The Galvin roll film back

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Curt, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The Galvin back is usually around a hundred dollars used but I found one for seventy five and offered fifty. Now I have a Galvan roll film back. I think I'll fit it to some wood and used it on my 4x5 wood field camera. All of the 24 film holders, Grafmatics, Roll film backs of Graflex and Mamiya work with the back so I have some choices.

    I was considering a 2x3 field camera or monorail build but just adapting it to a wood supporting frame for 4x5 seems the most logical for now. I wanted to shoot a larger roll film size, which was why I bought the RB67, but it's bulk and weight can be a challenge. This will give me view camera movements and the ability to use my lenses in shutters. With the RB each additional lens adds considerable weight and takes up more room than a view camera lens.

    Is there anyone out there who has used the Galvan back or mounted one on a field camera? I'm looking forward to shooting Rollei Pan 25 on my view camera for fifty dollars and some woodworking time.

    Curt
     
  2. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Wow, no one's heard of Galvin.
     
  3. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Curt is this a back for the cameras made by Jim Galvin?
     
  4. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    Curt, I have (a couple!) of Galvin view cameras, and whilst the design makes a lot of sense, for me in practice, those springs are so well sprung, that after focus/composition I often find I'd inadvertently move the camera and start all over again!! Grr - for the convenience of having the ground glass "there" all the time, I'm much happier with my little wooden Photax thingy, where the glass just hinges down out of the way. All that said, the newest of Jim Galvin's backs are the best, as with the older one I have, the glass often doesn't sit "flat" - which is "great" for good focus....

    Marc!
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Yes, it's a Jim Galvin made back, I know he has passed away, it's an innovative design. Perhaps a bale would help with the strong spring, it has a long arc and the tension is strong. I can see this back on a 2 1/4 3 1/4 Busch or Graflex rangefinder. On one of those a person could go from sheet film holders to a roll film back without the need to remove the gg and use Graflok slides.
     
  6. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    I have a Galvin view and find the back horrible. While the Galvin back is innovative it’s simply some of the worst quality machine work I have ever seen in a camera. The screen doesn’t sit flat in relation to the camera and the springs are too weak to hold a roll holder with the camera tilted vertically, among other problems. I ditched the Galvin back in favor of a proper Graflok 2x3 back.
     
  7. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    I have a Galvin 2x3 that had a floppy rear standard (only fault that I could find;the back works fine) and I fixed it very easily by reworking the pivot pin and changing the washers under the knobs to rulon seals. This great little camera is what I expect, it's hand built, each one is different. I think it's the lightest 2x3 monorail you can find - if you can find one - and that was the major design criteria along with no "need to remove the gg". Jim Galvin accomplished what he set out to do to my satisfaction. Also, he didn't gaff me on the price; complete camera: $170 (new).

    For vertical shots, sheet film holders work if other holders are a problem in that mode. There's no perfect cameras that perform every function perfectly.
     
  8. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I think a have a Gowland view camera although the seller of the camera thought it was a Galvin. Can anyone tell me what the differences are between the Galvin 4x5 and the Gowland 4x5? It focuses on a aluminum rail like the Gowland, movements are controlled by unscrewing allen screws, but the lens board dimension is 2.58" square.