minute that I was not just talking to Ian.

    Unfortunately in the last few years colour roll film use has become for me anyway a special treat. It must be different over your way but here in the UK it has become very expensive. As far as colour work is concerned though I have recently changed my workflow and am having a lot of fun doing so. I have started shooting 35mm print film again. It has never been cheaper a discount store in the UK Poundland sells Agfa branded but made in Japan print film, I suspect it is Reala for £1 a roll. Tesco's will develop a 35mm film for just 99p. Just dev not print at that price. I have an old Minolta film scanner which can scan a 35mm neg to a higher resolution than any Digital Camera I could afford to buy. Early days yet but I am having a lot of fun using my old film cameras and lenses again.
     
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  25. Byclops

    Byclops Member

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    What is the "non-book of serial numbers" mentioned in post #11?
     
  26. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Someone at Graflex Inc. compiled a list of serial numbers assigned to Graflex products by date the numbers were assigned. They fill a small ledger book. The late Theron "Tim" Holden, a former Graflex employee who may also have compiled the list, used it to answer questions posted on www.graflex.org about the date on which a Graflex camera was made. His answers were compiled by someone -- I don't know who -- and were posted as the Shutterfinger list, which can be found at http://graflex.coffsbiz.com/serials.html You can read about Mr. Holden at http://ghq.graflex.org/

    Someone -- I have no idea who -- got access to the ledger, scanned it, posted it on a web site, and then took it down. That's the non-book. The non-book and the Shutterfinger list don't always agree.

    The non-book has its weaknesses. It is incomplete. The serial numbers it records start in 1915, but Folmer & Schwing started making cameras in 1915. The last s/n recorded dates from 1965, but Graflex Inc. closed in 1972. There's a comment "See new book" on a page that ends in '65, but there's no book.

    It is hard to use. It shows some blocks of numbers as having been assigned more than once. The list has to be read very carefully.

    It is misleading. Serial numbers were assigned in blocks but cameras weren't made as soon as the numbers were assigned. There's no guarantee that all serial numbers in a block were ever used and there's no indication at all when they were actually used.