Graphic w/polaroid back - What would I need?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jmooney, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    Hi All,

    Looking to get set up with a 4x5 for doing some work with the 4X5 Fuji instant films. I'd like some movements and some portability so I was figuring on a Speed/Crown Graphic with a Fuji PA-45 back. Problem is I know nothing about these cameras so I'm not sure what model to be looking for and was hoping for some advice on which model and any lens suggestions (I tend towards a wide normal or medium tele with my lenses).

    I know some have a built in shutter but I'm not a fan of the whole Petzval, soft focus, old lens stuff so that isn't a deal breaker.

    Thanks for any advice,

    Jim
     
  2. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    What type of imagery... landscapes, architecture, portraits? How much coverage will your lenses have for movements... what FL's will you have?
     
  3. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    Portraits and trains with a touch of landscape. I haven't picked a lens yet so I was hoping for some suggestions there too. I don't need crazy movements mostly just rise and fall with a touch of shift.
     
  4. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    That's an ecclectic mix. Do you expect to shoot ultra-wide or very long lenses? The Graphic press cameras have a bit of rise/fall but shift isn't available on any of them except the Super Graphics, IIRC. Do you care about utilizing the rangefinder or are you composing via GG?
     
  5. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    My 1953 Speed Graphic has a touch of rise & a touch of shift. Touch is the right word. Maybe 1/2 inch of shift and 1" of rise. Someone who has actually measured such things can tell us exactly. You can approximate fall by dropping the bed and tilting the lens back to vertical. The 127mm Ektar lens that comes on many of these Oldies But Goodies is plenty sharp, slightly wide (kinda like a 35mm-40mm lens on 35mm film) and has just enough image circle to accommodate the Speed's limited movements. A nice, cheap way to enter 4x5.

    And furthermore:

    I have used a 105mm lens on the Speed without difficulty. You will run out of bellows for a telephoto lens at 13". 12"/305mm is a stretch. 8"/210mm is comfortable. In fact, you can get very close to or equal to 1:1 with a 7 7/8" lens.
     
  6. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    and another thing...........

    The Polaroid 550 holder works with Fujiroid 4x5 material. Polaroid 405 (somebody verify that number) with Fujiroid 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" products.
     
  7. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    The Anniverary 4x5 SG has 345mm of bellows ext., the longest of any other Graflex Press model, according to the graflex.org website. Don't know if that matters.
     
  8. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    Mike:

    My goto focal lengths across formats seem to be about the same, in 35 it's 35mm and 75-85mm. Shift is not really necessary so it's not a huge deal, again I know little about these cams so I didn't realize shift wasn't really an option. I'd probably use the GG to compose.

    Wayne:

    the 127 sounds great as does the 210mm. Thanks for the tip on the 550 holder too, makes the market a little wider when you have more options.
     
  9. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Jim,

    A good option for an 8" lens is the Ektar 203mm f7.7 (or Kodak Anastigmat 203mm). It can cover 5x7 with a little movement and is sharpest wide open. Makes a nice complement to the 127mm Ektar.

    Look for a Pacemaker Graphic (Speed or Crown) with a Graflok back. The Speed's rear shutter adds weight and increases the depth of the body (which might be a problem with wider lenses - at 90mm, the front standard on my speed is just clear of the body)

    Dan
     
  10. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Do you routinely crop your 135 film to 8x10 or do you print FF 6.7x10? This makes a difference regarding what you do with 4x5 (crop or not) and choice of FL's.
     
  11. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    I usually crop 35 but with these Polaroids I'll be using them full frame and displaying as-is or maybe doing some transfers.
     
  12. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    Thanks Dan. I'll look for the 203, I have a 5X7 as well and it sounds like I can make use of it on there as well. I don't go nuts with movements so a little coverage is fine for me.
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    My main 3 lens kit for the crown was a 90/8, a 135, and a 210. IIRC the Nikkor 360 tele was also lots of fun on there. It was at the outermost edge of the bellows draw but lots of fun. I think I did use a 65 on my crown, with some minor adjustments.

    By the way the default tilt on the crown is in the wrong direction in my opinion (downwards), and this is easily remedied.

    My main annoyance with the crown was the lack of rotating back. But creative minds find ways...
     
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  15. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The Crown Graphic was really designed as a press photographers tool, and meant to be used hand held. Why bother with a rotating back when all that's necessary is to re-orient the camera? It was never meant to be a "fine art" tool. No reason why it can't be used that way, but that wasn't its intended use.
     
  16. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Which makes me wonder why the B&J press (Watson?) is so rarely mentioned. A couple months ago, I picked one up for $100 (paired with a 4x5 Crown suitable only for parts). It seems heavier than the Crown (if that's possible) but has nice looking front movements and a very stiff rotating back (presumably the stiffness could be remedied). And, I have yet to use it, sticking with the Crown.

    My primary lenses on the Crown are a 90/6.8 Optar (I have a 90/8 Nikkor-SW I never use for no good reason at all), 203mm f7.7 Anastigmat, and an occassional visit to the 135/4.7 Optar.

    Dan
     
  17. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Then to achieve similar FOV on 4x5 you'll need a 120-127-135 for the wide end and a 240-270 on the long side. Be sure whatever you buy has enough image circle for rise/fall/shift you want. The 127 Ektar really doesn't have much, if any, room to play. Maybe consider a 120 Angulon and a 240 Tele Xenar or 250 Tele Optar?
     
  18. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    The Polaroid 405 works great with the Fuji 3 1/4 x 4 1/4, but beware, the holder does not fit under the GG back on my spring-back Speed Graphic. The springs are attached to the GG back by pins in slots which run out of travel room just a hair shy of a good fit. I'm in the process of modifying the screw in mount so that the back can move out about 1/4 inch more. A Grafloc back would solve my problems, but would cost more than I want to spend on this problem at this time. The 550 is the same thickness and, I assume, would have the same problem.
     
  19. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    A Speed Graphic and no Graflok back? Curious. The Graflok back is required for the Polaroid holders. My Zone VI doesn't have a Graflok/International back. I got the 550 under the GG once. I won't do it again. Too tight.

    The Fujinon-W 46mm filter ring 125mm/5.6 lens in Copal #0 shutter is the closest match size wize to the 127mm Ektar with a huge increase in image circle. Double+ the price too. That said, I haven't run out of image circle with the 127mm Ektar on my S.G. Perhaps I didn't try hard enough. The 127+203 pair would be hard to beat for size and image quality.
     
  20. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    According to Graflex.org, the Graflok back was introduced in 1949. Mine predates that by a few years.
     
  21. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Learned something new

    Didn't know. Mine was born in 1953.
     
  22. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I have a 1937 pre-Anniversary Speed. I put a small washer under the spring back, it gave just that much more clearance so that I could use a Grafmatic changer. It might be just what you need to give clearance for that Polaroid back. :smile:
     
  23. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Whatever, you need the Graflock back ala Crown Graphic, etc in order to handle the thickness of that Fuji back. The ordinary Graflex spring back won't do it. At least mine won't.
     
  24. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I probably should have made myself a bit more clear. It was suggested to me by one of the fellows on the graflex.org to put washers under the springs on the spring back. This really did give me the added space to use the grafmatic changer. I don't know if it is any thicker than the Fuji back, but I was afraid that I was going to break something before this simple modification.
     
  25. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I did the washer modification and the Polaroid 405 holder now fits fine... except on the home-made 4x5 adapter back I have for a 5x7.... I forgot that the wood around the borrowed Speed-Graphic back would pose a problem in clearance. The bump on the bottom of the 405, intended to make it easier to pull the holder out of the camera back when changing holders, extends too far toward the front of the camera to allow the 405 to be inserted. Back to the drawing board.

    Funny, but I never seem to be able to envision the whole problem from the get-go. I do one step, screw something up, rebuild, fix another problem, and so on, and so on... Ah well, keeps me busy and I don't make my living through this. As I have said before, doing it right the first time doesn't allow one to learn from mistakes... can't have that!
     
  26. cabbiinc

    cabbiinc Member

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    I have a Burke and James 4x5 press camera and the back is also very stiff. Maybe Dans shouldn't own these things.

    Dan