Graflex XL
Graflex XL 4x5 Adapter Back
      This is a neat accessory for the XL, but contrary to what some
might think (or say, when they're trying to sell one) it does not allow
you to shoot full-frame 4x5 images. It does allow the mounting of 4x5
film and ground glass backs, but the image area is limited by the
opening in the XL body, which is about 3 x 3.75 inches. This results in
a wide black border around the image, which I quite like.
     So far, I've mostly used the 4x5 Graflok adapter with an XLSW
body, 1-inch spacer, 4x5 Grafmatic back and 58mm Grandagon lens. I
also usually put a bubble level in the accessory shoe and I have a
tripod quick-release coupling from an old, long departed, Slik tripod
that when screwed into the XLSW's tripod socket holds the camera
level (if it's on a level surface). This outfit is pictured in the photo to the
right. With this set-up I either shoot from stomach level or simply set  
the camera down on a flat surface and shoot from there - no viewfinder
involved. The 58mm lens takes in a very wide angle of view in this
format and when I took the photos on this page I was using a rather
thick UV filter, which resulted in some vignetting in the corners of the
     I suppose some people might consider it a "waste of film" to
produce less than full-frame images, but I don't believe filling every
square inch of film is a relevant criterion for judging photography. If
you want to talk about wasting film, what about the pros who, in the
pre-digital days, used to shoot a thousand frames to get 12 images for
a spread in National Geographic?
Sorry, but you're not going to get full-frame 4x5-inch images...
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