Coated or Uncoated : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

hi, i'm looking at bidding on a 4x5 camera on ebay, and i don't know that much about them...i used one in college, and loved it, but now i can't distinguish between the different models and so forth....should i get one with a graphlox do i tell if the lens in coated or uncoated?....any info would be helpful...thanks

-- Tami Warrington (, October 20, 2000


An uncoated lens is, pardon the pun, as clear as glass - it looks just like any glass magnifying glass or similar lens. A Coated lens has a blue to deep blue cast to it and usually reflects highlights as a cyan or magenta hue.

Graflock backs are nice to have and they add to the value of your camera in addition to allowing you to shoot roll film. They aren't necessary however.

For more indepth information on various cameras go here:

and maybe here:

-- Sean yates (, October 20, 2000.

Tami: I would get one with the Graflock back. It will allow you to use roll film backs, etc. a lot easier. As for lenses, most of the lenses made since WWII are coated. Multicoating came along in the late 60s or 70s. Don't pass up a good lens without multicoating. It doesn't make much if any difference on standard lenses.

Welcome back to the world of large format.


-- Doug Paramore (, October 20, 2000.

Just to confuse you, I'll add a different opinion on the back. You can use a Calumet roll film holder with a plain spring back. It just slides in between the ground glass frame and the rear standard in the same way as a film holder, so it's very convenient to use - you don't have to remove and replace the camera back. With the Graphlok type back, you have to remove the back from the camera, slide the roll film holder in, then replace the back on the camera when you're done. This is a little more inconvenient, particularly in the field if you're using both roll film and sheet film. So personally I wouldn't worry much about the type of back in deciding on a camera - either one will do but the non-Graphlok back is, IMHO, a little more convenient. There is a slight down side in that the Calumet roll film holder is more complicated to load than some of the other roll film holders I've seen.

-- Brian Ellis (, October 21, 2000.

Tami, using a standard rollfilm back will necessiate removing the groundglass. I've heard the Calumet goes under. Please read all threads regarding the Calumet back before buying one. To date I've read much back and forth regarding this item.

The Graflok back is nice as it gives you the vertical shot without moving the camera. It does weigh more tho, but we're talking in the 6 to 7 total lb range with my Super Graphic. There was a recent ad up on Photonet for a Pacemaker that has alot of accessories for I think $550. Check it out as it also has the rear shutter and you can use cheaper barrel lenses with it. I believe the camera came with a second Graflok back. The rear shutter cameras are heavier and bulkier.

If you just have to go rollfilm, think about getting a late model Wista or other rollfilm back instead.

-- Wayne Crider (, October 24, 2000.

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