Pacemaker Speed Graphic (1947-1970)

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"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.









Technical Details

Camera Name  
Anniversary Speed Graphic
Pacemaker Speed Graphic
Folmer Graflex Corporation
Place of Manufacture
Rochester, NY
Date of Manufacture     1947-1955-1970
(my unit is a 1947-1955 model)
Focusing System

Coupled Kalart Rangefinder

Lens Mount

4" x 4" lensboard

Standard Lens
Kodak Ektar 127mm f/4.7
(the lens serial # dates it as from 1946)

Dual shutter system
Lens leaf shutter: 1 sec - 1/400 sec
Body focal plane shutter: 1/30 sec - 1/1000 sec



Film type

Baby models: 2.25 x 3.25", 3"x4"
4" x 5" large format film

Dimensions and weight

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