"Baby" 23 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 April of 2004, I bought this Baby Pacemaker Speed Graphic 2x3, which takes 120 roll film. It came new in the box with a roll film back and ground glass.
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. Since my rangefinder is on the side, it is thus from 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 'ES' which puts it at 1947. There are numerous charts on the web for doing this lookup.
||Pacemaker 23 Speed Graphic|
|Place of Manufacture||
|Date of Manufacture||1947-1955-1970
(my unit is a 1947-1955 model)
Coupled Kalart Rangefinder
2" x 2" lensboard
Kodak Ektar 105mm f/3.7
(the lens serial # dates it as from 1947)
models: 2.25" x 3.25", 3"x4"
|Dimensions and weight||
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