The 9 Best Graflex Cameras [Updated – 2023]

Graflex cameras are popular among photography enthusiasts who love shooting with vintage cameras. These cameras, known for their high-quality lenses and sturdy build, have been around for over a century and continue to be relevant in the digital age. If you’re looking to add a Graflex camera to your collection, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll be reviewing the top 9 best Graflex cameras and providing a buying guide to help you choose the one that’s right for you. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just starting out, these cameras are sure to impress. So, let’s dive in and explore the best Graflex cameras available today.

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Last update on 2024-02-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A Brief Overview of Graflex Cameras

Graflex Cameras were a brand of cameras manufactured by the Folmer and Schwing Division of the Eastman Kodak Company from the early 20th century until the 1970s. These cameras were renowned for their high-quality lenses and innovative features, such as the first-ever mirror-view cameras for press photography.

Graflex Cameras became popular during the World War II era, when they were used by soldiers and reporters to document the events of the war. The company produced a range of models to meet different needs, including the Speed Graphic, Crown Graphic, and Super Graphic. These cameras were known for their durability and versatility, and were used for a variety of applications, including photojournalism, portraiture, and landscape photography. Today, Graflex Cameras are highly prized by collectors and vintage camera enthusiasts for their historical significance and innovative engineering.

Best Graflex Cameras Compared

RANK 1
Ultra Bright Fresnel Lens Screen for Linhof Toyo Wista Tachihara Sinar 4x5...
  • Size: 127x102x1.2mm
  • Compatibility: fits almost all 4x5 camera, like Linhof, Toyo, Sinar, Horseman, Deardorff, Shen Hao, Cambo, Graflex, etc......
  • Installation guide: place the Fresnel in front of the ground glass, the matt surface towards the lens, the bright surface towards the ground glass.
  • Package include: 1x fresnel (not include film)
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Graphic Graflex Photography: the Master Book for the Larger Camera
  • Hardcover Book
  • Morgan, Willard D. & Lester, Henry M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 04/12/2024 (Publication Date) - Morgan & Lester (Publisher)
RANK 4
Ann Arbor T-shirt Co. Adult 1938 Graflex Speed Graphic Camera Patent Drawing |...
  • MICHIGAN ARTISTS & PRINTERS | this design was drawn and screen printed (silk screened) with pride by our skilled illustrators and printers in Ann Arbor. If...
  • UNISEX MODERN FIT SIZING | this shirt is slightly tapered to be a little less boxy than the old style of mass-market t-shirt. Nothing drastic, and most people...
  • SOFT FABRICS | Our shirts are a ringspun, 30/1 fine jersey knit on 100% USA-grown cotton. If you don't speak t-shirt geek, that means they are soft and smooth...
  • TOP QUALITY INKS & EQUIPMENT | We use QCM screen printing inks, manufactured in Pineville, North Carolina. These are high quality inks - vibrant and durable,...
  • SAFE CHEMISTRY | QCM has been one of the most forward-thinking ink manufacturers in the industry, going phthalate-free over ten years ago - way ahead of the...
RANK 5
Graphic Graflex Photography the Master Book for the Larger Camera
  • Morgan, W.D. Wd (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/1972 (Publication Date) - Morgan & Morgan, Inc. (Publisher)
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Graflex Prize-winning Cameras
  • Folmer graflex corporation (Author)
  • 01/01/1938 (Publication Date) - Folmer Graflex Corp. (Publisher)
SaleRANK 7
SPYPOINT Flex G-36 Cellular Trail Camera, 36MP Photos and 1080p Videos with...
  • Includes Spypoint Flex G-36 Cellular Trail Camera, Spypoint LIT-22 Battery, Spypoint Solar Panel, and Lexar 32gb Micro SD Card by Trail Cams Galore, a...
  • 36MP Photos - Catch incredible detail you never thought possible in a trail camera with hunting night vision thanks to 36MP photos. When you're scouting ahead...
  • Improved Battery Life - The Flex G-36 offers an optimized and refined trail camera that outperforms previous battery life. Cutting down on visits to the camera...
  • True Dual-Sim Configuration - Turn the Flex G-36 on and let it find the best possible signal, regardless of carrier. It really is that easy. You don't have to...
  • 2 Year Warranty when purchased from Freedom USA Sales, an official Spypoint Dealer.
RANK 8
Antique Camera Lens Keychain Camera Lens Keychain Gift for Photographers Graflex...
  • Antique Camera Lens Keychain Camera Lens Keychain Gift for Photographers Graflex Camera Lens Jewelry Gift
  • Festival gift;Holiday gift St. Valentine's Day gift Easter gift Mother's Day gift Father's Day gift
  • Halloween gift Thanksgiving Day gift Christmas gift New Year's Day gift
  • girlfriend gift boyfriend gift mother gift , father gift teacher gift
  • St. Patrick's Day gift Memorial Day gift
RANK 9
Graflex Camera Repair Text
  • Ed Romney (Author)
  • 01/01/1980 (Publication Date) - Author Published (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-02-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Does Buying Graflex Cameras benefit you?

There are several compelling reasons why photography enthusiasts should consider investing in a Graflex Camera. With their exceptional build quality, impressive performance, and gorgeous designs, these cameras have much to offer to serious photographers and collectors alike. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the main advantages of owning a Graflex Camera.

High-quality images

Graflex Cameras are synonymous with high-quality images. These cameras were famous for their exceptional image quality, impeccable details, and sharpness. They were widely used by professional photographers due to their superior functionality and performance.

Graflex Cameras incorporate a unique design that allows for a smooth and seamless capturing of images. They use large-format lenses that can capture more details and resolution than any other camera type. Additionally, the large-format negatives used in Graflex Cameras allow for greater control over depth of field and perspective, resulting in images that are rich in detail and tonality.

Therefore, if one is passionate about photography and wishes to capture high-quality images, Graflex Cameras are a perfect choice. These cameras provide an unmatched level of photographic creativity, technical excellence, and superb image quality.

Durability

Graflex cameras are built to last, making them a reliable choice for photographers who need a camera that can withstand heavy use and rough handling. The cameras are constructed with high-quality materials and precision engineering, making them durable and rugged enough to withstand the rigors of professional photography.

The robust design of Graflex cameras is evident in their feature set, including metal bodies, reinforced hinges, and heavy-duty lens mounts. These design elements work together to create a camera that is tough enough to handle extreme weather conditions, jarring movements, and constant use. Overall, the durability of Graflex cameras makes them an excellent investment for photographers who need a camera that will deliver reliable performance for years to come.

Historical significance

Graflex cameras have a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. They were known for their innovative design and features, setting the standard for press cameras of the time. Graflex cameras were used by famous photographers such as Ansel Adams and Margaret Bourke-White, and played a significant role in documenting historical events such as the moon landing and World War II.

Owning a Graflex camera can provide a connection to this history, allowing photography enthusiasts to appreciate the craftsmanship and ingenuity of earlier eras. It also offers an opportunity to experiment with the unique capabilities of the camera, such as the ability to switch lenses, use large-format film, and create high-quality images with precise control over focus and exposure. Overall, the historical significance of Graflex cameras makes them a valuable addition to any collection or tool for professional photographers looking to capture timeless images.

Collectible value

Graflex cameras have a significant collectible value due to their historical significance and technical advancements. These cameras were widely used in the early 20th century for various purposes, including journalism and military reconnaissance. They were also popular among Star Wars fans for their use as the prop for the iconic lightsaber in the original trilogy.

The collectible value of a Graflex camera depends on its rarity, condition, and historical significance. Some of the most sought-after models include the Graflex Speed Graphic and Crown Graphic, which were used by famous photographers such as Ansel Adams and Margaret Bourke-White. Collectors may purchase these cameras for their personal collection or to display in museums and exhibitions. The value of a Graflex camera may also appreciate over time, making it a worthwhile investment for collectors.

How to Choose the Best Graflex Cameras?

A successful photography experience relies on the camera’s quality and functionality. Therefore, it is crucial to consider some critical factors before purchasing a Graflex camera.

Price

Price is an important consideration when buying Graflex cameras because they can vary greatly in cost depending on factors such as the model, condition, and rarity. Some models may be more expensive due to their historical significance, while others may be more affordable but still offer excellent performance. By considering the price, buyers can determine if the camera fits within their budget and if the features and capabilities of the camera are worth the investment.

Additionally, buying a camera within one’s budget and at a fair price can also help ensure that the buyer is getting a quality product. A camera that is priced too low may have hidden issues or defects, while a camera that is significantly overpriced may not be a worthwhile investment. Therefore, considering price when purchasing a Graflex camera can help ensure that the buyer is getting a good deal and a reliable camera that meets their needs.

Condition

When considering buying a Graflex camera, it is important to examine its condition as it can greatly affect the camera’s usability and value. Graflex cameras are highly sought after by collectors and photographers alike, and a camera in good condition can command a higher price.

Issues such as damage to the body or lens, malfunctioning shutter or aperture, and missing parts can all impact the camera’s functionality. It is also important to consider the age of the camera and its history, as older cameras may require more maintenance and repairs. Overall, purchasing a Graflex camera in good condition can ensure its longevity and usability, while also preserving its value as a collectible item.

Authenticity

Authenticity is essential to consider before buying Graflex cameras because there are a lot of counterfeit and reproduction models available in the market, which could affect the camera’s overall value and lifespan. The Graflex company produced a lot of different models throughout the years, so it is crucial to do proper research on the specific model you want to buy to ensure it’s not a fake model or one with replaced parts.

Authenticity is also essential for collectors who want to add genuine Graflex cameras to their collection, as a fake or replica can devalue the collection. Additionally, an authentic Graflex camera will offer better performance, durability, and quality, ensuring that you get a reliable camera for your photography needs. By considering authenticity before buying a Graflex camera, you can ensure that you are paying the right price for the right product and protect your investment in the camera.

Included accessories

Included accessories are important to consider before buying Graflex cameras because they can significantly impact the camera’s functionality and usability. Some accessories, such as lenses and filters, can enhance the camera’s capabilities and allow for greater creative flexibility. Other accessories, such as tripod mounts and carrying cases, can make the camera easier to transport and use in various settings. By considering the included accessories, buyers can determine whether the camera will meet their specific needs and if any additional accessories may need to be purchased separately.

Furthermore, included accessories can impact the overall value of the camera purchase. Some cameras may come with a valuable accessory, such as a rare lens or a specialized flash, that may increase their worth in the market. On the other hand, if a camera is missing important accessories, buyers may need to invest more money to purchase them separately, which can affect their budget and overall decision to buy the camera. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the included accessories before making a final decision to ensure that the camera meets the intended needs and offers a good value for the purchase price.

Availability of film format

The Graflex cameras are famous for their versatility and the variety of film formats they can accommodate. These cameras can hold large-format film, medium-format film, or even Polaroid instant film. Therefore, when buying a Graflex camera, it is important to consider the availability of the film format you prefer to use. Depending on where you live, certain film formats may not be easily accessible, and this could become a hassle and an additional expense for you. It is also worth noting that some film formats may have been entirely discontinued, which could limit your options in terms of accessories and lenses that suit your Graflex camera.

Moreover, choosing a camera that accommodates a popular or widely-used film format will provide you with greater flexibility and convenience. A widely-used film format will be more readily available, meaning that you can easily source film and get your analogue photography project on the move without worrying about the frustration of discontinued film formats or the cost of importing film. Ultimately, to make the most of your Graflex camera, it is crucial to consider the film format that best suits your needs, your locale, and your budget.

FAQs

What is a Graflex camera?

A Graflex camera is a type of camera produced by the Graflex Inc. company between 1899 and 1973. The camera was designed for use with several different types of film, including both roll film and sheet film.

One of the most notable features of the Graflex camera is the focal plane shutter, which was introduced in 1912. This allowed for faster shutter speeds and greater flexibility in terms of exposure control. Many famous photographers have used Graflex cameras over the years, including Ansel Adams and Weegee. Today, Graflex cameras are highly sought-after by collectors and photography enthusiasts.

What types of Graflex cameras were produced?

Graflex produced a variety of cameras, including the Graflex Speed Graphic, Crown Graphic, Super Graphic, and Graphic View. The Speed Graphic was a popular press camera and was used by photojournalists for decades. The Crown Graphic was more portable and was often used in studio settings. The Super Graphic was an updated version of the Crown Graphic with improved features such as a rangefinder and a more advanced shutter system. The Graphic View was a large format camera designed for studio use.

Graflex also produced a range of accessories for their cameras, including flash units, lenses, and viewfinders. They also manufactured a line of military cameras for the US government during World War II. Overall, Graflex was known for producing high-quality cameras that were both reliable and innovative in their design.

What makes Graflex cameras unique compared to other cameras?

Graflex cameras are unique due to their distinctive design and functionality. They were first introduced in 1899 and were originally made for press photographers, which is why they were built to be sturdy and easy to use. One of the most unique features of Graflex cameras is the focal plane shutter, which allows for very fast exposure times. This feature made them the preferred camera for sports and action photography.

Another unique feature of Graflex cameras is the ability to change the film mid-roll with the use of a removable roll holder. This was particularly useful for photographers who needed to switch between color and black and white film, or different film speeds. Finally, Graflex cameras were also used to create the iconic “lightsaber” prop in the Star Wars films, making them even more iconic in pop culture. Overall, the combination of their rugged design, fast shutter speeds, and film-changing capabilities make Graflex cameras a distinct and notable camera in the world of photography.

Are Graflex cameras still functional and usable today?

Yes, Graflex cameras are still functional and usable today. Many photographers still use Graflex cameras, including those that are over 100 years old, for their unique and distinctive look. However, finding film for certain models can be difficult, and repairing and maintaining the cameras may require specialized knowledge and skills.

Verdict

After researching and analyzing various Graflex cameras, we have come up with the top nine best options for photography enthusiasts. From the classic and iconic Speed Graphic to the highly-capable Crown Graphic, these cameras offer unparalleled quality, versatility, and design. Whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, investing in the best Graflex camera can enhance your photography skills and help you capture unforgettable moments. So if you’re looking for the best Graflex camera, check out our review and buying guide to find the perfect one that suits your needs and preferences.

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