Graflex cameras? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Where can I get/find information about Graflex cameras? I'm most interested about the 4x5 versions. Thanks, Arthur

-- Arthur Gottschalk (, May 31, 2000


Try DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, May 31, 2000.

Try Equinox -- maybe plugging isn't good, but they are good. I hate to tell people about this guy as his stuff is cheep, but I'm broke so it don't matter.


-- Dean Lastoria (, June 01, 2000.

I, too, sing the praises of Equinox ( It's like having a neighborhood used book store run by an old guy wearing a green visor.

-- Bill Mitchell (, June 01, 2000.

Hi, the adresses left for eqinox don't seem to work. Does anyone have the proper adress. Thanks

-- david clark (, June 01, 2000.

-- David Stein (, June 01, 2000.

I own several Speed and Crown Graphics in 4x5 size. They are excellent cameras within their limits. Minimal front standard movements are their drawbacks. Compact, sturdy, portable and inexpensive are the strong points.

The Crown Graphic has no focal plane shutter, where the Speed Graphic does. Most Speed focal plane shutters that do not X-sync with electronic flash. Most focal plane shutters have seen better days, and those that still work well usually command a pretty good price. The Speed body is thicker, and won't accomodate a 65mm wide angle at infinity. I run a 75mm Nikkor-SW on my Crown just fine by dropping the bed.

The Graflok back with the spring-loaded, removeable focus panel, is far superior to the non-removeable Spring back. The side mounted Kalart rangefinder works well, is easy to adjust and calibrate. the side mounted Hugo-Meyer rangefinder is one to avoid. The top mounted rangefinder is later production, and uses cams for different focal lengths. The cams can be expensive, and/or impossible to locate.

Crown Specials came with the Xenar lens instead of Optar, but were considered to be the cheaper of the line. Go figure. The tessar lenses in 135mm (Xenar, Optar, Ektar) are soft in the corners.

Most of the later Graphics had factory installed fresnel lenses in the focus panel between the ground glass and the lens. The thieves selling these rigs on eBay often strip the fresnel out, and this *ruins* the focal plane relationship between the ground glass and the film holder. This can be restored with a 0.60" shim in place of the missing fresnel.

My best advice is buy a Crown without lens, Graflok back with fresnel in place, working rangefinder, and infinity stops intact. I prefer side mounted Kalart rangefinders, as they are easier to adjust and calibrate. Spend the money and get a modern 135mm plasmat lens (Nikkor, Symmar, Sironar) in place of the tessar type.

The Crown with a plasmat 135mm lens will deliver wonderful images that are sharp to the corners, and fold up into a very compact, self contained unit. It is also a whole lot less expensive than a name brand field camera, plus it can be shot hand-held.

-- Bruce Gavin (, June 02, 2000.

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