Tagged: 4×5

Week 34 – In camp

When we went on vacation this past August, I brought my Crown Graphic Pacemaker 4×5 along.  It’s a press camera, so it’s supposed to be portable, right?

Well, it is portable when compared to what Mathew Brady used.  If you don’t mind carrying a substantial backpack, it’s really not too bad.

I shot FP4, Ektar, and some x-ray film.  These are from the first batch of FP4, developed at home with a MOD54 kit.


In camp

long exposure with tripod at dusk

Loon Mountain scramble



Camera: Crown Graphic Pacemaker

Lens:  Graflex Optar 135mm

Film: Ilford FP4, developed at home, scanned on Epson v700

Week 22 results – Crown Graphic

I love it. The Crown Graphic is simply fun to shoot. With a built-in rangefinder, sport finder, and a ground glass the shooting options are many. Shutter release is via the side mounted button or a cable. Although by no means small, the Crown is small enough to shoot while handheld if you want.

I took it with me to a horse show in Northampton, MA. I brought along Portra 160, FPP Green x-ray film, and my Pagliuso Hollywood Senior tripod. The learning curve was interesting, with the hardest part being remembering to remove the dark slide. I missed a few shots.

This first is one of my favorite subjects, but the negative is just cursed. It’s a double exposure. I had been shooting Portra at 160 ASA and did not change the shutter speed for the 25 ASA X-ray film, so I had to reshoot it. Fortunately I was using my tripod, so the background didn’t move. It was my last film holder of the day, so the choice was between a potentially poor double exposure and no shot at all.

Then I managed to scratch it during handling, and something went wrong in the darkroom. I’m still working on my workflow for these larger negatives. I like the result anyway.

The Twinkie truck faired slightly better.

The rest of my shots were on Portra 160, developed by The Darkroom and scanned by me.

Yup, Twinkie truck again.

Ericka on Mount Holyoke

The view.

Scotty. It was a horse show after all.

Maybe I’m imagining it, but the quality on these big negatives just seems incredible to me. Since these shots were taken, I’ve acquired a roll film back for the camera, and I’ve loaded the rest of my x-ray film into the holders. You haven’t seen the last of the Crown Graphic.


52 Cameras – Week 22 – Crown Graphic

I suppose it was inevitable. I’ve been shooting 35mm for years. Medium format was cool to learn. A Graflex was in my future eventually.

Crown Graphic

A while ago my Craiglist filter turned up “some kind of Polaroid” for an outrageous price. I checked the ad anyway and discovered that the seller had what appeared to be a Crown Graphic 4×5 camera with a Polaroid back. If it was as it looked, the price was in fact very good. We set up a meeting, and I was floored.

The camera is a 1963 Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic with a Wollensak 135mm lens. It came with a dozen film holders, Polaroid pack film back, Polaroid 4×5 back, flash, and case. Everything is in mint condition except for the flash sync cord which has cracked with age. The seller said it used to belong to his father-in-law who was a local detective and did crime scene photography with it.

Cool camera, great price, and a backstory? Sold.

I’ve loaded the holders with Kodak Portra 160NC and FPP Green X-ray sheet films and have been learning how it works. Details to follow.