As a result of this conversation, went and picked up the 3x4 rb from the bookshelf in my living room. It's beautiful. A timeless design. The predecessor of the rb67.
Never, never, never will I butcher this tool to make something more 'useful'. It has its original leather hood, the 150mm Tessar lens; I have the Graphics 69 on the back (and a boatload of Graflex film holders).
Butcher your cameras, as someone pointed out; they are not that rare. I'll keep mine as a tribute to Weston, and a hell of a fine camera in its original form. And... it's older than my parents (May they rest in a long deserved peace).
tim in san jose
It is so much easier to cut the film to size, why go through all the effort to re-invent the .......?
1. The conversion takes 20 minutes, as per one of the links above suggested: How many 3x4s can you cut from an 8x10 in a darkroom that some of us don't have or a dark bag where you can barely squeeze in a paper cutter in 20 minutes?
2. The conversion is semi-permanent: once you do it, you're set. You can use 4x5 film or 3x4 instant, or any of the roll film backs up to 6x12 to your heart's content; cutting film to size has to be done every single time you want to shoot, for the rest of your life
3. The 4x5 that comes out of your converted back can be easily developed at your developers (at least any of them that do 4x5); like the OP says, not always the case with 3x4
4. The 4x5 that comes out of your converted back can be easily scanned on your Epson flatbed (or Imacon) scanners with 4x5 holders; with 3x4 film, you are on your own to DIY a 3x4 holder
5. The modification is non-destructive (despite how some people are insisting on calling it "butchering") and 100% reversible
It's funny how y'all have these elaborate "workarounds" to make this near-obsolete technology work in the modern-day and yet would accuse those of us looking for a simple, one-time solution to the problem as somehow "going through all the trouble" :D
thank you Yronnen, I believe that is the advice I have been looking for. Now, you have given me the insight into how this is done. I agree with many comments, that we do not want to bastardize these fine old beasts. I will leave my 4 x 5 series b alone as it is perfect as it is. I will search for a destroyed carcass of a 4 x 5 and take the graflex back from it and install it on the 3 1/4 per your advice. As it is easily converted back, I see no harm in it. thanks so much! Here is a shot I took of my twins with the 4 x 5; I love these cameras!
How is it an "elaborate" workaround to put film in a film holder, make an exposure, process the film and make a print?
1. Cut larger size film to 3x4 every single time, or
1'. order 3x4 film with limited selection and double the price from a faraway land since you can't get it at your local shop
before you can "put film in a film holder", and
2. find a lab who will work with 3x4 film (since not all of them do), or
2'. buy a developing tank that can take 3x4 film, since I know my Jobo 2509 ain't gonna cut it
before you can process the film, and
3. find a lab who will work with 3x4 film (see above), or
3'. re-equip your darkroom with materials required for 3x4 printing (neg holders, etc)
before you can print the film. Provided, of course, you *have* a darkroom to begin with, which not all of us do. I know I don't.
All of this vs., a non-destrutive, 100% reversible mod that will cost you maybe $100 and will be finished in less than 1 hour.
Sorry I just realised that I did not make it clear in my previous post (as yronnen) the conversion I suggested using a 4x5 Graflex back which IMHO does little to compromise the aesthetic integrity of the camera as you are just swapping like for like. It just happens the back is an inch is an or so wider. It does not result in you being able to achieve 4x5 images on the film with a 3x4 Graflex SLR. You get 3x4 images on the film but you are spared the need to cut down the film.
Glad some found my post useful.
Got a hold of Bert. He wasn't well, and he claims he's getting up there age-wise (he's 82) and don't know how long he'll continue making these things. I was able to secure one 3x4 Graflex to 4x5 Graflok conversion plate from him, which should be arriving in a week or two :) Will let you all know how it goes.