Speed Graphic

2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Speed Graphic
  My father purchased this 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Speed Graphic camera about 1950. This model was more compact and much lighter that the 4 x 5 Speed Graphic which was the standard size for newspaper photography in those days. The cameras also were made in 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 and 5 x 7 format.
  This smaller camera shot sheet film and also could be fitted with a 120 roll film magazine. The Speed Graphic could use a leaf shutter lens or a cloth focal plane shutter with speeds to 1/1000 sec. The standard "Graphic" was almost identical to the Speed Graphic but lacked the focal plane shutter. There also was a "Graflex" -- a primitive large format single lens reflex (reversed image in finder) favored for mounting long telephoto lenses for sports photography.

Zeiss Nettar

Zeis Ikon Signal Nettar 518/16
  The Signal Nettar is the "poor man's Ikonta." Zeiss started making the Nettar in the 1930s and continued after the war. The 518/16 was made about 1959. It has a 75mm f4.5 coated Novar lens (there is a model with a Tessar). The Novar is a decent performer and the three-speed Vario shutter (1/25, 1/75 and 1/200 sec. is very reliable.
   The 518/16 produces 6x6 negatives on 120 film, The "signal" name come from the red flag that pops up in the viewfinder after the exposure has been made, to prevent double exposure. The shutter release on top of the camera won't work again until the film is advanced. The shutter must be manyally cocked. The camera doesn't have a rangefinder, focusing must be done by guesstimate. But at f8 and smaller apertures you have considerable depth of field. The left shutter also syncs with electronic flash at all three speeds.
   The camera may be the cheap member of the Zeiss but it is very well made and incredibly compact for a 120 camera--only about the size of a couple of packs of cigarettes when folded.


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