how to use rollfilm back on super speed graphic? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello folks,

I just received my 4x5" Super Speed Graphic camera ;-) I did already find out that I can insert a regular double sheet film holder by lifting the ground-glass assembly and sliding the holder into the camera. I also did already find out that I can use the Polaroid Land film holder by first removing the ground-glass assembly and then fixing it with the slide locks. But I do not know how to use my "23" Graphic rollfilm back. It is broader than my Polaroid back (about as broad as my regular double sheet film holder) so I cannot use it with the ground-glass assembly removed. But it is way too thick to use it by lifting the ground-glass assembly. And help?

Best regards,

-- David Haardt (, June 12, 2001


"Backology" is quite the pursuit in 4x5 as I found out. You should start with this site:

-- Chris Yeager (, June 12, 2001.

In the meantime I discovered that in fact my rollfilm back is about 6mm (1/4") broader than my Polaroid and double sheet film holders. Did I get the right rollfilm back?! It has written on it on the front "Graflex "23" Graflex 120 Roll Holder" and on the back "4x5 Graflex".

Best regards,

-- David Haardt (, June 12, 2001.

The Speed Grafic and the Graphflex are two different camera's, and while I have never owned a Graphflex, I do have a Speed Graphic and a 23 holder and a 22 holder both of which fit correctly when the groundglass back is remove and locked into position with the sliding locks. Maybe someone out there has a Graphflex and could measure the back for you. Pat

-- pat krentz (, June 12, 2001.

I was afraid of a situation like that. Pacific Rim Camera told me that it was for Speed Graphic so I was sure that it would fit (obviously that was a wrong information). I will go to Scotland on July 6, and have bought 10 rolls of Fuji Velvia to use with that back. I have paid 40 dollars customs duties for that back. What a mess.


-- David Haardt (, June 12, 2001.

A graflex is a different kind of back (aside from the mfgr's name) If you take a poloroid, and a standard film holder, then you don't got a graflex back -- you have a spring back. Don't let the "flex" scare you. You'r problem is the Graflock vs spring/international back.

Graflex has groves in the middle lengthwize. you probably have to figure out a spring back 120 holder -- if you have a "22" or "23" back then you probably need a graflock holder. Dean

-- Dean Lastoria (, June 12, 2001.

As a former Super Graphic owner as well as roll film user, I think you may be OK. May just take some figuring. It's my understanding that all Supers had Graflok (not spring) back contrary to one of the posts. The correct manner to attach the back is as you sort of described. Remove the ground glass and use the sliding locks to hold the roll film holder in place. May take a few trys at positioning to get it where it belongs. It also sound to me like the back is the correct one for the camera. This is really not complicated once you see how it goes. If you have problems, I can't figure why, as it seems like everything should work propery. You migh try here: for a little more help.

-- Roger Rouch (, June 12, 2001.

David, if it doesn't fit you're screwed. Email Pacific Rim and explain that they sent a GraFLEX roll film back instead of the GraPHIC. They have screwed up and should cover your cost of shipping. You still have time to replace it with the correct unit.

-- Bill Mitchell (, June 12, 2001.

Dear Dean, my back has two such groves in the middle lengthwize (one on the top, one on the bottom).

Dear Roger, the back is 6mm (=1/4") higher (or broader, depending on the point of view) than my 545 Polaroid back (which perfectly fits having removed the ground-glass assembly), so it seems as if the back was really a wrong one.

At the beginning I thought that it was my fault (I even had to figure out how to use the regular double sheet film holder as this was covered nowhere - but I could then tell from a photograph in my camera's manual that you had to hinge open the ground-glass frame a bit), but now it seems as if it wasn't.

I did already write Pacific Rim Camera, and they did already answer, they said that this rollfilm magazine was for Graflok back, not standard spring back, but that he was confused about which back my camera has, and he wanted to "put aside the advice of others" (because I also mentioned what I have heard here so far). He requested a photo of my camera's back, as I don't have a digital camera available at the moment, I scanned the two respective pages from the Super Speed Graphic manual. I hope that the problem can be resolved.


-- David Haardt (, June 13, 2001.

Hello folks,

I am extraordinarily happy to be able to announce that Pacific Rim Camera could resolve the problem. They have probably mixed up backs when they sent me the non-fitting one. But on Monday, they will send me a "23 Graphic" back (even without waiting for my return to be received by them, because that wouldn't be possible in time before Scotland), and I'll return the "23 Graflex" back. They will even send me a letter with paper money for return postage. The employee who could resolve our problem in such a great way was Mike, just that you know.


-- David Haardt (, June 17, 2001.

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