Camera Speed Dating – Graflex Series B

Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is the most recent camera I’ve started dating….Graflex Series B 3 1/4 x 4 1/4.

 

A few quick facts about the Graflex Series B…the model I have was produced from 1925-1937. It has a fixed horizontal back and uses 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 sheet film. The Graflex series B uses a focal plane shutter with 6 different tension settings. There’s a chart on the hood that shows which tension setting and speed equals which aperture. Most of these cameras have Kodak Anastigmat lenses.

I feel like this camera found me, a customer brought in a few cameras for consignment and in with the rest was the Graflex Series B – it was love at first sight! As per my usual I couldn’t have fallen in love with a camera that uses a ‘normal’ sized film. So once again I found myself attempting to cut down 4×5 sheet film in a dark bag, then later groveling to my friend asking if she’d once again cut 4×5 film down for me. I took two photos using my hand cut dark bag sheets and they actually turned out! I used my iPhone light meter app, “My Light Meter” to figure out which aperture I should be shooting. It was shockingly easy. Since then my friend has cut the correct size film for me from 4×5 sheet and it is a dream to put in the film holders, much less of a struggle! I hope to take the Graflex Series b out on Christmas day for more shooting on correctly cut film!

 

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