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Graflex Series C but a very Strange One

 
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plasticca



Joined: 25 Jul 2009
Posts: 5
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:29 am    Post subject: Graflex Series C but a very Strange One Reply with quote

Hello, I'm glad to have finally joined Graflex.org. I have 50 plus Graflexes mostly SLRs. I repair them and use them. The only thing I haven't found yet is adequate shutter material. Do anyone know of a source. Also, i just bought a Graflex I've never seen before. It was on Ebay and here is the item #330347172539. It is listed as a Series C but looks like the body is a 3x4 Series D. The strange thing is the hardware look original Graflex and the handle, though missing. was attached with two rivets in teh back and one in the front like a Home portrait. I own many Series Cs but none like this. Please note the spirit level hardware and the hinged top door, also the ring mount on the front door. Can you provide any info on this. It would be much appreciated. Best, Geoffrey
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Geoffrey,

That certainly is a strange beast! The lower half sure is Series C but the top half looks very custom made. It appears to have Series D hood but after browsing through Richard P Paine's Graflex book (and again...and again...!) that hinged body top looks very unfamiliar, as does the extra hardware on the metal shutter plate.

Does the hole on the top front of the body contain the spirit level you mention? From the ebay photo it almost looks like an Edison thread for a flashbulb. Any wiring in there? The front of the hood almost looks slightly scorched too, but then I'm only guessing!

As for the hole in the sunshade...a detective camera mod??

Hoping someone else may know more....

Cheers,
Bruce
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plasticca



Joined: 25 Jul 2009
Posts: 5
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bruce, I haven't received the camera yet so don't have it in hand but from the photos listed on the Ebay page the hardware looks Graflex original. Take a look at the hardware on the viewing hood door that clamps the door shut. It also has the mount for the spirit level. This piece looks to be Graflex and is more square than the usual round hardware. Take a look at the upper shutter wind knob. It's a knob and not the usual wing knob with some sort of flash sync device attached. The spirit level mount on the top of the door continues and another hole is present on the top front of the camera body with threads. conjecture that this apparatus is to hold a flash column and the flash can be attached with the door open or closed. There is also an added piece of shutter release hardware in front of the standard shutter release hardware. The hinged door seems to be designed the accommodate the spirit level flash hardware. The leather on both sides of the door look original Graflex Moroccan leather.The missing handle is interesting as it has the standard two rivets in the back but looks like it was held to the front of the door at the hinge by one rivet. Part of the front of the handle is still there with a strange knurled knob attached. The front hood withe hole in it is a mystery to me. I first thought it was because the lens stuck out too far from the body of the camera, but, on second look, the lens looks to be adequately sunk into the camera. Perhaps you are correct Bruce, that is to use as a detective camera. I also thought it might be to attach the lens to the front of the hood with the door closed to enable the lens to be used for portrait distances, as a makeshift extension board. What makes me this this is original Graflex isi all the hardware is gray gun metal finish. I love it when these Graflexes are modified because they usually have some interesting and usable adaptations, but usually it is apparent that these were fittings that were made by second parties, such as with flash sync attachments, or it is clear that someone made adaptations in their garage and the fittings are clearly not Graflex. In the case of this camera, all the hardware looks original Graflex and original to the camera. While writing this post, I decided to take examine one of my C's to compare with the photos in the listing, and the body of teh strange C looks to be a longer C body and not a 3x4 D, which makes sence because the Cooke lens would extend too far back in the D, hitting the reflex mirror. It would hit infinity but also the mirror and lose close ability when racked out. I'm appreciative of any comments or thoughts on this camera, as I never seen one like it. Thanks, Geoff
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