graflex 3a + spools
by, 01-22-2011 at 12:40 PM (1560 Views)
i recently bought a graflex 3a postcard format camera on the auction site.
over the past week i have used it a handful of times inbetween
minor and major "stuff".
i opted to slide a sheet of 5x7 paper in the camera, close the back
and expose it. while the shutter opens and closes, i leave it on "T"
focus, release the shutter to "0" and then release the mirror to expose the paper.
i made a lens cap out of cardboard and tape that slides on and off the lens so i don't
need to move the shutter back to "T" after the exposure. it works great ...
after 3 exposures on 5x7 sheets i decided to roll some paper on 122 spools i have.
there was a take-up spool in the graflex, and there was also one in the kodak folder
that was given to me years ago. the spool is about 3.5 inches wide, the same width as
a half sheet of 5x7 paper. instead of using a large sheet of 11x14 or 16x20 paper i cut 5x7 paper
and taped it end to end. i made a "tongue" out of a end clipping of 35mm film and taped it
to the spool and to the back of the paper.
i wound it onto the spool.
i fed it onto the take up spool.
i did a test-wind to see how many turns = 1 full frame.
it was 2.25 turns.
i wound the paper back onto the feeder spool and closed the back of the camera.
i heard the spool unwind, and then it bound up and wouldn't wind onto the take-up spool.
i should have left the paper wound on the spool for a few hours before putting it through the camera.
i did the same thing with a junk folder years ago, and the winder broke after the paper unwound inside the body ...
i guess now, like then, i was just eager to see if it worked ....
i went into a dim room and opened the camera.
i taped the pieces that had separated back together
wound the paper tight and closed the back.
today i went into the darkroom, untaped all the paper, and put them into warm water to get their newfound curl out.
after the paper relaxed into the coffee bath they went.
nothing appeared for a few minutes, then at 3 minutes images began to appear ...
i guessed all the exposure ( i was mostly way off )
but i got a good frame out of the roll, and it is hanging/ drying now.
while i now know i can wind paper onto a 122 spool, there are 2 things i would do differently.
first i would use large sheets, instead of small and second i would leave it wound + taped for at least a day before i load the camera.
my only complaint is that there is very little border around the images, and i kind of like the .75" border when i use 5x7 sheets.
the sumatranol is still working great, even after 10? rolls of film ( 120 + 135 ) and now the 8th sheet of paper ...