View Full Version : 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 SPeed Graphic w/revolving back

Jim Noel
09-28-2006, 05:21 PM
A student brought in a camera Tuesday night which I have never seen, or heard of. It is a 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 Speed Graphic with a rotating Graflex, not Graphic, back.
It appears to be built on a pre-anniversary 3 1/4X4 1/4 Speed Graphic body as the rotating back is significantly smaller than the outside of the body. All other indications such as the wire finder, gunsight finder, etc are identical to the pre-anniversary series. The focal plane shutter speed scale is on top of the camera body, not in the base.
I thought at first it might be a one of a kind adaptation, but there is an instruction pamphlet with it explaining the rotating back.

Anyone else know about these? There is no information on the Graflex.org site.

bart Nadeau
09-28-2006, 05:48 PM
Yes, such a camera was shown in the 1938 Graflex catalog. It is listed along with the other Speed Graphics as the 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 R.B. The descriptive paragraph reads " The 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 unit, made up of a new all-metal 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 revolving back fitted to the 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 camera chassis, admirably combines economy of operation with added versatility. In fact, almost two to one direct magnification is obtainable with this unit when its generous bellows is used in combination with the short focal length lenses listed for it. Supplied with a "Graflex Back," it accepts interchangeably the 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Graflex cut film holder, plate holder, film pack adapter, film magazine and the Graflex focusing panel."
This camera is only in the 1938 catalog but apparently came out in late 1937. It was replaced by the 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Miniture Speed Graphic in late 1938.
The R.B. listed for $80 w/o lens or focusing panel but with one cut film holder and for $113.75 with a f 4.5 5 1/2 inch Kodak Anastigmat lens.
Quite a rare Graphic!

Dan Fromm
09-29-2006, 08:53 AM
Interesting. The camera is mentioned in Paine's little book. He gives essentially the same info as Bart did and remarks that on the whole, unless the rotating back is needed the Mini Speed is a better package because smaller and lighter. And yes, they're quite uncommon.



Jim Noel
09-29-2006, 10:54 AM
Thanks to you both for the information.

Bill Mitchell
10-06-2006, 07:10 AM
There were also some 3.25x4.25 rotating backs on 4x5 frames, but I've never actually seen one.

Les Newcomer
10-20-2006, 05:47 AM
Yes, such a camera was shown in the 1938 Graflex catalog.<snip>
Quite a rare Graphic!

Well, Sort of. They also sold the back separately for several years, probably until the war broke out. So while finding a true, complete RB Speed is quite rare, there are a lot of "fakes" out there and the only proof that it's an RB Speed is the serial number.

08-23-2009, 11:56 AM
i need this back. happen to someone you do not have one extra?