Steve, I addressed this to you however I'm ready to hear from everyone. I received my Graflex Speed Graphic camera in the mail today. It appears to be in excellent shape. The bellows appears to be in good shape. It's got a "23" Graphic 120 roll holder on it. It also has a Kalart synchronized range finder on it. It's outfitted with a Compur shutter and a Tessar lens. I've spent some time playing around with it learning where the hidden button for opening it is and a little reading on the range finder. I think my next purchase will be a tripod. I'm going to keep reading it as long as my eyes will hold up and see if I can get to the point where I'm taking photos. A question is do you prefer film rolls or film (what do you call them?)plates? Oh and for the curious I paid $106.00 for camera and shipping. Maybe I got ripped off I don't know. But I wanted to try this and it didn't seem like I was paying to much for it.
I just got a nice one - used to belong to United Stated Bureau of Reclamation out Arizona way. It came with a 120 "23" roll back also, even though it is a 4 X 5 camera.
"23" was Graflex speak for 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 size cameras
Also came with the Polaroid back and its Graflex made "Graphic Polaroid Back" 4 X 5 adapter. I do not know what model it is, seems to look like the Model 500 in an old ad I saw. Doubt that film would be available.
Oh that's interesting information. So with that roll holder I'll end up with 2 1/4 X 3 1/4. Is that what you're saying unless I use the sheets?
Believe that is right Mike. 120 roll film is not very wide.
There are also these that fit in backs (Magazines) made to hold them. You pull them out one by one after exposing them. When you are done with the 16, you head to the darkroom and process them.
Here is some forum and one of the posts explains them
Yes,Mike....10 shots per 120 roll film.
Measure the film opening in the plate, may be 2.25 x 2.75.....I've never used the roll film back even though I have a couple.
Bob, please slow down, I know nothing about this stuff other than I want to learn how to get the kind of black and white photos I've always enjoyed. I know nothing about this camera or any of the nomenclature involved. You mentioned "the film opening in the plate". I'm not going to assume to know what you're talking about. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm extremely grateful for your attempt to help me but please understand I'm old, uneducated and a little feeble minded. I can't help but think you're speaking in the simplest of terms but It's still not simple enough for me.
Mike, the plate on the bottom of the roll film holder that attaches to the camera. Pull the dark slide and you will see the hole easier.
Free manuals here Mike. Like Anniversary Speed Graphic and Pacemaker Speed Graphic
Thanks John, try this link Mike. http://www.butkus.org/chinon/graflex/graflex_rapid-vance_roll_film/graflex_rapid -vance_roll_film.htm
Thanks John and Bob. I'll look them over. I very seldom come on this forum for advice about Model T's I'm more into being a smart aleck on here. But now that I'm looking for advice on my camera I really appreciate the help.
As long as you guys have Mike entertained with manuals for a bit, I'd like to butt in with question.
I have an unopened roll left over from a K-24 aerial camera I sold on Tbay several years ago. It's heavy. How much silver would be in it?
Here are some pictures. First, sizes.
This is 35mm, the most popular and common film size of the last few decades.
This is 120 size (2.25") roll film, popular in professional photography. Used in Hasselblad, Rolleiflex, Yashika, and Speed Graphic with an adapter. More than four times the size of 35mm.
This is 4x5 sheet film. More than four times the size of 120. The nice big size is good for capturing detail.
Sheet film is put into a holder like this. It holds two sheets, one on each side.
The holder slides into the back of the camera.
The slide covering the film is pulled out, uncovering the sheet of film inside the camera.
After the exposure is made (picture taken), the slide is put back into the holder to cover the film. Note that the slide has been turned over with the black side of the handle showing to indicate that the film has been exposed.
Holder with black slide handle showing.
The exposed film is unloaded in the darkroom. It can be developed there, but it has to be done in total darkness (unless it's ortho film), or it can be put into a tank like this, which holds up to twelve sheets, and developed with the lights on.
In the old days we would take the developed film (negative) into the darkroom and use an enlarger to project it onto print paper which was developed in a tray.These days you can scan the negative and make the print on a printer.
Thanks Mr Jelf. Now I've printed a manual and I've also looked at your posts and though I'm facing sensory overload because of all the knowledge that's being fed me. I'm ready to stop for the night and start again tomorrow morning. I'm finding this is interesting and I think it's something I want to become good at. I want to be able to put some framed photos on the mantle. Thanks guys.
Where are the glass plates?
Dave, those are a generation ago. George Eastman was the Henry Ford of photography....sadly the "Great Yellow Father" is a history lesson today.
Mr. Jelf ??? Hey, we're all friends here, he's just plain ol' Steve. lol
Thanks Steve for great photos and explanations.
Mike, Steve's Speed Graphic is what I would call the "Anniversary" style - no trigger on right front edge of case. I have a 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 like that and two "Pacemaker" style 4 X 5 jobs with the "trigger"
Still at it. Reading and learning. Mr Clipner, I appreciate what you're saying about Mr Jelf but right now everyone is an instructor and I feel like I'm back in class. When I went to school we respected out instructors. And because I was a marginal student at best I had to be careful what I said and how I behaved. Respect got me through when intelligence or a lack of it wouldn't. I'm one of the few people who failed what we called Home Room. It was supposed to be a place where we could spend an hour quietly studying a subject of our choice or simply pull a book out and read. Most of mine were spent down by the creek behind the church having a smoke and getting to know Mary Charles and Paula Powers. I got an education but it didn't do me a lot of good a year later when I was on the job sight. Thank God I was only working in the iron mines; but that's another story.
Mike, one of my favorite cameras is my 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 Speed Graphic. It doesn't take up too much space in your car and is very easy to use. Mine is set up identically to your 23. I much prefer to use sheet film, but do have a roll back for 120 film.
You pop each sheet of exposed film into a little metal (stainless steel) frame and put it into a tank for developing.
If you are using orthochromatic film you can do all your handling under safe light and watch the images on the negative appear. Ortho film gives a real "vintage" look to your images.
You can get the "vintage" look with panchromatic b/w film by using a deep blue filter over the lens. Once you get your Baby Speed up and running get some filters and go out to experiment!
Tri-X is a panchromatic film so you can't use a safe light in the dark room as it is sensitive to red light.
One cool accessory I used which is hard to find is a little light which goes on the range finder. It projects a dot from each window on the range finder. As you adjust your focus the projected dots move together and voila, you are in focus. Makes focusing at night easier.
I seem to remember that the 23 is called a Baby Speed because it is so much smaller than the full sized ones. It is just perfect for car trips and hand holding.
I have shot covers for "Vintage Ford" and "Horseless Carriage Gazette" with my Baby Speed. When I do that I draw the covers (front and back) onto my ground glass to make composing the shot easier. Then I use the cassette with color film.
Great Fun. Here's one I did about ten years ago:
Remember that the rear cover goes on the left so your main subject should be on the right.
I have a few ideas for covers I want to shoot. I just need to get a round tuit.
When I was married I had a round tuit. Actually that had a lot to do with the divorce. If only she had known how many time I got round tuit.
Nice photos here of an Ebay listing for a "23" 120 roll back made for a 4 X 5 Speed Graphic:
And here are some nice photos on an Ebay listing of the Polaroid back made for the 4 X 5 Speed Graphic. Its like the one I have, no model number.
Well, I've read enough to come to the conclusion my camera is a 1940 Graflex Anniversary Baby Speed Graphic with a "23" 120 roll back. The opening in the plate is 2"X3". I've learned how to take the lens/shutter out to the infinity stops and use the Kalart range finder to focus the camera on an object. I've printed a really nice manual for speed graphic cameras. My next step is to continue reading and go onto ebay to find a tripod and purchase some film. This is quite the exciting exercise. Hopefully I'll be able to get out in the snow with the Model T touring and take some photos. Thank you guys for your assistance up to this point. Please keep me in mind if you think of something else regarding your old Graflex anniversary baby speed graphic cameras. God bless.
Mike, a good source of B&W film (and paper if you do the darkroom printing thing) is freestyle.com. They also carry all the developing stuff.
Mike, if you checked that opening in the 120 roll back it will be that size because the "23" roll back is that size.
My 120 roll back is the same as your but it fits on my 4 X 5 camera.
A good way to tell what camera you have is to measure it closed up in its case without the roll back on it.
My 4 X 5 is 4 1/4 back to front, 6 3/4 side to side (add about and inch for the Kalart) and 7 9/16 top to bottom (add about and inch for the veiw finder if it is in place)
My 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 is 4" front to back, 5 3/4 side to side and 6 1/2 top to bottom, and it has about the same add ons for Kalart and view finder
A 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 would be smaller yet.
If you got any of the cut film holders with it (like in Steve's photos) they will be 4 3/4 wide X 7 3/8 long if for 4 X 5. This it with the dark slides in place measured over the handles on the slides.
The 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 are 4" wide X 6 5/16" long over handles.
Weegee! He shot these:
My graphlex is a 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 if I use sheet film. It's 2X3 with roll. I didn't take the time to snap any photos today. I decided to go through with the trauma of getting a haircut instead. Once it heals in a day or two I'll get the sedan out and see what I can do. I really want to thank you guys for your assistance. There really is no one around hear I could learn from and having you guys available was a blessing.
This is my fathers WW2 official photographers kit. Les
Picture taken by my father. He told me he climbed into the rafters and it is a 1 flash bulb shot. Les
I just got in from taking 8 exposures with my Graflex camera. I'm about to leave to have them developed. I'm a little concerned because as I was winding the film between exposures the film holder was pulling away from the back of the camera. I didn't put the black plate in each time between pictures and may have let some light in and ruined a few photos. So we'll see. If anything came out I'll scan and post on this thread. Please wish me some luck and pray I did everything right. Thank you.
According to the Photo Shop all the exposures came out real good. I told them to go ahead and make a set of prints for me. Then I'll go in tomorrow around noon and pick them up. My next step now is to get into putting together in order to develop my own negatives. It's really good to know my camera worked as I wanted and I was able to get what I wanted. Once again, thank you for being here for me.
Les, your Dad's photo kit is unbelievable. I can kind of imagine myself having a kit like that at some point in time. It'll take some time and expense but I believe there's a place in the world these days for such a thing. I'm envisioning such a set on the front seat with me during the tours with the Model T club. I took photos this past summer with the digital color camera but the feel is lost when it's not black and white from a film camera.
This is probably the last time I'm going to bring this up. You guys have got to be getting tired of my enthusiasm for my new hobby. At any rate these are 3 of the 7 black and white photos I took with my 72 year old Graflex camera. Enjoy?
I know this one could use some cropping but remember I'm still learning the camera. Also I have to learn how to adjust the light a little bit.
Same deal with this one. Needs cropping.
This photo is my favorite of the bunch.
Ok, well maybe I have to learn how to make my photos the right size. My previous post was a little questionable. But I think you can see my successes to date.
Looking good. Now you need to park the car in a T era setting and maybe put in some people in old times clothes.
I know Steve. I've been thinking of taking it to the blacksmith shop in town. Putting a couple period signs by it and see if I can borrow a gas pump and then get some clothes. This really is a fun hobby.
Looks good Mike. Is this with the 120 roll film?
Yes John, it is with the 120 roll film. I think I'm going to purchase a 4X5 Graflex once I get back from Arizona in January. But for now I need to save my money for the trip.