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Anyone done any photography lately?
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frankpaladin



Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's it like to actually use a Speed Graphic as it was intended? OK, perhaps this will be of interest:

These days I volunteer as a photographer for a local museum and nobody has any problem with me using my Speed Graphics... imagine that! From time to time, I am asked to shoot something that is considered to be history in the making. Oftentimes this is also a newsworthy event.

Early on I discovered that I needed credentials of some kind when I was disbelieved while attempting to shoot a mall that was closing. I now carry a letter of introduction from the museum.

Today I attended a protest march dealing with the current immigration issues.

Of course, the rain poured down. I found that my Australian bush coat kept the rain off me, and also my camera if I kept it under the coat. The same coat has large water-resistant pockets large enough for 4x5 film holders as well as my Luna-Pro.

Unfortunately, one cannot take pictures from under a coat, so the old beast had to venture out into the wet from time to time. It is now drying in the living room with the bellows extended and the lens board removed.

I found that I had to keep the camera pointed down or under the coat until just before I tripped the shutter or the lens became covered with rain drops in short order... I really need to get a lens hood some day. Also, the optical finder was less than adequet for the same reason. The sports finder worked just fine, though. It is difficult for raindrops to adhere to the surface of the air in the frames.

This camera no longer has the rangefinder as it could not be made to work with the Rodenstock Ysarek 127mm. I removed it for use on another camera undergoing restoration. A carefully fabricated focusing scale sufficed for focusing on a crowd I estimated to be around five to seven hundred (one of the local news outlets estimated their number as three to four thousand... Louis Farrakahn must work for that station).

I did find, however, that my colleagues from days gone by were correct in that the 127mm lens is best for general news photography. I was able to get in front of my competitors... also that drunken crazy lady... and still get the entire front of the crowd in my shot.

Standing thirty feet from a crowd of Hispanic protestors screaming slogans I can't understand is a bit nerve-wracking. Though, for the most part, they were quite well-behaved. Some of them were somewhat familiar with my camera... at least they knew it was a camera.

My modern "colleagues" who work for TV and print journalism outlets have started to get used to me, though, only the ones with gray hair generally recognize what I carry to news events.

The police also took an interest in a small black box I was attempting to "hide" under a long coat. Upon opening the camera, their interest became more friendly, but no less intense. Most of them had never seen a Speed Graphic. I told them that I was a volunteer for the museum and that was why I was carrying an antique.

They accepted that without asking for my credentials. Now that I have the credentials, I will probably never be asked for them again!
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doe912



Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ve a Graflex Speed Graphis camera. Model #2C, serial 393666. Would this be a 4 x 5 format camera?? Someone told me it is a 3.5 x 4.5 format?? Please help!!
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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

London:April 20th.
Dear DOE912..I've just sent you a private message.
I think it's best if you place this posting to another spot,say SPEED GRAPHIC HELP,because it concerns a camera type that others on this forum could also give answers too...and could find the serial No.
I've explained that in my message.

Regards.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3232
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graflex Sid,
Did you load up and go shoot the Queen on her birthday?
I skiped the President (Georgie Boy Bush) at Moffet Field the other day, would rather have a rocket launcher for him.
Charles


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The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer to the question is NO.

I'd rather watch all this pomp & circumstance on the evening TV news.Security is tight,and the chosen few with permits are allowed near:or shoot from a distance away with a 50000mm lens mounted on a 'digital' camera.Not for me,thank you.

I prefer taking the Graphic somewhere much more peaceful away from the maddening crowds,where I can think when using the thing.

The Graphic & me are getting older,so we need a much more 'peaceful' occasion where we can enjoy our photography at a more leisurely pace.

Press photography has changed out of all recognition in GB,where you once had say 10 photographers covering a story,now 100's will turn up inc:TV companies.I expect the same happens in the States.
...and most of the pictures are close-ups of faces.You hardly ever see a well constructed picture anymore.Most have no idea of a good picture.

Like asking Weegee to only do a close-up of the victims face.

What sort of photography is that?.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3232
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extreme close up!

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paulownian



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 16
Location: South Central Pa.

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been working and playing in photography since early 1964. I have photographed everything from sports to weddings, to commercial shoots. I have never failed to use my camera (or, one of them) every day. I shoot something, everyday. I don't wait for something to happen, I find it. If I can't find something, I create it in my studio. Not shooting is like not living. Granted, I don't always use a Graflex, but I shoot all of the time. This thread started a long time ago; I just read the first post and it really amazed me. How can a real photographer not shoot?
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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul:Tell this story to the World,especially those spending million of or $ on gear that they only look at,gloat over,polish,admire,and tell friends about.
...but hardly take a picture with.
The photographic industry is made up of a huge percentage of these people.

The manufacturers just love them,because they know shortly they will be trading in XYZ for the latest model.

In Britain most camera shops have stopped the 'trading-in'(part exchange) principle,so this might have some effect on the value and make them hold onto a camera longer.

Here,photography is in a sort of 'crisis',especially now 'digital' has arrived.People are no longer getting prints done either,they cannot be bothered,they look at the pic on the camera screen,then think,what's the point.
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David A. Goldfarb



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 142
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished some architectural shots with the 11x14" camera, and as I was shooting, I was being photographed by a photographer from the Associated Press for an upcoming feature about people who use the internet as a means of preserving and propagating information about old technologies like traditional photography (should be out Tuesday or Wednesday).

Of course he was shooting digital, so we had some interesting conversation about the whole digital/analog issue. He showed me how he could transfer his shots to his pocket PC, edit them and file them by wireless, and can go for days from one assignment to the next staying in touch by cellphone without having to stop into the office. All his equipment fit in a fairly modest sized waist pack.

At the same time, he complained about the lack of standards for digital equipment and the difficulty of truly effective calibration, changeover of media and file formats (I just threw out all my old Zip disks), distinction between technical types and visual types in the photo world, and the neverending spiral of upgrades. When I told him my American Optical camera was made in the 1890s and I could still get film and new lenses for it, he laughed in appreciation. He said he's getting a 4x5" field camera, because he wants to do some "real photography" between covering spot news and such for the AP. He definitely seemed impressed by the image on the 11x14" groundglass.
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it rather interesting that there seems to be a renewing interest in traditional photography. Mostly large format it seems. Have we finally come full circle?

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Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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David A. Goldfarb



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 142
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article I mentioned two posts up is out, and here it is with photo of me and the 11x14" camera--

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060510/BUSINESS/605100342/1003

There were three illustrations that ran in different papers, and here's another version with Ron Mowrey in his darkroom with his 4x5" Graphic--

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2006/05/09/PH2006050900867.html

[ This Message was edited by: David A. Goldfarb on 2006-05-10 06:18 ]
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slithy



Joined: 07 Jan 2006
Posts: 16
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice article and photo! I also like the way the photographer picked the angle so that the camera is about four times bigger than your head. ;0

[ This Message was edited by: slithy on 2006-05-10 12:08 ]
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primus96



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 209
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only Graflex equipment I have is a 4x5 Crown Graphic and its Kodak 127mm Ektar.
I have bought other stuff to USE with it, like Schneider & Goerz lenses, Linhof & Wista roll backs and a #405 Polaroid back.
So when I go to a local event people get OUT of my way. Do they think i'm a professional photographer or a photojournalist? They are mistaken on both counts of course but the GRAPHIC is still associated with journalism, even today.

I enjoy experimenting with film & developers.
I learn something along the way, even if I don't come up with any stunning images.
I have been using some VERY slow film recently. How do you fancy a shutter speed of 30 sec@f32 on a dull, wet English morning?
It wasn't THAT dark but the film was rated only 3ASA. You really get to appreciate the difficulties the early photographers faced and then use the slow shutter speed to your advantage. How else could you show a windy day in a still image?
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ASpeedGraphic



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

Actually, although I have been using a 1950 Graphic View for quite a long time (it and a Canon FTb are the cameras I started on), I just bought my first Speed; a 1954 4X5 model. I have wanted one for a long time, and finally decided to just go ahead a pick one up. I love it! I won't be using it for any business (journalists are prettymuch forced to use Canon Mark Is or IIs), but I will use it quite a lot for my personal photography. For portraits, street shots, music shows, or anywhere where easy portability is a must but a large negative is desired.

I adjusted the rangefinder and solenoid and bought flashbulbs at a local camera store that has tons of new old stock, so it is up and running (thanks to some help from other folks on this site). I just want to clean and lube it up and I think it will be good for a long time to come. It looks very lightly used. The only wear is a slightly darkened area on the lensboard right above the shutter cocking lever.

As far as what I do...Well, I am looking at being a stringer for Getty, Reuters, AP, Wire Image, etc. Maybe staff some day, but I think they actually do more work for less money than stringers do, since staff are on salary and rarely get two days in a row off. I may be going to the Bering Strait this summer for Greenpeace to document the effects of global warming there, which will include getting into the scuba gear and taking some underwater pics. It all depends on whether or not my close friend gets hired on as the photo manager/editor for the trip. If I don't go on the Greenpeace trip, I will spend two months in Yellowstone taking photos, most likely with the Speed.

In short, I will use this camera like I use any of my others. I don't view it as an antique or a collectible. I bought it as a tool, and it will go into the bag of tricks right alongside the Mark II, the Super 23, and the 35s. Each has their own forte. Sure, I need to have all the modern tools to do what I want to do, but that doesn't mean the old ones are not still wonderful machines.

Quote:

On 2006-02-25 05:08, Graflex Sid wrote:
Surely you guys are not routed to your seats at home polishing the Graphics...It would be nice to hear about some recent experiences 'out in the field' as it were.Done any good pictures lately with the Graphics.

Too much talk about stripping then down or adding a few more nuts & bolts.A lot of us are beyond this stage.

We need an update on what the Graphic is doing,the poor thing hasn't given up the ghost yet-they are working models,and bags of life in them yet!.

I get tired of the 'modern' photographer spending $$$bucks (or, pounds)then putting the cameras into the drawer,awaiting the next model to trade in.They bore the pants off you.

So lets have a lively debate on what the Graphic is doing in this World from someone.

p.s.I bought a monitor screen for the computer-it packed up after 5-months,Ouch!my Graphics are all over 50-years old and still working.Technology today,forget it!.Perhaps these guys feel the same way about the modern digital camera-$$$ being spent,so they better not use it.
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primus96



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 209
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the excuse of garbage weather and dark skies stopping you using your Graphic.
I have just discovered 3000ASA Polaroid Black and white so bad light won't stop play...
I wish T Max 3200 and Delta 3200 were offered in 4x5 form.
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