Graflex Anniversary Speed Graphic Video 2 | Operation

Graflex Anniversary Speed Graphic Video 2 | Operation

July 3, 2019 3 By Bernardo Ryan



hey everyone welcome to this my second of two videos on the Graflex anniversary graphic or anniversary speed graphic different names for the same camera in this video we're gonna take a look at how to do everything with this camera so let's jump right in and talk about how to change lenses okay one of the great things about the anniversary graphics and the speed graphics is that they can take barrel lenses because they have a focal-plane shutter so for ease of demonstration that's what we're going to use today this is the can't the lens that I have this infinity focus calibrated for a pen tack a dowel Meyer pen tack eight-inch f29 super super fast lens on large format there's a little lip down here and another recess up here which is where this lens board goes this uses a 4 inch by 4 inch lens board the calumet lens board will not work but a simple plastic or wood one will so you put your lens in there and then you just pull this oh come on come on until there we go the screws rest at the top of the openings for this little slot slide a bit that slides diagonal on down and now this is secured in place focusing is not done on the lens but it's done with the bed rails here there we go and then once you've achieved the focus you want you simply lock the focus and then you can take your picture without having your focus shift let's get this back to infinity and lock it to swap out lenses all you have to do is slide this up make sure whenever you adjust this you're holding the lens because as soon as you adjust that this lens is going to want to fall forward then you're going to swap out another lens always take the rear lens cap off of your lens first that just makes it a whole lot easier to do everything and this lens has a really long rear element so I'm gonna have to slide it in first and then angle it into the camera and and get that slid all the way down and there we are and that's how you can change lenses and put different lenses in and as long as your lens this part of it is a smaller diameter than this opening your lens will fit in this camera and work for good or ill it will find a way to work this next part of the video assumes that you have seen my video explaining how to load film into a four by five film back okay so this is a four by five camera it takes four by five film to load the film all you have to do is if you have this type of back this spring back you just slide it and pull this open slide your film back in and once you are ready you pull the dark slide out if you take it out all the way you can do that and then you can actually rotate these the way they're supposed to be rotated you might notice this side of the dark slide has four dimples this doesn't that's how you would know which side faces outwards when you're loading this in the dark or if you want to what I do is I pull this until it's almost all the way out not quite there we go oops just so that it sticks in there this provides a really good light proof seal for your images to prevent light from leaking in from the dark slide entry point and fogging your film which can happen even just when you take the dark slide in and out at that point then you're ready to go you can take your picture one thing you might notice about my dark system I film back rather is it it's super old it's made of wood this isn't even my oldest film back I use a lot of old film backs with these so they have issues like potential light leaks so it's a good idea to do the whole leave the dark slide in the film back trick to give these the best chance of working the they're supposed to and each side of the film back takes one image so after you take your first one if you want to take a backup photo you can just turn it around and take a second one and that's a-ok a lot of photographers large format photographers take the same image on each side of the film back so that if one of them gets a scratch from the dark slide or gets dust on it or is not developed properly there's a backup image that could turn out it gives them a better chance of success it's twice as expensive but twice the chance of success if you have a graph flex back if you have the one that doesn't look like this the one that originally came with it it will not work with modern film backs so that kind of sucks but these replacements are available from time to time on eBay this one was blasted and recoated that's why it looks so nice it was $90 this was 90 bucks the bellows was 90 bucks and the other thing that I fixed on this was was free because I had the parts for it at any rate these as project cameras are not cheap you're better off buying one that's ready to go out of the box all right so the next thing I'm going to do is show you how to check the shutter curtain for holes I've got my K one over here on the right and I've got my dark cloth blocking out as much extraneous light as I can from reaching the back of the Graflex so that there's no glare from the light around the scene like that on the glass so that's as little glare as I can provide now I'm going to put my flashlight in front of the curtain so right now I'm on closed this is what it looks like an oh okay so you can see that light dot moving up and down on the screen and the reflection there that's a hole it's a lot easier to see if you're not filming I won't lie this has turned into a bigger technical challenge than expected but if you shine your flashlight through the curtain and get the focusing screen in a darkroom you'll be able to see whether or not there are holes in your curtain you might be able to see a couple more they're moving up and down there's another one okay so let's talk a little bit about Flash use with the anniversary graphic I did confirm in my notes there is no flash sync on the cameras body okay so any flash that you're gonna use is going to be have a sink through the lens if you've seen my anatomy of a lens video or if not you should check it out there is a flash sync port on the cameras shutters when you use a leaf shutter lens so all of your Flash use is going to be done with your leaf shutter once you have your lens mounted oh come on there we go once you have your lens mounted your Flash connects to your shutter here with the use of a flash cable and so when you take your photo with the leaf shutter you want to set your shutter to open and then when you take your photo the shutter will open your Flash will trigger and then the shutter will close now that's it and because it's a leaf shutter all the leaves have to open completely and then close completely at every single speed so you can use your flash from the shutter here at any speed if you're using a barrel lens you will not be able to use a flash because barrel lenses do not have flash syncs on them all right let's take a look at the ground glass here so you can see what you're seeing I'm going to grab a lens and put it on here just to try to give us a little bit of an image to play around with okay this is what you would see if you were to take this we're looking at right now with this lens on the camera we're looking through the Pentek 8 inch f2 9 the image is upside down firstly it's also reversed back left to right and if you were to focus let me uh unlock the focus there we go focusing in zooms you in to a closer focal point which we don't have with the setup and then you zoom out to get your ideal focus this doodad right here is a focusing loupe it's a good idea to have when you're out taking photos so when you have your focusing loupe what you want to do is put it up to your ground glass and it's designed to be focused with your eye right behind it there we go you can kind of see what it would look like through the focusing loupe the focusing loop allows you to see a fine detail area and then I'm focusing in and out right now adjust your focus until that area is sharp and then you would lock your focus and put in your film and take your photo ok so let's talk about how to take a photo with the anniversary graphic I'll go over how to do it with both a leaf shutter and a barrel lens if you have not yet seen my video on the anatomy and use of a leaf shutter lens you should check that out first there's a link in the description below so pause the video and check that one out barrel lenses are really easy because they don't have shutters they are just lenses in metal barrels that's where the name comes from so for this demonstration we'll use my pen tack 8 inch f2 9 and we saw how to mount lenses already in this video so just mount your lens exactly as it needs to be mounted once you have your lens mounted now it's time to foe if you can use your telescopic viewfinder and want to do that fine if you wanted you use your sports finder also fine I'm going to be using the ground glass we just saw how to focus on the ground glass using a loop so we need to set this to O we have Infiniti focus right now what you're going to do is look at the ground glass with these two people with three things there are three things that are mandatory for taking a photo with this camera once you have the lens on it film is the first mandatory piece if you haven't seen my video explaining how film backs work check that out again there's a link in the description for that and that will show you what all the different parts are and you'll need you'll need that optional is this guy right here it's a focusing loop which we just saw how to use I'll hang that there for the time being also mandatory is this dark cloth it's white on the outside for thermal protection and black on the inside to give you a better view the way to use a dark cloth is you put it over your head and then you bring it around the camera like this I like to hold it in place under the camera and I also like to close my eyes for a 10 to 15 count depending on how bright it is outside so that my eyes can adjust to the dark before I really start focusing okay so pretend I have the darks the the dark cloth over my head and I'm looking here at the ground glass I'm going to focus until I find something that I I like and it's pretty close to in focus I'm gonna grab the loop and I'm gonna make sure I'm gonna find focus to make sure that everything looks really good and while I'm looking at the loop I'm gonna lock the focusing rail in place this makes sure that if the focus slips when I'm locking it I'll know because I'm still looking for the loop as I lock it now this is ready to go mostly we have it info we haven't focused we're going take a look and meter the scene if you have a light meter that's a good optional piece of equipment I don't use light meters I just eyeball scenes that's indoors and out so if you've seen the large-format photos in my all about film video for Fuji Velvia they were all taken with this camera like I said I don't carry a light meter so modern films slide films to a lesser extent but modern films are pretty forgiving so if you're outdoor and you use the sunny 16 rule or any of the variations of it for different lighting conditions you'll be close enough if your camera's shutter timing is correct to get a good exposure okay so we've got the focus and you're either going to meter the scene or you're going to use your judgement to come up with the best exposure setting and then you're going to set your aperture to the correct aperture this is so tough sometimes with this lens there we go okay so let's say that this is the correct aperture and we know we're going to need to adjust the shutter speed so let's say that C 4 is the correct shutter speed C 4 which tells us we are at one three hundred and twentieth of a second and whatever aperture is on the front here is correct next we're going to take our film I'm gonna slide it into the back here we're going to pull out the dark slide you can either pull out the dark slide if you have a lot of confidence in this seal here I don't most of my film backs are 40 to 80 years old so I leave the dark slide in just slightly because this provides a really good light tight seal for your film and prevents it from being fogged or losing contrast if you have anything other than a really really perfect material in the dark slide opening here then you just take your picture and this works because on every speed oh there is shutter curtain material in front of the film back until you press the trigger and then a slit scrolls through in front of the film once you're done you slide your film back back in that's not the right one there we go take that out if you're like many dark if you're like many 4×5 photographers and just flip the film back around and take another identical exposure it's twice as expensive but you get twice the assurance that if one of your photos is ruined the other one won't be so if you get a light leak or your dark slide scratches you're negative or you screw up the development somehow you still have a second chance to get that image right and if you're doing landscape photography we're missing an image means missing a meal or you're doing a portrait photography same thing whatever the case may be if you're missing an image means that you don't get future work or that you don't have an image to sell spending the money on that extra second insurance photo is a very good idea it's also good because if you have wind or camera shake during that first photo you're not necessarily likely to have that same issue during the second one so a lot of photographers take front-and-back same image same settings for me if it's a photo I'm really really really interested in making sure I have a copy of then I'll do that or I'll do it on two different types of film more commonly I'll take any photo on four by five on two different kinds of film so that there is a backup in case one of them doesn't work but I don't end up with two identical photos that just waste space in my mind so that's how we do it with a barrel lens in a moment we're going to switch to a leaf shutter lens but the first thing I need to do bring this all the tension out of this bring this down to one I'm going to bring this 2:04 open we want to have the curtain open exposing the film back or what will be the film back currently as the ground glass to light all right so let's see how to do this with a shudder lens now once the lens is mounted we're going to open up the preview lever make sure the aperture is open I'm going to grab my focusing loop and my dark curtain and I'm gonna put them over my head and a loop around my neck and I'm gonna focus and I'm gonna get the loop out I'm going to look it through the loop and focus get a really good fine focus lock the focus again this is a very similar process to what we just saw with the barrel lens so far the process is the same now it's where it's gonna change I'm going to close the lens preview lever the curtain remains on oh because the shutter is going to the leaf shutter here is going to control the exposure so I'm going to look at our scene or take a light meter reading and we're going to adjust the aperture to whatever it needs to be we're going to just the shutter to whatever it needs to be and then we're going to arm the shutter and then when we're ready we take the picture just like that and it's a similar process but we're controlling the shutter speed with the leaf shutter not the focal plane shutter okay that's all well and good but how about double exposures double exposures with four by five cameras writ large are very easy these cameras are ideally set up for it because the film back is not connected to the shutter there's no film to advance all of your shutter control is done in this camera either for the focal plane controls or the leaf shutter controls and on cameras without a focal plane shutter strictly on the leaf shutter so double exposures triple exposures whatever super easy to do all you have to do is understand the science of it with large format there is a sincere limit on your shutter speed control over double exposures so for instance this shutter on the leaf shutter only goes up to one four hundredth the focal plane shutter only goes up to one one thousandth if you were taking a double exposure and you'll you're double exposure shutter speed had to be one mm you could not do it with the shutter you have to step in and use the aperture to control it in general I'd like to use the shutter speed to control exposure compensation for double exposures because tip the depth of field tends to be more important to conveying an images meaning unless you're using your shutter speed to control time these are going to let you have a lot of creativity with your double exposures so let's say for instance that you're using your focal plane shutter and you know that your shutter speed has to be for a proper exposure b1 which is 170th of a second well if you take two exposures at 170th of a second with the same aperture you're going to end up with a very overexposed piece of film and a a very dark thick negative that's not going to yield as good a result as a properly exposed negative so we need to cut the shutter time in half that's not 135th of a second it's one 140th you have to double the number here because it's a fraction so you have to cut the amount of time that the shutter is open in half so one 140th would be not exactly but we can get to one 135th one 137th by going up to be five and a half I'm going to leave it at B and I'm going to adjust this until we get to five that's three four five now I have to go one more half so the blank space between five and six now I've taken my first of two shutter fires for my double exposure if I'm in the same lighting situation I would just rearm this 2b and take my second image now bear in mind if you don't take the film back off or if you leave the dark slide out and you're using a barrel lens you will have to cap the lens before you rearm the shutter because that opening will pass in front of the film if you don't cap the lens you're going to get a very slow-moving shutter curtain it's gonna completely mock up your double exposure if you're using a leaf shutter to control it and in doing basically the same thing but with the leaf shutter controls as long as your preview isn't open you're gonna be fine you can well you wouldn't need to advance the curtain at that point anyway just bear in mind if you're using a barrel lens or the focal plane shutter for your double exposure that you want to cap the lens or make sure there's no light reaching the film back between exposures so knowing that you don't have to have the same lighting for both exposures in a double exposure you can take one photo inside and go outside and take another one and if your indoor photo time is one 135th and we just took that and we know our outdoor time is one 900th well then we have to adjust this to one 900th there we go and take that exposure and that could also work as a double exposure you could also if you wanted to creatively imbalance your exposure so that instead of having to even half exposures on the double exposure you had one that was 3/4 and one that was a quarter so that the lighter exposure would just be kind of a faint whisper of double exposure if you want to experiment like that with these cameras they're very good at it because they have so darn many shutter speeds you can select from and they're exceptional for double exposures especially with slow speed film with leaf shutters you don't have quite as much shutter control over your double exposures but mostly shutters will go up to F 64 I think this is the one that I have that goes up the low to the lowest F number is 32 that's it that's a huge number that's a very tiny opening and most leaf shutters allow you to continue dialing past the smallest market opening so even though this is this one right here that's on the lens is only marked up to F 64 it has hidden up apertures up to ninety-eight which is darn near pinhole territory and so it gives you a lot of light control the leaf the leaf shutters do for a large format if you can't obtain it with your shutter speed and because it's large format the effects of depth of field are not as great as they are with smaller format so an f32 aperture on a small format lens is going to be basically the entirety of space and time and focus it's not necessarily the case with large format especially if you get into the science of movements which is outside the purview of this video so anyway all of that just simply means awesome awesome multiple exposure image machines right here okay so next things talk about is how to use wide-angle lenses now that we're done with all the easy stuff on the anniversary graphic the last thing we're going to talk about use wise is wide-angle lenses after this we'll talk about how to figure out what year your anniversary graphic was made wide-angle lenses are tough this is a 90 millimeter lens which is an equivalent to a 27 millimeter lens in 35 millimeter terms so it's a standard wide-angle lens I have a 75 there but it doesn't illustrate what I'm about to show you quite as well because it's a retro focus 75 millimeter lens meaning that it focuses a hundred and three millimeters from the let from the the ground glass that's very rare there are very very few maybe two or three that I know of retro focus large format lenses most of them are like this guy which means it's a 90 millimeter lens the focal point for this lens's 90 millimeters from that's like eighty nine point eight millimeters same difference from the film plane so this lens captures the bed of the camera in the photos using a large format lens in principle with a Graflex anniversary graphic is easy you just pull it out to infinity focus let's pretend this is infinity focus and then you can scroll this forward to get your fine focus that's closer than infinity lock it in place and take your photo but because and and it focus because the rails are attached you can leave the wide-angle lens inside the camera body and still get things in focus that was not the case with older cameras before this where the rails were detached because however I get the front bed in view I've got to lift the front standard slightly and that generally gets the front bed out of view so let's take a look at what that looks like all right so what you're doing right now what you're looking at now is the view through the 90 millimeter lens it's an Astra GaN as the brand but it's also called a Congo with wide-angle lenses you can't really drop the bed of the lens of the camera rather because let's get back into focus go can't really drop the camera's bed because of the way it's designed it's hard to see but there's a blurry area here let me see if I can get it in focus blur area down here is the bed of the camera this will appear in the photo it's hard to see on the ground glass just with the way that the ground glass on these old cameras work but this will be in the photo I just showed you raising the front standard this is what it looks like when you actually raise the front standard and you're looking at the ground glass that is just enough to get the front bed out of the photo if you want to compensate for raising the the front standard you just have to lower tripod a little bit just drop it down and a couple inches and that will compensate for it or tilt it tilt it forward slightly although that will throw your verticals off if you need to have good verticals so if you use a wide-angle lens just be aware that if you don't raise the front standard you will almost certainly get an image that has the bed of your camera in it alright so let's talk about how to if you have an anniversary graphic and you'd like to know how old it is let's talk about the details the construction details that will let you know the age there's a link in the description Graflex that coughs pizz and that contains detailed images so all of this is just reporting what's on that link the first one is that the trim company name and shutter speed plate all provide clues this is the trim company name and then the shutter speed plate is the shutter speed information plate there are again on the coughs biz link there are photos of the different types of trim and things like that that will help you if your camera does not look exactly like mine match up when it was made so mine has a black face this trim around here so we know for a fact it was made while the US was involved in World War two if yours has a silver face it was not made during US involvement in World War two so black trim huge clue was involved some time 42 through 44 the next thing they were going to look at is this plate right here and this says Fulmer grief Lex Corp here it is down on the bottom so we know that it was made no later than 1945 because after 1945 that didn't say this anymore it said something else so this is confirming what we already knew that this was made sometime between 42 and 44 but this plates style is the 1942 style so this camera was made in 1942 right well not necessarily if you and what I mean by style is the the coloring the Brasco with black background the font style these plates changed periodically this was what it looked like in 42 but that doesn't mean that it was made in 1942 because the controls here above the plate are crinkle coded this black textured coating is crinkle coating and that means that this from 1943 or later so even though the plate down below is from 1942 it's distinctly possible that some of the early 43 versions would have had the 42 plate the last thing we're going to look at under the controls here they are brass they're not made of satin chrome because they're brass we can say for certain that this was a buck made in either 43 or 44 so given that mine has the 42 plate the 1943 coating material in the 1943 and 44 brass controls what we can say is that it's either a very late 42 or a very early 43 when they were transitioning between some of these things that's the best guess that I've got for this is late 42 to early 43 which means that here it is now June 2019 this camera is 77 years old I'll tell you what this cameras doing a lot better than most 70 70 year olds out there so still takes good photos goes on hikes with me and functionally everything still works all right so that is it for my two videos on this the Graflex anniversary graphic been a heck of a two videos getting these together okay so if this video was helpful to you please give me a thumbs up that lets me know that I'm producing content which is useful and helpful and beneficial to you if you have any questions or comments please leave those in the comments section below I'm pretty good about responding every few days to those if you'd like to find out when I have more videos about photography and cameras by all means please subscribe and hit the notification bell so you know when they come out if you have suggestions for future videos please leave those below as well I'm more than happy to entertain those and make videos or adjust my videos if I can many of the evolutions of these camera video series and things like that have come from suggestions you guys have made suggestions that I probably would not have thought of myself and one last thing thank you everyone very much for watching and I'll see you in the next videos