Graflex 5x7 Press

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by arthur_gottschalk, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. I have a beautiful Graflex 5x7 Press, SLR camera in what appears to be perfect condition, but the mechanism is stiff and I'm not sure how to operate it. I've used other Graflex SLRs with great success, but this one seems to work somewhat differently. Can anyone suggest a repair person who can work on this camera and get it to run smoothly? If anyone has a copy of instructions for this camera I'd also be much obliged.
  2. I don't see anything for the Graflex 5x7 at LINK (Butkus), but possibly one of manuals for the smaller models would provide guidance.

    I've shot thousands of images on 4x5 Graflex cameras of one model or another, and they all seemed to work pretty much the same. In fact, I just realized that I have never actually seen a manual for the camera. As long as you're not trying anything fancy like the Scheimpflug rule, they work pretty much like a Kodak Jiffy.

    Stiffness, on the other hand, is best dealt with very carefully. NEVER FORCE anything, but try working the stiff part gently, maybe with the tiniest imaginable drop of camera oil. Whatever looks like it's not enough oil is likely to be 3 or 4 times too much, by the way.

    I did buy the 6th edition of Leslie Stroebel's View Camera Techniques, and much of that is generally applicable to press cameras.

    I suspect actual SERVICE on them these days is limited to the largest world cities, if there still. Internet is perhaps your friend.
  3. "shutterfinger" on one of the analog photography groups works on Graflex cameras and is very knowledgeable. I have a 5X7 Press Graflex SLR which works well but is very rough in appearance. Only difference I see between Series B or C or D camera mechanisms is the shutter curtain is would opposite at the top but there may be other differences as well.
    The Press Graflex has a different back than the Series B or Home Portrait models. Film holders or the special Press Graflex bag magazine are attached by a couple springs rather than the "Graflex back" slide at the top. Mine has been adapted to take standard slotted Graflex back film holders. I love this camera.
  4. I have a few other Graflex SLRs but they don't seem to work the same way. I asked Mr. Butkus if he had a manual for the 5x7 Press but no. I'll try "Shutterfinger." Thanks.
  5. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    I guess you know the various brochures shown at CameraEccentric?

    This one lists the Graflex Press (on pp 30 and 31) but it is only a catalogue entry: a page of prices, and a broad descripton. I see that it cites two of Folmer's patents: these have diagrams that may help you.
    5 February 1905 (this one, I think, archived at the European Patent Office; link is to the biblio page. Click on 'Original Document' at the left to open it for reading. You can also download a PDF.)
    8 June 1909 (this one).
    Good luck!

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