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.