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To go portrait with Graflex, recomendings needed badly.

 
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Daniel Kwon



Joined: 08 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Stockholm

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:32 pm    Post subject: To go portrait with Graflex, recomendings needed badly. Reply with quote

Hi!

Scanned the web for Graflex information for weeks now.

I want to try Graflex for portrait photography. But I still cant decide which model to buy. Please help out with your suggestions.

I've been looking at: Pacemaker Speed Graphic, Speed Graphic and the Series D. But Im totally stuck and confused right now. Maybe a Pacemaker Crown is enough for my needs? Im not a collector or in need of having tech-features that I wont need.

I want to go for 4x5.
Shoot portraits in natural light mostly, outdoor and inside. I want to shoot something like this but with a Graflex:
http://danielkwon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Foto12-1024x677.jpg
http://danielkwon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/SKOGSKIDS-FINAL-ORIGINA31-1024x606.jpg

I've now started to look at a Pentax 67, but... As I said, im starting to go confused now. So many Graflex models and its features and Im not sure what I need for just taking portraits, im not gonna do a lot of landscape only. I love to shoot people.

Would be happy for leading me into the light of Graflex.

Thank you!

Best
DK
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 152
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Daniel, I like your photographs!
What I would recommend is a 4x5 Pacemaker Crown or a Pacemaker Speed Graphic. The Crown is simpler and lighter -- it has just one shutter, mounted in the lens. The Speed has a rear focal-plane shutter as well, which you only really need if you want to use barrel lenses, i.e. lenses without a shutter.
The 4x5 Graflex SLR cameras are a bit more complicated to use; more steps to follow before you can actually take the picture. Also, Graflex SLRs are pretty hard to find in the 4x5 format and, if they're in good shape, more expensive than the Graphics. Most Graflex SLRs you'll see are in the smaller 3x4 or 2x3 formats.
The nice thing about Graphics is that you can use them handheld -- no need for a tripod -- by using the rangefinder. Most Graphics you'll see are equipped with a rangefinder, mounted either on top or on the side of the camera.
I would guess from your photographs that they were taken with a normal lens. Most Graphics come with a 127mm or 135mm lens -- slightly wide -- because that's what press photographers liked. They should be OK for you. The Ektars are the top-of-the-line lenses, but I've found the Optars very satisfactory for my purposes.
There's a lot of detailed information on the different Graphic and Graflex models on this website, take a look.
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Daniel Kwon



Joined: 08 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Stockholm

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy,
Thank you very much for taking your time to answer.

The only up side for the Pacemaker Speed G over the Crown is that its cheaper to buy lenses?

DK
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pacemaker Crown & Speed Graphic have a fixed landscape orientation back as does the Anniversary and earlier Speed graphics. To shoot in portrait orientation one must turn the camera 90 left or right. This is the only disadvantage I can think of.
A side rangefinder graphic will have the rangefinder on the right.

The Series D or Super D will have a Graflex back that rotates to any orientation you wish to use. The RB in the model name of Graflex SLR's is for revolving back.
Graflex backs require special film holders called Graflex holders which can be confused with standard holders made by Graflex Corp.
The Graflex SLR's are waist level cameras.
The Super D is the most expensive and sought after of the Graflex SLR series of cameras.
Graflex SLR instructions: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_8.html
RB Super D brochure: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_16.html
Pacemaker Graphics: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_5.html and http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_4.html
Anniversary Speed Graphic: http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/Anniversary.pdf

Another Graphic to consider is the Super Graphic: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_6.html , about the same weight as a Speed and has a rotating back. The Super Speed came with either a 135mm or 270mm Rodenstok lens in a Graphic 1000 leaf shutter but is otherwise the same as the Super.
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Daniel Kwon



Joined: 08 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Stockholm

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

Thank you for your answer and the urls. Great.
Feels like you recommend the Super D or Series D, mainly of the possibility to rotate the orientation.

Thank you!

Best
Daniel
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Sirius Glass



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 123
Location: Southern California & Virginia

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For portraits I found a 1928 Graflex Model D in great condition. I bought it from Bert Saunders and he machined an adapter so that I can use the Grafmatic 45 six shot back.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for portraits I like my graphic view for studio work
My super graphic for outandbout as both you can put the
Backs to portrait or vertical & not have to turn it on its side
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 152
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS to my previous post: For portraits my favorite camera is a 1931 3x4 Ser B Graflex SLR equipped with a 2x3 (6x9cm) roll film holder. On 6x9 the 6-3/8 in. lens is roughly equivalent to a 75-80mm in the 35mm format (frame is the same proportional shape).
The uncoated lens is flattering.
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