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Modify 2x3 Graphic RFH to fit a Graflex back?
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DenisP



Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 43
Location: Croatia, Europe

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Modify 2x3 Graphic RFH to fit a Graflex back? Reply with quote

I have an unusual Pacemaker Speed 2x3, with Graflex back (with 2 movable sliders top and bottom) - and just one RFH for it (says "23 Graflex" on the back).

Photos of the kit can be seen here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/100736164452903885244/PacemakerSpeedGraphic23

Now, this is a rather unusual combo, but I'd like to have another roll back for it - any size (6x6, 6x7, 6x9, doesn't really matter, as long as I have a spare....).
I've been loking at 2x3 Graphic roll holders, and as far as I can see, the only difference is that mine ("Graflex") has a rib and a groove, and "Graphic" roll backs have two ribs.
Could someone more knowledgeable confirm that, if I get a "Graphic" roll holder and file off the rib closer to the film opening, and route a groove of the appropriate depth in its place, I would for all practical purposes, turn it into a "Graflex" back, and could use it on my camera?
Those "2x3 Graflex" roll backs are rare as hen's teeth, and when they do come up, they tend to be quite expensive
Glaflex backs aren't cheap, either, but they're still a lot cheaper, so perhaps I could modify one to fit my camera?
Any info or suggestion appreciated

Regards,

Denis
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1885
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't confirm that you can convert a roll holder made to fit a 2x3 Graflok back into one that will fit a 2x3 Graflex back. I can, though, advise you to be patient.

I found a couple of 2x3 Graflex (for 2x3 Graflex backs) roll holders on eBay, bought them for reasonable prices, after I got a 2x3 Graflex SLR with, naturally, Graflex back. It took a month of looking carefully at every listing for knob wind roll holders to fit 2x3 cameras. They're out there, often misidentified and poorly described.

Sorry to give you so little immediate comfort, good luck,

Dan

Oh, yeah, one of my roll holders is a hybrid, fits both Graflex and Graflok back. Some were made like that, keep an eye out.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3216
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry,
look closely at the picture in the linked photos of the camera back with the focus panel off and held close to the back opening. There are no hooks on the panel or pins on the back to hold it in place. Also note the film opening side of the sliders are straight not notched like the Graflok sliders are.
-----
I have seen one Graflex SLR that had two flat movable bars on its Graflex back that by all appearances was factory, not a modification.

Now this one has sliders that look similar to Graflok sliders so is it likely a late factory design change.
-----
Dennis, the film plane of a Graflex holder is further back than a Graphic holder. The Graflex RFH appears to have a thicker base than a standard Graphic RFH. I would need to have a copy of each to measure and verify.

Perhaps someone can measure theirs with a caliper between the light trap ribs or between the outer rib and darkslide.

On a Graflex SLR I made an adapter out of 1/4 inch Baltic Birch Plywood to hold a Graphic film holder/RFH on the Graflex back. Once the difference in film plane position is known a shim could be easily made to adapt the Graphic to the Graflex. The Graflex holder is also wider in 3x4 and 4x5 formats than their Graphic counterparts.
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DenisP



Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 43
Location: Croatia, Europe

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info...

The problem is that I don't have a 2x3 Graphic roll back to verify if this would indeed be possible

I guess I'll have to be patient, and either get a proper Graflex back, or find a reasonably priced Graphic one, and try to cobble something up...

Thanks,

Denis
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
Henry,
look closely at the picture in the linked photos of the camera back with the focus panel off and held close to the back opening. There are no hooks on the panel or pins on the back to hold it in place. Also note the film opening side of the sliders are straight not notched like the Graflok sliders are.


Yeah, 45, after I posted I realized that I didn't know what I was talking about, so I deleted my post. Guess you spotted it before I could do so. Mmm, on that principle I should go back and delete at least half of my posts on this board!
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3216
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't feel bad, I didn't catch it at first and took a second look 30 minutes later. My first impression was Graflok sliders had been put on a Graflex back.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denis
it would be easer to just get a Graflok back to use

one off of a baby speed or little crown as they are the some back
and as Dan said there are some hybrid, fits both Graflex and Graflok back
as to the Grafmatic is all so a hybrid fits both Graflex and Graflok back

as to making one to work YES it can be done on 23s only 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 &
4x5 it can't be done as the graflex is wider!!
But as in the 23s they are the same size you could make one work
But route a groove in it to deep would would be bad!!
SO you need to be carful!!
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DenisP



Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 43
Location: Croatia, Europe

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I finally managed to find a reasonably priced Graphic 2x3 back, and the planned modification should not be too difficult.
The backs are the same size (2x3), and I just have to file down the existing two ridges (shouldn't be too difficult) and route a new groove between them, in the precise location where my original Graflex back has one.

However, this will probably require some precision machining: luckily, I have a friend who has a mill & lathe, and who will be able to do this without much trouble - and very precisely. So far so good
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DenisP



Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 43
Location: Croatia, Europe

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: And yet another update (Mamiya ProS back) Reply with quote

Well, in the meantime I happened to get a Mamiya ProS back (6x7 for Mamiya RB, I presume) for free from a friend, and after a bit of fiddling, I managed to hack it and attach it to my Miniature Speed (2x3) with Graflex back.

Since Mamiya backs (at least the parts which have to be hacked) are mostly plastic, it was actually done in one afternoon. Some filing, a bit of sanding (!?), and it fits and locks properly - and it's attached snugly.
I love those Mamiya backs - unlike Graflex backs, they show whether the shot has been exposed, the winding action is much better/easier, and the film flatness should most likely be improved compared to the ancient 6x9 knob-wind Graflex back I have.

In short, I'm surprised how easy it was: using only hand (non-powered) tols.
So, now I also have a 6x7 back for my Mini Speeder - yet to be tested with film, but I don't see any reason why there should be any problems...
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WilsonLaidlaw



Joined: 17 Nov 2013
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Location: E. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: RH-8 Film Back for 2” x 3” Century Graphic Reply with quote

I have a 2” x 3” Century Graphic (2.8- 80mm Tessar), with a Graflok back, which currently has the late model type RH-10 lever wind 6cm x 7cm 120 film back. I would like to get an RH-8 6cm x 9cm 120 film back. Sadly I just missed one on Fleabay France. There are plenty available in the 4” x 5” Graflok back but the ones for the 2” x 3” Century Graphic seem rarer. My question is does the 4 x 5 plate remove from the RH-8 and leave a 2 x 3 Graflok RH-8 or is the 4 x 5 plate an integral part of the film back? Alternatively do the Horseman 6 x 9 backs fit?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short answer, no.

Look on ebay.com (none there just now), check with keh.com (no RH-8, several Graphic 23s), and be patient. Your ship will come in.

The Horseman backs are very attractive but don't fit.

You might also read the speed graphic FAQ on this site and then, if the idea appeals, look for an adapt-a-roll 620 roll holder to fit 2x3 press cameras on ebay.com.
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WilsonLaidlaw



Joined: 17 Nov 2013
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Location: E. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Fromm wrote:
Short answer, no.

Look on ebay.com (none there just now), check with keh.com (no RH-8, several Graphic 23s), and be patient. Your ship will come in.

The Horseman backs are very attractive but don't fit.

You might also read the speed graphic FAQ on this site and then, if the idea appeals, look for an adapt-a-roll 620 roll holder to fit 2x3 press cameras on ebay.com.


Dan,

Many thanks for the information. I had looked at the Adapt-a-roll at someone else’s suggestion. If I still self processed, it would be a solution but having totally sensitised myself to photo chemicals due to 40+ years of carelessness about using gloves, it is too difficult to ensure you get the metal 620 take up reel back every time.

This is the reason I have stopped using the Rollex back on my Wirgin/Exa field camera, where the take up spool has to be an old type metal spool with small holes. No matter how many times you tell the processor “I need the reel back” you tend not to get it and metal 120 reels are a lot easier to find than 620. Same issue with my Baby Rollei, which prefers a metal take up spool for its 127 film but at least I have recently managed to buy a job lot of 10 metal 127 spools from Croatia.

I think you are correct - just be patient and wait for the correct RH-8. It is no hardship to use the RH-10 but I just wanted more of a format change from the 6 x 6 I can get from my Rolleiflexes.
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Dan Fromm



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trick is to respool exposed film from the 620 take up spool to the 120 spool it came from. That's what a changing bag is for. A small pain, but I do it.
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WilsonLaidlaw



Joined: 17 Nov 2013
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Location: E. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Fromm wrote:
The trick is to respool exposed film from the 620 take up spool to the 120 spool it came from. That's what a changing bag is for. A small pain, but I do it.


Dan,

For the sake of convenience and the benefit of having a nice easy lever wind in place of the slightly tricky forward wind knob on the Adapt-a-roll, I am sure I am best to take your advice and wait for the correct RH-8 back. There do seem to be some odd backs which are late type lever wind Graflex 23 backs, rather than the usual knob wind but I am not sure if they are the correct Graflok coupling. Were these just an RH-8, made by Graflex before the Singer take over?

Wilson
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shells and inserts interchange freely.

I have a shell marked Graflex/General Precision RH-8 on the front with a back that says Graflex above and 120 Roll Holder below. Its insert is knob wind. The front plate has pin rollers. I have no idea whether it was pieced together from parts or left the factory that way. I have a similar RH-12 with lever wind insert. Evidence that both are original.

In the beginning there were Graflex 23 (fit Graflex SLR and Graflok backs) and Graphic 23 (fit only Graflok backs), then there were Graflex 23 (fit only Graflex SLR) and Graphic 23 (fit only Graflok backs). I'm not sure what came after them, eventually came RH- roll holders marked RH- on the back.

Roll holders that fit Graflok backs have two ridges on the right side of the gate. Roll holders that fit Graflex SLR and Graflok backs have a ridge on the right side of the gate and a groove towards the right end. Roll holders that fit only Graflex SLRs have no ridge to the right of the gate and a groove towards the right end.

RH-8s were made by Graflex (General Precision), Graflex (Singer) and Graflex (SubSea). If the Graflex/SubSea RH-8 I have is good evidence, they're disasters to be avoided.

The AAR-620 isn't tricky. Just count clicks as the film is wound. Four clicks = one frame.
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