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Help - Finding the Serial Number on a Graflex RB Series B
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scott



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:09 am    Post subject: Help - Finding the Serial Number on a Graflex RB Series B Reply with quote

Hello there,

I just bought a very nice 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Graflex RB Series B camera with a Kodak Ektar Lens. I've looked but can't find a srial number on this camera. The Ektar lens has a serial number ES3622. No serial number on the body visible.

Everything seems to be working fine on the body. The slower shutter speeds are dragging but they do work. I will probably need to give this a CLA. I will need help with that as well.

And finally can a Mamiya RB 6 x 7 rollfilm back be adapted to use on this camera?

Look forward to hearing back.

Thanks, Scott
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3159
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Ektar lens has a serial number ES3622

http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/lenses.html#EktarLenses
1947.


The body serial number should be behind the top of the view hood on the view hood door. There should be a release inside the view finder opening at the front center, release it to release the view hood for ground glass cleaning, fold the view hood up and slide it out from the view door retainer clips. Installation is reverse of removal.
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 149
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have a 2x3 RB Ser. B with an Ektar 127mm and couldn't find the serial number on the camera. The serial number on the lens, however, is ES3256. According to Kodak's CAMEROSITY code (see link below) this means the lens dates from 1947, and since yours also has the ES prefix it would date from the same year. I believe these lenses were the stock units on this camera.
Here's the link to the code key:
http://home.cogeco.ca/~disastrophe/specs/camerosity.html
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 149
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS's reply and mine crossed in uploading. He is the real expert.
Thanks to his post, I found the serial number on mine, which is 459096. It seems I can't post a link to an unofficial list of serial numbers that's on the Web, but it can be found by Googling "Graflex serial numbers."
According to this list, 1947 would be about right for my camera.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3159
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

459096- first half of 1948.
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scott



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found the serial number. It is 458653 I knew it would be lurking under something.

Thanks,
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3159
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Jan. 13, 1948 order number 4152 was listed for a batch of 1100 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 RB series B cameras. 458653 is number 13 of that batch and Billy's, 459096 is number 456 of that batch. The next batch was listed in June 1948.

The Graflex back on the RB is wider than standard Graphic or Graflok backs with a different light trap. The Mamiya RB RFH will work on 2x3 Pacemakers, Century Graphic, and Miniature Speed Graphics. The newer versions of the Mamiya back will need the lockout features disabled to work. Some Graphic RFH will fit either a Graphic/Graflok or a Graflex back.
http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/features.html#GraflokBack
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scott



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very impressed you have such detailed information on the dates. And it is a coincidence that our two 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 RB's were made in the same batch of 1100 cameras.

I have a couple more Graflexes that need dating if you want to look them up.

3 1/4 x 5 1/5 Graflex 3a - serial number 49916

Kodak RB Auto Graflex - serial number 130491

Many thanks,

Scott
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3159
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 1/4 x 5 1/5 Graflex 3a - serial number 49916 -date info was not recorded on this early of cameras. It is near the end of a batch of 500 assumed to be around 1915.

130491 - 9 from the end of a batch of 250 made sometime in 1923.
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scott



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well 45PSS you've impressed me again. That is one heck of an invaluable list for Graflex collectors and users.

I am going to call on you one more time to look up the serial numbers of a couple of Pre-Anniversary Speed Graphics.

A 3 x 4 Pre-Anniversary # 227,988

A 4 x 5 Pre-Anniversary #232,515

Thank you again,
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3159
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

227,988 - 3rd. quarter 1937.

232,515 - 4th quarter 1938.
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scott



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you 45PSS. The one (1937) is slightly earlier than I thought.
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SYNCHROJAMES



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 34
Location: SAN DIEGO CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:12 am    Post subject: RB Graflex date Reply with quote

Well, I've got one more for the age list. My Fathers 3-1/4-4-1/4 RB seriesB. Serial number is 148001. Shutter is history, but an interesting conversation piece.

Thanks, James
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3159
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Shutter is history


Please elaborate, curtain material dried, wrinkled, full of holes, or it simply won't work.

Sometime in 1926.
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SYNCHROJAMES



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 34
Location: SAN DIEGO CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: DEAD SHUTTER Reply with quote

The shutter curtain is separated, and as I recall the last time I saw it in one piece (around 1985) it was showing cracks and general deterioration at that time. It had been stored in an outdoor shed for some time before I inherited it, and the curtain and the original storage case were the parts that suffered.
James
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