Grafmatic

Donald Qualls

New Member
Registered User
Over the past couple weeks, I've acquired two 4x5 Grafmatic film magazines.

I wish I'd done this before accumulating a round twenty of the regular double-sided film holders -- I could have saved the money I spent on those to get more Grafmatics.

Contrary to reports I've read, it is possible (not even all that difficult) to straighten mildly bent septums for reliable operation (I use precision tools for this; a Leatherman multi-tool for its pliers, and a lock-back knife blade to open film channels closed by a bend) -- of the 18 septums I have (I bought a spare set before the first Grafmatic landed because of the horror stories I'd heard; they weren't in any better shape) only about three haven't needed some level of straightening, but now all are flat where they should be flat, all cycle cleanly and reliably in any combination in the Grafmatics, and most importantly, they're faster and easier to load than double dark slides. Two of these (holding twelve sheets) will fit where three double dark slides (holding only six) would, in a carrying case or similar; they slide in under most spring backs, or latch into a Graflok back for real security.

I loaded both of my Grafmatics yesterday and took my Speed Graphic out with them; I was able to make twelve exposures, press camera style (hand held, with the focal plane shutter) in less time than it would normally take to set up and focus my Graphic View for one (or probably half the time I'd have spent with traditional film holders in the Speed Graphic).

I did find that 80 year old springs may have hidden weak points; one of them broke as I was removing the second Grafmatic from the camera. Fortunately, I had a spare and it's fixed up now, and I've ordered a 3D printed Graflok conversion back to put on that camera for next time...
 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
I have 3 sets of Wray Grafmatics, one is new still in the original box with instructions, another is quite good,however my original jammed with 6 septums but works OK with 5. I don't trust their reliability.

Ian
 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
It's definitey a bent septun, only needs to be ever so slightly off and they jam, a repair would be to replace the errant sptum. it sort of put me off using them though. However the other tgwo are in excellent condition I bought them because they were cheap :D

Ian
 
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