Data tag would refer to the original army tag, that's right. Most of the "45"s were re-branded with a different plate and painted black for sales into the civilian market so finding an army tag is pretty neat.
From one info page: "[COLOR=#ffff00]Camera, Combat[/COLOR] (Combat Graphic). Special US Navy and Marine Corps 4" x 5" wooden body camera designed for the Pacific war. Marine Corps version in OD green, Navy versions in OD green or battleship grey. All have black Supermatic shutter/ Kodak Anastigmat Special f4.7 127mm focusing lens with 'EExxxx' serial number. Official military metal plate attached to shutter winding side of camera body. After WW2 some were painted black and sold on the civilian market as 'Graphic 45' cameras. Only about 1500 made."
I don't think that they're a collector's item at all, just an oddity from the later years of the war. My wood shell is in good shape, but the in-lens shutter is mostly non functional and only shoots at one speed. Plus someone back in the mists of time retrofit a graflok back to it, replacing the original spring back. I'm torn between un-fitting the new back to "restore" it to original or leaving it there because it too is now a part of history.
Mine came with a Graflex back, not a spring back. I did install a Graflok back on it so I could at least use my regular 4x5 film holders and a roll film adapter. it's only a couple of screws to replace the original back should I ever want to. I did have to adjust the focus to match the slight shift in film plane distance between the backs.
My Combat Graphic was also missing the wooden bevel on the front right side that protects the focus wheel and the shutter tensioning lever. I have made a replacement, but I still need to paint it.
I've been told I can remove the black paint with alcohol but I haven't had much luck with that. I have looked into having a new data plate made for it too.
I have shot a few images with the Combat Graphic, but the 127mm f/4.7 Anastigmat Special doesn't quite cut it compared to my Ektar-equiped Anni Speed Graphic.
Biggest problem, of course, I re-enact a European Theater Signal Photo Company Photographer...so I'd be commiting a historic faux pas if I ever use this camera
You do know the Combat Graphic was only used by the USMC photographers and the US Navy, right?
I picked one up last year in great condition, except that it was painted black after the war, and it's missing the data-tag...like they all do
The correct exposure cine film is more demanding than for still film since there is only one contrast grade of positive stock. So I am not surprised that light meters were used. However their use for still photography was not common.
When not in use selenium cell meters should not be exposed to light. Keep the meter in its case or box. Exposure to light greatly shortens their life. You can find Weston meters that still work but there are many more that do not. It all depends on how they were cared for.
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 03-26-2014 at 11:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.