RB Super D * RB Series B


Series B * RB Series D Auto * RB Auto * Auto Jr. RB Tele * RB Jr.

Principles of the Graflex

The Camera Back


Using the Graflex Cameras

Special Instructions for the RB Auto Graflex

Flash Photography

Care of the Graflex


Graflex Photography is built around three simple elements:

[Figure 1]The first two elements are interlocked to make operation rapid and simple; the third gives an unlimited choice of emulsions to suit all conditions and types of work.

1. Reflex focusing is illustrated in Figure 1. Light enters the camera through the lens 5 and is reflected upward by the mirror 3 to the ground-glass screen 2; visibility of the image is improved by the light-excluding focusing-hood 1. The lens is focused by focusing control 4. Since the focusing screen and the film are equidistant from the lens, sharpness of the image
on the ground glass indicates the sharpness of the negative. The mirror automatically lifts away just before exposure, so that light from the lens passes directly to the film to form the image.

2. The focal-plane shutter is a curtain (Figure 2) of special cloth containing five slits of different widths. It is carried on an upper roller and winds down across the film and onto a lower roller when released by movement of the mirror. (Its action may be observed with the film holder removed from the back of the camera.) The time of exposure is governed by two variables:

a. the width of the slit (or curtain aperture), and
b. the speed of the curtain (controlled by tension of the lower roller) .

The shutter-speed plate (Figure 6, 6a, 6b) shows the various exposures resulting from different combinations of slit and tension.

Directions for the shutter controls will be found on pages 9,10,11,12 and 13.

3. Sensitized materials to receive the image are carried in a suitable holder (Figure 8) behind the curtain. Several types of accessories are available for this purpose: sheet film holders. plate holders, film pack adapters and sheet film magazines for all sizes of the Graflex; and for certain sizes only there are plate magazines and roll holders. Instructions for using the last three types of accessories are supplied with them.

A fine camera is primarily an instrument rather than a machine, and the reputation which Graflex products have won for sturdiness and continued functioning under adverse conditions should in no sense be an invitation to abuse them. To insure the long and trouble-free life of which your camera is capable, study and follow these directions as you handle it for the first time. Above all, do not twist any knobs or push any buttons on this camera until you know what this pamphlet tells about them. Do not lend your camera to anyone not familiar with it without instructing him in how to use it. If you lose this book, write us for another.

Since the manner of operating all Graflex cameras is the same in all important details, this manual applies equally well to all current and most older models. Minor points of variation between the different models will be clearly emphasized and explained. These differences relate principally to 1. opening and closing the camera, 2. interchanging lenses, and 3. focusing controls.

The National Graflex, RB Series C, and the 5 x 7 RB Home Portrait Graflex and some of the earlier folding cameras, are covered by their own special manuals.


Series B * R.B. Series B * R.B. Series D * R.B. Super D * 
R.B. Tele * R.B. Auto (Stationary Back) * Auto Jr. * R.B. Jr.




Focusing with Automatic Diaphragm--Super D



Setting the Curtain Aperture (slit)

Making a Time Exposure

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