|Graflex 2x3 Crown Graphic with 4 1/8-inch f6.8 Goerz Dagor lens
|This is a very versatile camera that packs a lot of features into a relatively small package. When used with a
rollfilm back, the coupled rangefinder and handgrip allow fairly quick handheld shooting (although having the
viewfinder separate from the RF slows things down a bit). Used on a tripod with a groundglass back, the bellows
and limited front movements allow this little Crown Graphic to be used somewhat like a view camera. The
double-extension bellows and ability to focus on a ground glass make this camera a good choice for close-ups,
which is not something you can say of most rangefinder cameras. It's easy to change lenses, provided they're
mounted on the proper lens board, but the rangefinder can only be calibrated for one lens at a time. I bought this
camera from the original owner, who told me that he had the Graflex factory set up the rangefinder and infinity
stops for the very fine Dagor lens. That was about 50 years ago, and the rangefinder is still accurate. I was
surprised by how sharp this tiny Goerz Dagor is. I thought Dagor lenses were esteemed mostly for their large
image circle and smooth tonal rendering, but this lens is also very sharp. The sample photos on this page were
taken with the Dagor lens, and I have some sample close-up photos taken with other lenses HERE.
The handgrip, which also works with the 2x3 Speed and Century
Graphic cameras, is identical to the Graflex XL grip, except for the
|Graffiti - 4 1/8-inch Dagor, handheld at f11.
|Corn plants - handheld at f6.8 (wide open).
|Painted-over graffiti - handheld at f16.
|Trowel - Focused on ground glass, with camera resting on an overturned plastic bucket, shot at
f8 or f11 (I forget which). It was really difficult to maintain the framing while I changed from the
ground glass to the rollfilm back, so the composition is a bit random, but I at least held it fairly
steady. The image below shows a 100% crop of the area outlined in red - I'd say that's got some
Zucchini flower, at f8. Again, focusing on ground glass and using a plastic bucket as
a camera support (too lazy to fetch a tripod). Despite the less than ideal set-up, there's
a lot of detail and texture in this image; the little zucchini spines are very sharp, in every
sense of the word.
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