Pacemaker Speed Graphic 2x3

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"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.






Interesting quirks





Technical Details

Camera Name  
Pacemaker 23 Speed Graphic
Graflex Inc.
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

2" x 2" lensboard

Standard Lens
Kodak Ektar 105mm f/3.7
(the lens serial # dates it as from 1947)

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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