Sunday, May 31, 2015

Held A Graflex RB Super D 4x5

I had the chance to hold and play with a Graflex 4x5 Super D today. I visited a photo buddy from one of my former photo groups, who let me handle his Graflex and took me through the working of the camera. These cameras are little gems, really beauties. The camera is lighter, smaller and much more functional as photographic instruments than I expected. I love the mirror SLR feature with a 4x5. You can focus down to 19 1/2 inches which is pretty awesome with the 190mm F5.6 Ektar lens.

If I can handhold these things, and get reasonably sharp images at F5.6, I am taking this baby to Thai next trip! This will be another camera to carry but I was so impressed with this tool that I am pretty sure I can make strong photos with it. The oops camera buying mistake I made is seeming less and less so. I would probably have saved big maybe $5-600 CAD if I had bought locally from the same photo buddy (he had one to sell) but I think I will get good use out of the one from the states as long as it is fully operational. In the pictures the one from the states seemed to be in better overall condition, a Graflex film back was also included ($80-$100 CAD).

I love the fact you can handhold and see exactly what your shooting till exposure with the SLR mirror. Because I can focus closer, I will be able to do heads with this camera. Heads that can be shot on the fly in tough conditions like the dump.

One thing that worries me is the sharpness of the lens, and hand holding at the slower shutters. Can I hand hold this at 1/30 or 1/60 of a second and get a sharp photo? Doubtful. I am also worried that a camera I paid $1227 CAD for will have some kind of functional problem. I could have gotten a slightly more beat up Graflex RB Super D locally for $625 that is a 100% working camera.