Graflex Speed Graphic

This American made large format field camera was the workhorse of photo journalists of the 1930s and 1940s. They carried these things around and could set them up and take great photos at the drop of a hat. When you actually try it and realize how complicated a process it is, it’s easy to appreciate those photographers of the past.

My copy is in very rough shape and dates back to 1949. The movements are limited but it takes good enough photos, a few of which you can see here.

8 Responses to Graflex Speed Graphic

  1. Daniel Metts says:

    I used one of these as a U.S. Army photograher as late at 1978, bleive it or not. The photo lab at Ft. Meade MD would issue newly assigned photographers these so they could lean the basics. Once we became familure with the workings of this camera you could get very good pictures with it. But, If you did not pay close attention to what you were doing, you could sure screw in a job with this camera.

  2. revdocjim says:

    Wow! I find that amazing. To think that these were still being used as standard equipment in 1978! That’s a lot of steps for a beginner to learn, but I guess it was probably a wise way to start out. Everything else would seem easy after that!

  3. A great way to get into large format photography. Very versatile. Doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Pretend your Clark Kent working for the DailyPlanet. Or Wegee!

  4. gloriant H says:

    it is not a Speed Graphic, because no curtain shutter on the back, it is a Graflex Crown

  5. revdocjim says:

    I’m no expert, but if you look at the photo it says “Speed Graphic” right on the front of the camera. Looking at the camerapedia site I can’t really figure out which one it is. But it looks a lot like this one. which is the Pacemaker Speed Graphic.

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  7. Tony Burba says:

    Gloriant H is right. It doesn’t have the back shutter so it’s not a Speed Graphic. If you look at the two lensboard locking slides, you’ll notice they’re different colors. The original top slide was replaced at some point with one from another camera. I’ve seen such things before.

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