"Baby" Pacemaker Speed Graphic
by Karen Nakamura
Overview and Personal Comments
The Pacemaker Speed Graphic was one of the longest produced large format cameras, produced from 1947 to 1970 (twenty-three years). In August of 2003, I bought this Baby Pacemaker Speed Graphic, which takes 3x4" film. It came complete with several film holders and a flash. Later on, I found the original case for it at an auction.
The Speedgraphics were made famous by press photographers in the 1950s, such as "Weegee" (Arthur Fellig). With their Speedgraphics with leaf-shutter lenses set to f/8 and large flash bulbs, you could quickly take a photograph of anything without even bothering to focus or set the shutter speed. Weegee is famous for his aphorism in response to how to take good press photos: "f/8 and be there."
Dating the Graphic: There was a modification made in 1955 that put the rangefinder on the top of the camera to make it easier to attach a side-flash. My unit is thus from the 1947-1955.
Furthermore, it's possible to use the Kodak lens serial number to get a year of production. My lens serial number begins with 'EO' which puts it at 1946. There are numerous charts on the web for doing this lookup.
Anniversary Speed Graphic
|Pacemaker Speed Graphic|
Folmer Graflex Corporation
|Place of Manufacture||
|Date of Manufacture||1947-1955-1970
(my unit is a 1947-1955 model)
Coupled Kalart Rangefinder
4" x 4" lensboard
Kodak Ektar 127mm f/4.7
(the lens serial # dates it as from 1946)
models: 2.25 x 3.25", 3"x4"
|Dimensions and weight||
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