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Operation of Film Pack Adapter

 
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Doug Kerr



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 177
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings,

I recently acquired as part of a "grab bag" deal a Graflex Graphic Film Pack Adapter (Cat. no. 1234).

I understand that this took a multiple sheet film pack of a type no longer available.

As a matter of curiosity, could someone please describe the nature of this film pack and how it operated in the FPA?

Was the FPA slid under the focusing plate like a sheet film holder (it's somewhat thicker), or did it mount to a Graflok back using the locking slides (it looks like it has the "flange" for that), or what?

Thanks.

_________________
Best regards,

Doug

[ This Message was edited by: Doug Kerr on 2006-09-06 08:58 ]
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug, see

http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/accessories.html#FilmPack

Not much info there except reference to similarity to the Polaroid's operation.
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Doug Kerr



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 177
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Henry,

Thanks.

I have since found a nice explanation in "The Graflex Bible" (Morgan and Lester, Graphic Graflex Photography), 10th edition, p. 399.

Best regards,

Doug
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whaddaya know, I even own that edition! One of these days I may actually get around to reading it.
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can think of filmpack as a twin of rollfilm, introduced just a bit later and designed to offer the same advantages. It used thin base stock and paper backing, just as rollfilm did.

A filmpack consisted of a number of long pieces of this backing-paper (at the end, 16), sandwiched with shorter pieces of film. The films were taped at one end to the backings, and topped by a final piece of protective paper.

The filmpack itself was a flat metal box with an internal pressure plate. At the factory, the papers-and-films sandwich was folded so the ends with the films were above the pressure-plate, and the free ends bent around it at the left end, passed below it and extended from a slit at the right-hand side.

When you took the pack out of its foil envelope, you saw the protective paper through the filmgate that was cut into one of the large faces of the box. As noted, hat paper terminated in a tab end than hung out at the right, below which were 16 numbered tabs, each carrying one piece of film.

The film pack adapter was constructed so that those tabs passed through it, behind the darkslide, to the outside world, where you could grab them.

With the pack in its adapter and the darkslide in, you pulled the first tab out, removing the protective cover. The first film now lay under the darkslide.

With the FPA attached to the camera, you drew the slide and started shooting. After each exposure, you pulled the numbered tab nearest you, which drew the exposed film down under the pressure-plate so the one beneath it was in position to be exposed. You could tear each numbered tab off after you pulled it, so you didn't have a sheaf of eight-inch-long papers flapping in the breeze, or you could leave them intact.

The system had many advantages. It was much faster than rollfilm, and faster even than the magazine backs, like the "Grafmatic." It was much more compact and faster than sheetfilm. Best of all, you could take the metal box apart in the dark and retrieve the exposed films for development, leaving the unexposed ones alone for future use.

The Polaroid pack films give you a sense of how a filmpack worked, but by their nature, cannot be exposed in succession with the same speed. People who have not used the old filmpacks may find it difficult to imagine how quick and handy they were!
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T.r., this text deserves to be added to the graflex.org site at the link I posted above. Les, are you reading?
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry, I agree !

T.R. this is the best description I ever read about how filmpacks worked, thanks.
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad some of you smiled reminiscently; I wish I'd proofread it! If I were sitting across the table from the questioner, I'd just draw a picture -- in this case, worth more than a thousand words.

We didn't answer the part about fitting the adapter to the camera back. I mostly used a 3x4 "Anniversary" with the "Graphic" spring back, and my FPA slid under the focusing panel all right, but it was a tight fit, and rather scary. My 2x3 and 4x5 cameras had "Graflok" backs, so the question didn't arise.

I haven't studied the design history of Graflex filmpack adapters, but it would not surprise me if the last generation -- for "Graflok" -- were a tad thicker than the earlier ones made for the "Graphic" back.

There has been some very good discussion of filmpack on this site, and anyone interested in the subject will be rewarded by finding that thread and working through it.
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