Graflex Series B

Untitled

A
Untitled

  • 2
  • 0
  • 111
Black Bull (2010)

A
Black Bull (2010)

  • 0
  • 2
  • 115
Liz-Lith.jpg

A
Liz-Lith.jpg

  • 6
  • 1
  • 250
Stray (2014)

H
Stray (2014)

  • 7
  • 2
  • 219
Time #2

Time #2

  • 1
  • 0
  • 134

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
181,885
Messages
2,516,696
Members
95,434
Latest member
Cyanotypeworld
Recent bookmarks
0

robert.raymer

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Location
Maryland
Shooter
Multi Format
Im attempting to sell/trade my 1928 Graflex Series B 5x7 (non rotating back), but they are so hard to find that I have never actually seen one for sale on a forum board and have no real point of reference for what a fair price is. Mine is in excellent shape. A few cosmetic issues like a missing top handle and leather missing from flip up lens door, but otherwise nice. Leather is nice and not peeling anywhere. Camera is great where it counts. Shutter curtain is light tight and good at all speeds. Lens is an 8 1/2" Kodak Anastigmat 4.5 and in very good condition. Bellows is light tight. Viewing hood is plenty dark and ground glass is clean and bright. Has a 5x7 pack film adapter as well. So far I have had one person make me what I think is a low offer, but I don't really know. I tend to see press graflex 5x7's go for anywhere from $550-1000 in similar condition, and most Home Portrait Graflexes seem to be around $1200+ (one on ebay currently asking over $4k, which seems outrageous), but Like I aid, I have never actually seen a Series B 5x7 for sale.

Any idea what I should consider a reasonable offer, given the condition and relative rarity of the camera?
 
Last edited:

shutterfinger

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
5,045
Location
San Jose, Ca.
Shooter
4x5 Format
http://www.graflex.org/graflex-products-list.html does not show a 5x7 straight back Series B. It does show a RB Series B in 5x7 format. That said its an unfair comparison to compare it to the Press and Home Portrait Graflexes.
A better comparison is the 5x7 Compact Graflex or a 5x7 Speed Graphic. $200 -$400 is ballpark for a Series B.

What is the serial number? Its on the view door behind the view hood.
 
OP
OP

robert.raymer

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Location
Maryland
Shooter
Multi Format
I have a pdf of a 1938 graflex catalog that clearly describes a Series B 5x7 "with stationary back" to distinguish it from the 2 1/4 x 3/14, 3 14 x 4 1/4, and 4x5 RB models. (a good description here: https://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/graflex/Series B.html ). I assure you mine is not a revolving back. If it was I would be keeping it for wetplate work. Its serial number, 163352, puts it right around a batch of Series B's of unspecified size around 1928.

I agree it is not in the same league as the Home Portrait, which has limited movements, longer bellows, interchangeable lenses and a rotating back, but in terms of scarcity and use I think it is far superior, at least for my work in portraits, to a speed graphic. It has longer bellows and can be shot handheld with instant ground glass focusing via the RF on the speed. I know when it comes to 4x5 I use my Series D far more often than my Speed. To my understanding the only difference between it and the Press Graflex, other than seeming to have had far fewer produced, is the Press Graflex's 1/1500 shutter speed. The Series B actually essentially replaced the Press Graflex, at least in 5x7, starting production in 1923 when the press graflex ceased production.

Still, I think 200-400 seems low, but maybe thats just me. If I were an expert I wouldn't be here asking everyone else.
 

shutterfinger

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
5,045
Location
San Jose, Ca.
Shooter
4x5 Format
I'm the man for repair but not collectabilty of these cameras.
The entry line from the serial number book.
5x7 Series B.jpeg
Job number, quantity, camera type, date, begin serial number, end serial number.

The leather is XXX Moroccan. This handle is from a 4x5. The 5x7 handle will be the same but longer. Ones fingers should fit easily between the handle and view lid. The retainer straps breaking is common. The brass rivets are slightly smaller than a #2-26 screw. I use 2-56 screws and nuts to replace the rivets after drilling them out from the inside of the hood. Enlarge the existing holes with a #43 drill bit.
4x5 handle 2 copy.jpg

4x5 handle 3 .jpg


The Series B was "officially" introduced in 1923 and replaced the Telescopic Graflex. I had a 4x5 RB Series B that was a Telescopic body with a Series B badge. Its serial number was listed as a Telescopic. There are a few 1923 Series B design bodies with Telescopic badges. Its not surprising the fixed back 5x7 was offered in place of the Press.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP

robert.raymer

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
16
Location
Maryland
Shooter
Multi Format
Thanks. Ive obviously never seen the book, just serial number lists made based off info in the book. If I am reading that correctly only 150 were made. I assume that means that only 150 were made in that particular job number, but I don't see any other listings for the 5x7 Series b on the other lists available online. I cant imagine they only made 150. Im assuming they were produced at times when the entries simply say Series B on the other lists?
 

shutterfinger

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
5,045
Location
San Jose, Ca.
Shooter
4x5 Format
That book will never be made public. Any list on line is just a partial. Depending on demand there was different quantities per job number and the time between entries varies from the same day to a few years between entries for a particular model.
There were about 1000 5x7 Series B made between 1923 and 1928 compared to about 250 Home Portrait and 2500 4x5 RB Series B in the same time period.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom