Graflex Graphic Accessories

Below are the major accessories available for the Graphic cameras.
Viewfinder Masks 
Graphic "Riteway'' Film Holders   
Standard two-sheet film holders. 
Grafmatic Film Holders 
Graphic Film Pack Adapter 
Roll Film Backs 
Polaroid Back 
Fuji QuickLoad 
Kodak Readyload 
Adapt-A-Roll Film Holders 
Filter Kits 

Viewfinder Masks

[Viewfinder Masks]The Pacemaker and Century Graphic models feature a top-mounted optical tube viewfinder with parallax correction. There are sets of viewfinder masks which fit in the front and can be interchanged to show the appropriate image area for different combinations of lenses and cut film/roll film backs. The sets are generally difficult to locate, but each camera usually comes with one mask, which may or may not be the one for your lens.

[Graflex Riteway Film Holders]

Graphic "Riteway'' Film Holders

Back Type: Standard

Standard two-sheet film holders.

[Used: ~$10. each]

Grafmatic Film Holders

(4x5 model: Cat. 1268)
Back Type: Standard

[Grafmatic Film Holder] The Grafmatic holder (not to be confused with the obsolete Graphic Pack Film holders), will hold size sheets of film in one container. The sheets are held in individual steel widgets referred to as "septums." As of early 1997, the going prices were advertised as high as $80-$120, but many individuals report sale prices less than that for holders in good condition.

Graflex made Grafmatic holders for Graflex-back cameras, which are a different size and have a slot instead of ridges for a light-trap on the film-plane side, so make sure you are getting one for a Graflok back. Also, watch out for bent septums, and don't force them  in or out. Try practicing loading and unloading in the light, with spent film or developed sheets to get the hang of it.

Grafmatic backs have a megnetically activated numbering wheel.  It impints on the film and image of a segment of a circle with a number in it.  Some people find this distracting; if you do, you can remove the wheel fairly easily.

The Grafmatic holders are not difficult to use, but there are some subtleties:

Be sure to read the online user manual.[New!]

Graphic Film Pack Adapter

(Cat. 1234) Back Type: Graflok

Warning: 4"x5" 16 Exposure Pack Film (Tri-X, etc.) is no longer available.

Operation and packaging seem similar to a Polaroid Pack Film back.

The dark slide for the 2"x3" holder is the same as the dark slide for the 2"x3" roll film holders, so they can be good replacement sources.

Roll Film Backs

Back Type: Graflok (usually)

[Roll Film Back for 4x5 Graphic] There were two sets of models: the numbered series and the RH series. The numbered series includes the Graflex "22" (2-1/4" sq.) and the Graflex "23" (2-1/4 x 3-1/4, though there was some variation +/- 1/4" in various models.) In the later RH series, there were 3 image sizes: RH-12 (2.25" sq), RH-10 (2.25x2.75") and RH-8 (2.25x3.25") and holders were made for 2.25x3.25, 3.25x4.25 and 4x5" cameras with either Graflok or Graflex backs. The RH-20 appears to be the only back designed for 220 film (2-1/4 x 2-3/4).

The later Rochester-made Graphic roll film backs (with the lever wind, usually marked Singer-Graflex or "Rapidvance") hold the film flatter than Cambo or Calumet backs do; if you like to use wide apertures you might find this significant. By and large, the lever wind units have the rollers and the knob wind version do not, although there are exceptions. The non-roller units do not hold modern film flat: it bows approximately 3/32" towards the film, causing shallow focus at low F/stops. These units are to be avoided.

There may also be a slight overall difference in the film plane between my non-roller and roller versions (at least sometimes).

Horseman has current production Graflok roll-film holders. Since the Mamiya RB67 has a 2x3" Graflock back, you can use can take Mamiya roll film holders on a 2x3" Graphic with a Graflok back. Calumet sells non-Graflok roll film holders, but some people rate the lever-wind Singer-Graflex holders flatter.

A warning for those considering purchasing 3x4" cameras: a conversation with WD Service about this revealed that there were no roll-film backs mounted on 3x4" inserts with the pin-rollers so critical for film sharpness. The problem may be subtle and hard to deduce at first because it might appear to be just field curvature or some aberration.

The following table lists a number of the Roll Film backs made by Graflex. Manufacturers may be listed as Graflex, Singer Graflex, or General Precision Graflex. Not all roll film backs are listed.

Image Size
Exposures Model Number Advance Picture
2-1/4" x 2-1/4" 120 12 "22" Graphic Knob
2-5/16" x 3-1/8" 120 8 "23" Graphic Knob
2-1/4" x 3-1/4" 120 8 "23" Graphic Knob
2-1/4" x 3-1/4" 120 8 RH-8 Lever [RH8 Roll Film Holder]
2-1/4" x 2-3/4" 120 10 RH-10 Lever [RH10 Roll Film Holder]
2-1/4" x 2-1/4" 120 12 RH-12 Lever [RH12 Roll Film Holder]
2-1/4" x 2-3/4" 220 20 RH-20 Lever [RH20 Roll Film Holder]
2-1/4" x 2-3/4" 70mm 50 RH-50 Lever [RH50 Roll Film Holder]

Polaroid Back

Back Type: Standard
Manufacturer: Polaroid
Model Description Film
405 Plastic 3.25x4.25 pack film
500 Obsolete
550 Plastic 4x5" pack film
545 Steel/brass, black enamel 4x5" sheet film
545i ABS plastic, lighter, supposedly improved 4x5" sheet film
An advantage of the 545 and 545i sheet film holders is that they allow you to choose any film for any shot, and not be stuck with the same film for a full pack (8 or 10 shots). Useful if you're shooting 100 then 400, and want to use the same speed test Polaroid. Ditto for color vs. B&W. 

In 1995, used 545 film holders sell for about $90-$120. 

The 545 sometimes needs cleaning and maintenance in the field. See S.K. Grimes' article on the subject.

You can use the Polaroid film holder for Fuji QuickLoad film holders, and for Kodak Readyload film; however, many people report problems. The Fuji Film QuickLoads work better in the Poloroid holder than the Kodak films, which tend to jam, but the film positioning seems to be off in both.

Polaroid Type 55 Positive/Negative Film

Polaroid Type 55 Positive/Negative film produces high resolution negatives in addition to a positive print, which requires coating. 

The negative requires a brief clearing in an 18% sodium sulfite solution (not fixer) and then washing, making it difficult to use in the field. Polaroid used to manufacture a ``clearing tank.'' Occasionally one is available used. The Graphic Center markets a Type 55 clearing system. It consists of a one gallon bucket with lid (that stays put while lugging it around), an adjustable negative carrier (12 negs) and an additional bucket for washing. The cost was about $35 [1994]. They also send you a premeasured container of sodium sulfite and instructions for mixing the clearing solution. (Note: The Graphic Center, who used to sell these, appears to have gone out of business, and someone else now has their phone number -- don't call them.)

Type 55 negatives can scratch easily, so avoid stacking them together in water or clearing solution, and try to keep them out of contact with the sides of the container. You might need to bring a pair of scissers with you to trim them; you'll probably have to do that eventually in the darkroom anyway, since they usually do not quite fit into 4x5 negative carriers.

Polaroid Type 55 B&W film (Polapan 100) produces quick prints with an ISO of 80-160, depending on processing temperature. 

Polaroid Type 57 B&W film (ISO 3000!) is quite a surprising film. 

See Polaroid's Web page for more information on their peel-apart sheet and pack films. While you're there, consder trying some fun things with Polaroid film in your Speed Graphic, such as image transfer or emulsion transfer

Warning: Avoid the Type 500 sheet film holder, which was last made in 1969 and is incompatible with current film. It won't engage the dark slide catch, though some people have reported being able to use the 500 holder after some experimentation.

Fuji QuickLoad

[QuickLoad Holder] Back Type: Standard
Manufacturer: Fuji Photo Film, Ltd.

The Fuji QuickLoad back is designed to accept Fuji QuickLoad holders, which each hold one sheet of film.

The Fuji QuickLoad holder and back combination seems to be more reliable than the Kodak pair, but the film and the holder are both more expensive, and bulkier (one sheet per holder vs. two).[QuickLoad Holder]

Fuji offers an array of positive and color negative films in Quickload Holders, but no black & white films in the US. (In Japan they sell Neopan Commercial, an EI 80 general purpose film. As of 2005, also sell Acros 100, at a 3x price over color film.)

You cannot use Kodak Readyload film in a Fuji QuickLoad holder; it tends to jam.

Polaroid film cannot be processed in a QuickLoad holder.

Fuji QuickLoads seem to work well in the Poloroid holder, but the film positioning may be off some.

Kodak Readyload

Back Type: Standard
Manufacturer: Kodak

The Kodak Readyload back is designed to accept Kodak Readyload holders, which each hold two sheets of film. You expose one side, pull out the holder and flip it over, and then expose the other side.

Readyload packets work much better in the Kodak holders than in the Fuji QuickLoad or Polaroid holders. Make sure you have the latest Readyload holder: earlier ones had many more problems, and Kodak has replaced at least some of the early ones for free. If you look very closely near the opening where you insert the film packet, you will see a very small Roman Numeral III on the latest holders. You need to search a bit to find it.

Many people have reported light leaks with Kodak Readyload packets. Assuming you have the latest holder, light leaks generally result from not getting the paper packet firmly pressed in to the metal clip at the end. Barry Sherman suggests the following method: after the exposure, hold down the release button, firmly slide the paper packet into the clip, then move the complete packet a couple of inches (the clip end stays in the holder) and slam it back against the far end of the holder a couple of times. You can expect at most one or two leaks from about 100 Readyload packets this way, at least with the yellow packets. You can also look closely at cardboard going into the metal clip after you remove the Readyload from the holder. If you can see any space between the cardboard and the clip, you will probably have a light leak (this gives you a chance to re-expose the image on a different Readyload). It is said that the newer black packets have less problems than the older yellow packets, as the metal clip was re-designed.

Kodak offers an array of positive and color negative films in Readyload holders. For black & white, they offer TMAX 100.

Polaroid film cannot be processed in a Readyload holder.

Adapt-A-Roll Film Holders

Back Type: Standard
Manufacturer: Tatro

The Adapt-A-Roll film holder accepts 620 film, but can be cajoled into taking 120. Its main advantage that it can be used with 2x3 Graphics with Graflex backs, as an alternative to cut film. Adapt-a-Roll holders were also made for 4x5'' cameras.


[Graflarger Icon] The Graflex Graflarger back attaches to a Graphic camera in place of the regular back and illuminates a negative carrier with a green Aristo cold-light head. The camera is placed on a stand, and the negative is imaged through either an enlarging lens or the original taking lens (presumably at reduced image quality).

An advantage of the Graflarger back is that it is an inexpensive way to print 4x5 negatives without having to buy (or store) a real 4x5 enlarger. A disadvantage is that the cold-light head does not produce the same response with multigrade papers as does a tungsten source (regular enlarger), and that it cannot work with color materials. Some people have reported success with multigrade papers, although with a shift towards lower contrast.

While difficult to locate, a Graflarger back sells for $90-$150, depending on its condition and whether it has all the components (negative carrier, head & power supply, stand, base).

Graflarger backs were made in 2x3, 3x4, and 4x5 sizes.


Cases, either civilian or military (O.D. Green).


Flash bulbs are quite underrated - literally. Considering that a GE #5 flashbulb has an ISO 100 guide number of about 200 at 1/100sec, they outpower any comparable handheld flashes.

Civilian flashes are chrome or aluminum, and military are matte black. Kalart and Heiland also made compatible flashes, and Graflex made two different series of flash units: the Graflex series, and the Graflite series.  The later Graflite series is more functional, and is described in the brochure for Graflites with some accessories for the Graflites.

Listed below are some Graflex Graflite series flash parts.

Catalog Number Description
2747 Graflex 7" Reflector (large screw-base lamp socket for GE #11, GE #22, and Sylvania Press 40 bulbs)
2749 Graflex 5" Reflector (large lamp socket to small bayonet lamp socket right angle converter, for GE #5/Sylvania Press 25 bulbs, etc)
2773 Graflex Synchronizer Battery Case (3 D-Cells)
2712 Graflex Side Lighting Unit (large lamp socket)
The earlier Graflex series 3-cell flash was used as the handle of the &quit;light saber" in Star Wars. The flash units are disappearing from the used market, bought up by Star Wars enthusiasts who them convert them into light saber props and sell them for hundreds of dollars. The Graflex flash is not being used as a flash at all, but simply as a metal handle for holding the parts. Contrary to popular belief, it does not actually produce a visible beam of light as in the movie. It does drive up the price of Graflex flashes for those of us who do use them as flashes.

Filter Kits

Series VI filter kit (filter holder, Y, G, R, sky, lens shade, in leather case). 
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