Graflex Auto RB

I found this camera in the 2005 annual camera show in Bievres (Paris region). I couldn't realise how the shutter should be cocked, could not set the mirror in place but anyway I bought it by 250 euros. Back home, having the time to understand it, I was glad to learn that there was nothing wrong with it. It is just a bit worn out due to an adaptation (the holes above the shutter adjustments) that I took of but the camera is fine and operating. The film holder is not original but it carries 24 sheets 9 x 12cm. The lens is a Tessar 1:4,5 F=21cm Carl Zeiss Jena and glass is like new . For a 9 x 12 it is like a 70 mm for a 135 roll film. So I immediately considered large format portraiture with a reflex camera!! Being reflex it is nice to have a precise focus right when you shoot. I've been using a Linhof and Maximar with the ground glass but you have to close a lot the aperture to garantee focus when you have living subject.

The set back is that you can't use a flash because this shutter is a focal plane that never exposes the whole frame unless in T mode. It doesn't have two independent curtains: one to open and a second to close. It has instead different slits in the same roll so you have to choose from 1/8 to 1 1/2 inches. Also different spring tensions are available so it is possible to combine slit + tension to get speeds from 1/10 up to 1/1000

There are people in the internet saying they can use flash with a Graflex but for me the fun is to be able to shoot with full apperture and focus in large format. For this purpose this camera is just the only one I could find so far.

As always with Graflex cameras,if you want to know more go to Graflex pages.

This is a lateral view that shows the adjustments for shutter speed and also the film magazine

At the botton, by turning the knob it is possible to set 6 tension levels. The upper pannel controls the mirror, setting it back in position after firing the shutter (yes, it is not automatic return) and also the slit selection that also affects the spring tension. One of the previous owners pinned a typewritten chart with combinations of spring and slit and it is in French. I am leaving it there because for me it gives even more charm to this nice camera.

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