View Full Version : Crown Graphic

06-08-2004, 09:21
My newest toy! A sweet, well-maintained 4X5 Crown Graphic with Kalart Range Finder. This is the camera that took the famous Iwo Jima photo. There's a huge focus screen, for use on tripod, mainly, then those wire framing things, and the Kalart. I can get a really sharp photo even handheld (well these are designed as press cameras, but I have little hands, so I was surprised). Even sharper on tripod. And I really like the creaminess of the lens. of course 4X5 negs are not to be trifled with. Won't replace my 35 or MF but I'm so glad I got the thing...
And it will work with electronic flash, though I do have the old bulbs and solenoid stuff too.

Anyone else out there using these?

06-08-2004, 11:34
Was this model really used to take the Iwo Jima shot? I certainly don't know differently but would have thought that if a press camera was used it would have been a Speed Graphic.


06-08-2004, 11:47
According to the official histories the Crown Graphic was introduced in 1947. The Pacemaker was the same year. The Anniversary was made during the U.S. war years. As a practical matter there wasn't much difference in how their basic operations worked.

If you have the infrastructure to operate a 4X5 Graphic, developing tanks or trays, enlarger, etc. they can be downright addictive. I once worked for a guy whose quality standard for B&W enlargements was 4X5 Professional Tri-X developed in Microdol-X and enlarged only to 8X10. We used a Super Graphic.

Visible grain was simply not allowed.


06-08-2004, 12:57

I have a Busch Pressman press camera with the Kalart rangefinder. I'm using mine as a field camera so I use the ground glass instead of the rangefinder but the rangefinder is calibrated for the 135mm lens I have. I also has a 90mm wide angle for it.

Shoot and developed my first negative with it last week. The Freestyle version of HP5+, developed in Rodinal. Took a picture of the concrete block and wood wall in my backyard just to check everything out. You can see splinters in the wood with a 5x loupe. Pretty sharp for a 50 year old camera and lens.

Good luck with your's and have fun.


06-08-2004, 23:27
Sounds like great fun, PumaAnn! What lens(es) do you have for it?