View Full Version : Roll Film Backs - Keeping Film Flat
I am looking at buying a miniature Speed Graphic in very good condition. It will accept roll film backs and I have seen several Graflex 6x9 roll backs on eBay.
I have been told that the Graflex roll backs have trouble keeping the film flat, especially at the edges. True or false?
Any information on the short comings of these backs would be greatly appreciated.
I haven't really noticed it with my 6x9cm Graflex "23" film holder on my 4x5 Speed Graphic to be honest. But then again, I don't do anything particularly fancy with it.
I find the "23"s slightly annoying to reload, but that's about it.
At least earlier ones positively have a significantly stronger tendency to bulging than sinar and Linhof slide-under roll film holders - but then, these go for five to ten times the used price even now. Besides, slide under holders only exist in 4x5 holder size, and are of limited use on press cameras where the top bulge will obscure the rangefinder in one orientation.
I try to load my older holders with a "M" film path (whether Rada, Graflex or Mamiya RB) right before use, and use them quick - it is the back-bent film left in the holder for extended periods that develops strong wobbliness, to the point that you may get glaringly out-of-focus bands in the most affected pictures.
True - sort of.
Assuming you mean the 8 image per roll holders (and for the Miniature Speed/Crown Graphics), there are two types of original Graflex 23 roll film backs. The earlier ones are about 6x9 cm and have more flatness issues than the later ones which have additional film rollers build in the frame (but reduce the image to something more like 6x8 cm).
The central portion of the negative (about 6x7) is perfect in either case.
By the way, there are also 10 negative (6x7) and 12 negative (6x6) roll film backs...
Most Miniature Speed Graphics have 'Graflex Spring' backs. Be sure and get
either a very late model Pacemaker Miniature Speed or a Century. BE SURE
IT HAS A GRAFLOK BACK. To use a roll film baclk with a 'Spring' back, you must
kludge something together...
The backs with the extra rollers for the flat film is the RH - series RH-8, RH-10,
The buy-it-now prices on eBait are way high. Bid on one and get it for less than 40 USD..
Thanks for the replies.
I have heard the latter Graflex backs addressed the film flatness issues.
Thanks NiccaFile for the tip on getting a GrafloK back but I am very much aware of this as this will be my fourth 21/4 x 31/4 in the past 38 years. In the past I used sheet film (Ilford FP4) but with this becoming harder to obtain I have decided for the ease of 120 roll film - way more emulsion types available.
I must correct my original post - it is a Century Graphic not a Miniature that I have been offered.
I have looked at the Horseman backs and they seem to be the 'ducks guts' of 6x9 Graflok type film backs - but the prices being asked!!
I will be needing two 6x9 backs and I can see the cost of quality film backs, even one, exceeding the cost of the camera.
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