Auto Graflex Junior! Dec 26, 2007 13:14:22 GMT -5
Post by on Dec 26, 2007 13:14:22 GMT -5
Ok, maybe there is a better solution out there for putting a 120 film back onto an old Auto Graflex Jr. I'm totally new to this type of camera so forgive me if I'm lacking in experience in the MF/LF format.
I received this Auto Graflex as part of my commission for selling off (and continuing to sell) a large vintage camera collection for a friend's estate. It has a Kodak Anistigmat 90mm lens.
I knew nothing about this camera beforehand but I knew that it was something I thought I'd like.....and ultimately use. The camera had a 2x3 sheet film back already on the camera with film still inside....from God knows how long ago.
Upon thorough internet research on many sites, I quickly learned about the Graflex conundrum.....concerning the "Graflock" and "Graflex" backs for the cameras. I learned about the manufacturers' history of Folmer & Schwing and Graflex.
I knew sheet film wasn't going to be practical for me to use. I don't have a darkroom. I don't process my own film. I figured that if I was going to be even slightly inclined to use this camera at all I'd need to use 120 film....due to availability and processing.
There's a specialized photo lab within a 15 minute drive from my work and home that sells, processes and prints 120 slide or negative film.
I bought a Graflex RH10 120 film back from ebay for $30 delivered knowing already that it wasn't going to fit the camera. However, there's a machine shop that's next door to my office and I'm friendly with several of the guys there.
So, when I received the Graflex 120, I took it to work with me along with the orginal 2x3 sheet film back that came with the Auto Jr. and asked them to machine the new back according to the old back. They would have to grind off one of the ribs on the Graflex back and then proceed to mill the locking channel.
They did the job in about 2 hrs total since they didn't have a specific "jig" (as they say in machine shop talk) to hold this film back on the mill. Therefore it took them extra time to set up a vice to hold the back to machine half the channel, then flip it over and machine the other half.
Briefly, the back fit like a GLOVE onto my Auto Graflex Jr!!! I can't wait to try it out, I'm so freakin' happy!! Maybe there's a better solution to shoot 120 on these cameras but I really couldn't figure it out through my research......all these backs and adapters and different cameras are all greatly confusing to me.
If anyone's interested in having a back machined, let me know. The machine shop is interested in taking on more jobs like this and if enough demand for modifying these backs grows, they'll build a jig to make the job easier and quicker.
As it stands now, they'd charge $150 to do the job. I have the old 2x3 sheet film back that can be used as the template. No machining is necessary for the width of the back. Only grinding the rib and milling the channel is necessary.
I've written enough......thank you for any ideas or feedback. You guys are the pros, so please enlighten me on anything surrounding these cameras and backs. PM me if you're interested in having a back machined.