"What I am wondering is what backs are available for it."
Spring back (Graphic back) or Graflok back. Maybe Graflex back as well, if I am remembering my terminology correctly...At any rate, the one you hope to get is the Graflok, as it takes the roll fim holders.
"I saw a post that said 22 and 23 backs are available. Will any 23 back fit or does it specifically call for a 23 back made for a 2 x 3 camera? I would like a back that holds several sheets of film at once and one to use 120 film with."
Yes, 22 and 23 rollfilm holders, and they have to be made for 2x3 format. There are also 4x5 and 3x4 ones, so watch out and get your measurements from sellers before buying.
For several sheets of film at once, you can use a Grafmatic holder. Yet again, these are not the most common in 2x3 size. Make sure you get measurements first.
Also, the later RH-designated lever-advance rollfim holders are reputed to hold the film more flat than the earlier knob-advance backs (22 and 23).
"I've asked a couple of sellers on a famous auction site and none of them knew for sure which back I needed."
I have no idea how these EBay fools even get a hold of this stuff, and given that they know nothing about it, how they even manage to sell it at all. Buyer beware. Know your stuff before bidding.
"Is there a source for color sheet film or will I need to cut my own from larger film or should I use the 120 and be happy with it?"
You will have to cut down your own from 4x5 sheets in absolute darkness. When I did it (once), I made a wooden template from a piece of factory-cut black and white film. It is not hard after a few tries, but you should only bother doing this if you will be doing individualized processing for each shot. For instance, if you want to push one shot one stop, pull another one stop, process one normal, etc. Otherwise, you are better off with the rollfilm backs. Even with rollfilm, you can carry three (or more) backs, each marked with a different development. It's worth the investment in multiple backs, IMO.
"And finally what is the thickness of the factory lens boards? My camera didn't come with one."
Pretty thin. They are sheet metal. The most important part is building the light trap properly. You can make them too thick and tape them on if you need to, but the light trap needs to align with the ridge on the front standard to keep light out. I would just buy one, as they are very cheap. Check out KEH.com for holders, rollfilm backs, and lensboards.
If you decide you want a sweet 180mm Schneider Tele-Xenar lens for it some day, let me know. I might consider selling mine. I am loath to do so, but the truth is that I just don't use it much any more. Great headshot or landscape lens, and teles can come in handy on a Graflex.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
1.) Graflex backs are the slide type only. They are a special size.
2.) I have 5 of these holders. they are very common.
3.) Depends on the series of Speed. Earlier ones use wood boards, later ones use metal. I have both.
tim in san jose
Thanks, Tim. I have had some trouble locating them myself in the past. I have one that was given to me by an instructor. I usually run across 4x5 ones only at the local camera swapmeet. I believe I have seen them at KEH, though, and if I were to dedicate myself to locating them, I'm sure they will turn up right in front of me!
It's funny 2F, I had one.. then when I decided I like shooting these on my rb67, they all of a sudden appeared.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Life is like that.
The lens boards for the Graflex 23 cameras, both Century Graphic and Speed Graphic, are rather special. They are stamped aluminum, about 3/64 inch thick, 2-1/2 inches square, with rounded corners. They are dish shaped, and the part perpendicular to the lens plane forms a light trap with the interior of the camera. It would be difficult to duplicate them. These boards were once common, but they are now hard to find.
Originally Posted by zing
www.skgrimes.com will sell you as many boards as you want.
Originally Posted by nworth
I bought a few boards for my Century Graphic a few years ago. I'm pretty sure I bought them from Midwest Camera Exchange. IIRC, they were pretty reasonably priced. Probably worth an internet search.
If you can afford it, buy a few lens boards. I have acquired several lenses over the years that really shine on the Century. Besides the premium lenses (80/2.8 Xenotar, 105/3.5 Color Heliar) I use a Kodak Special Anastigmat (four element "uncoated ektar" from a Kodak Monitor) and a Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat (unmarked focal length -about 160mm/6.3) and a Tominon 135/4.5. Each lens gives a different effect, and are great fun to play with. I have one lens board left. I'm trying to decide whether or not to mount an 85/4.5 Apotar (an amazingly sharp triplet) on it.
Many thanks for all the helpful replies. The information and sources are much appreciated.
I now have a second 2x3 camera complete with lens on a board, on the way!
First of all, let me say that I'm glad to find such a wealth of knowledge about 'all things film' on the APUG site. As a new member, I'll be stumbling around to find info concerning my new (old) purchase... a '45 Mini Speed Graphic (2 1/4 x 3 1/4) that must have been updated with a Graflok back. I've already purchased "23" 6x9 film backs that work nicely and still allow use of the ground glass, but here is the 'rub'... while the glass has been cleaned, it is still rather 'lifeless', so I'm thinking of upgrading to better glass. The question arises when I hear about fresnel & glass combinations being better, but since my old Graflex back only has space for one piece of frosted glass (2 1/4 x 3 1/4), I'm not sure if this type of upgrade is advisable or even possible. Any ideas about best (& BRIGHTER) glass replacement? Sorry if this has been covered in another thread...