Grafmatic 6 sheets 4x5 film folder : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, I wonder if the factory still make this film holder? Sound like they stop the production? But why? If there are defects of this products? How much did they cost when new in box? Thanks. Kit

-- NG Sai Kit (, December 17, 2001


Nope... Their are no longer in production. Only available used (several are for sale at ebay and used dealers) for around 60$. Last I saw new was 120$.

I personally have one of my own, and donīt like it very much. It is old and jams frequently, is heavy (equivalent to 3 regular holders, wich translates on the same weigth) but definitely less bulky in size.

Some peaople love them, is a matter of taste.


-- Enrique Vila (, December 17, 2001.

The Grafmatic film holder has been out of production for over 25 years. The manufacturer, Graflex Corp. went out of business in 1973 (at this point, Graflex was a division under Singer). The product remains quite popular in today's market. A Grafmatic provides an easy method for advancing 6 sheets of film in one holder. Plus, each sheet of film is held flat if the holder and its 6 septums are in good shape. Often times the septums would get bent due to improper handling. The unit may also jam if the tracks are not maintained (periodic cleaning and light lubrication of tracks is required).

This has always been considered a quality product. Just make sure the unit is in good shape before purchasing it. Also, make sure it is compatible with a Graflok back, as models were also offered for a "Graflex" back. Good luck.

Best regards,

J. P. Mose

-- J. P. Mose (, December 17, 2001.

Thanks Enrique, J.P.. It make me think twice before purchase a used one in the market, I rather go for a Quickchange. By the way what is the different between a Graflok back and a Graflex back? Thanks. Kit

-- Ng Sai Kit (, December 17, 2001.

"1973 (at this point, Graflex was a division under Singer)"

At the end Grafmatics were made by a company that purchased the tools that was located in Florida.

We were buying them from them for Linhof who distributed them in Germany. But Linhof was rejecting over 60% of them as being too far out of spec and they would easily scratch film.

The holders disappeared with this company shortly later.

-- Bob Salomon (, December 17, 2001.

If you look at the "dark slide" in the back and if it has scratches then so too will you film be scratched. As long as that slide is unscratched your film will not be and the light seal will be good too. As fsar as being out of spec. tell that to WEEGEE, f8 and be there!

-- ED (, December 17, 2001.

If you are interested, there is an online copy of the Grafmatic Manual on ''. At the web site just click 'Graflex Directory.....' link to view manual.

-- Harry Martin (, December 18, 2001.


The Graflok back was developed in the early 1950's (I think it was introduced by Graflex in late '50 or early '51...way before my time!). It provided the advantage of the other two backs offered by Graflex ("Graphic" and "Graflex") in one. These backs were provided on Graflex cameras with film formats 2 1/4" X 3 1/4" and larger (or cameras that utilized sheet/plate film).

The "Graphic" back is a spring back the is not meant to be removed (although there are mod kits with large springs for inserting a roll film back). The back has a ground glass screen. The film holders were supported against the camera by the pressure of the spring back. This back allowed for use of the standard 2 sheet film/plate holders and film pack adapters only. As new accessories were added such as Roll Film backs, Graflarger back (cold light box for utilizing the camera as an enlarger) and Polaroid back, the need for a different system became evident. The Graphic back was around for decades prior to the introduction of the Graflok back, which replaced it. It should be noted that film holders for a Graphic back remained compatible with the Graflok back.

The "Graflex" back was commonly used on Graflex reflex cameras (but was also available on their other cameras such as Crown and Speed Graphics). This back also contains a ground glass panel for focusing. It MUST be removed before film holders are attached to the camera. The film holders are held in place by two retaining clips. Additionally, the Graflex film holders had a different design/shape that IS NOT COMPATIBLE with the Graphic or Graflok back (in otherwords, a film holder for a Graflex back has a unique design). Since the Graflex was removable, accessories such as roll film backs were available. It was available through 1963 on the 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 Super D Graphic. I think its availabilty on the press cameras was phased out during the early 1950's.

The "Graflok" back, which has the advantage of being a spring back and/or removable back for larger accessories, is the universal large format back since the early 1950's. Of course, the back has a ground glass focusing screen as well. Other large format manufacturers, such as Linhof, Sinar, etc. adapted this style too. All large format accessories for the past five decades have been designed for compatibility with this back. For this reason, many camera owners have retrofit Graflok backs in place of the Graflex and Graphic backs.

In summary, many accessories by Graflex were made in two formats:

1) for the long time Graflex back, primarily used on Graflex SLR's.

2) for use with the Graphic or Graflok (now the standard).

Hence there are two style Grafmatic backs. The Graflex version is much more rare.

Hope this explains it without too much confusion.

J. P. Mose

-- J. P. Mose (, December 18, 2001.

I received one as a gift a while ago. In addition to the convenience, it's great for film tests since it imprints a number on each sheet. That way, you don't have to cut corners on the sheets before development, you can just refer back to your notes when you are ready to print.

-- Erik Asgeirsson (, December 25, 2001.

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