Graflex Speed Graphic Medium Format Film Camera

Graflex Speed Graphic with 135mm f/4.7 Lens

Medium format 4×5 and 220 film camera with 135mm f/4.7 lens made popular in the 1940’s

If you study the history of photography from it’s first shot through today’s almost incalculable iterations, you will see the art form takes on an enormous range of artistic expressions. I’m actually proud to say I started off in the age of film photography. I know what it’s like to have to be super intentional about the exposure, about getting it right the first or second time because film cost a fortune, and getting it developed cost even more. I also know what it’s like to take a photo and not see the results for a week or more (that was probably the worst part about shooting film back in the day), which made improving as a photographer a slower, more intentional process. Looking back at all that film I shot, I know it helped me tremendously when it comes to shooting in today’s digital world.

My grandad was a photographer as well, and he of course also did all of his work in film, but it wasn’t the 35mm film I grew up shooting, it was a medium format, 4×5 film, and still popular 220 film roll that he used. The one 4×5 negative I still have of his is this self-portrait, taken with the very camera showcased in this post. It was taken back in the 1970’s (when you kept cameras for more than a year or two), back in a time when these were called “self-portraits” not selfies.

I was given his camera a few years ago and took it back out over the weekend. I’m always contemplating giving film a go again, until of course you consider medium format film now is like $40 for 10 sheets it’s hard to pull the trigger. So instead I took it for a spin and made it the subject instead of the shooter. Maybe one day I’ll splurge and shoot some film through this camera, but for now, it’s such a great looking classic view at a little piece of photographic history.

Graflex Speed Graphic with 135mm f/4.7 Lens

With the case closed over the lens, operating on a hinge with an almost invisible “open” button in the upper right

Graflex Speed Graphic with 135mm f/4.7 Lens

Medium format 4×5 and 220 film camera with 135mm f/4.7 lens made popular in the 1940’s and self portrait

Graflex Speed Graphic with 135mm f/4.7 Lens

Top of the Graflex with exposure details typed and taped on the top top use during shooting. Graflex Medium format 4×5 and 220 film camera with 135mm f/4.7 lens made popular in the 1940’s

Flash for Graflex Honeywell Strobonar

The flash compatible with the Graflex 4×5 medium format camera

Graflex Speed Graphic 220 Film Rollers

Film backs options in 220 film for the Graflex Speed Graphic

Graflex Speed Graphic 220 Film Rollers

Film backs options in 220 film for the Graflex Speed Graphic

Alpex Light Meter for Graflex Speed Graphic

The light meter used for the medium format film cameras of the 1970s.

Graflex Speed Graphic Camera Case

The camera bag for the Graflex Speed Graphic of the 1970’s

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