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Re: PERHAPS OFF TOPIC
At 10:59 AM 05/17/2002 -0300, you wrote:
> A friend of mine here in Barbados has a lovely old Graflex SLR...but it
>is 3 1/4" X 4 1/4" format and presently only has a "film pack" back. Also
>the shutter needs repair. QUESTIONS:
>1) Where would be a good place (in the U.S.) to get it repaired?
>2) Does anyone still make 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 film packs?
>3) Does anyone still make 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 film at all? If not, I can always
>cut down 4X5 for him.
>4) Where might we find a sheet film back and/or holders for this camera?
>The film pack magazine has "fins" on each side which slide into grooves in
>the camera back. This is not like the usual spring loaded back under which
>one slides sheet film holders.
> If this is too "OT" please contact me directly.
> BOB KISS
Mostly bad news about this. The good news first, Fred Lustig worked for
Graflex and now specializes in repairing them. He has the stock of parts
from W.D. Services, the former Graflex Western Division.
4790 Caughlin Pkwy
1 775 746 0111
Graflex Parts and Service
The bad news is that 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 is an orphan size. Its possible to get
film from folks like "Film for Classics" but its expensive.
Film packs are not longer made in any size. Kodak discontinued them
several years ago.
The type of back on the camea is known as a Graflex back. Graflex made
three styles of backs, the Graphic, the Graflex, and the Graflok. The
Graphic is the familiar spring back with attached ground glass panel. The
Graflex back has a removable ground glass panel and uses sliding stips to
hold film holders or accessories in place. The Graflok was the last of the
backs an has a spring ground glass panel which functions like a Graphic
back but can be removed. The Graflok takes accessories in the same way as
the Graflex back, using sliding strips to hold them in place, however, it
takes Graphic type holders and holders and accessories for the Graflex back
are not interchangible.
There were roll holders made for the 3-1/4x4-1/4 Graflex back. All
Graflex type accessories are hard to find but those in this size are
The Graflex back can be replaced with a Graflok back, if you can find
one; they are rare in this size. The Graflok will allow using a Graphic
type roll holder, but even these roll holders are rare in this size.
Graflex tried very hard to popularize smaller size (than 4x5) cameras but
was never very successful. While lots of 4x5 cameras, parts, and
accessories are available other sizes have become a real problem.
You might also try the help board at http://www.graflex.org for more
help. Its possible someone has a stash of parts.
The popular wisdom about film packs is that Kodak was down to one person
who knew how to make them and she retired. I am, shall we say, a little
skeptical about this. If sales had been decent someone else would have been
trained. Film pack film is coated on roll film support, meaning the
emulsions must either be roll film emulsions or the sheet film ones must be
coated on a separate machine. Expensive if you don't sell a lot. I also
suspect making the things is fairly labor intensive.
I have a 4x5 Super-D Graflex with a Graflok back. Despite its size and
seeming clumsiness (its really not) its a favorite camera. A 3-1/4 x 4-1/4
or 2/1/4 x 3-1/4 with a roll film holder would be a dandy.
Los Angeles, CA, USA