Graflex- real or replica?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Star Wars Chick, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Star Wars Chick

    Star Wars Chick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I am SURE this has been covered somewhere on here but I for the life of me cannot find where. I did use the search as well and came up with nothing. So, if someone can either point me in the direction of a thread or help me out here, I would appreciate it. I am wanting a real one, not a replica but I really have no idea if there are any differences between the two anymore other than a new one looking brand new. I have seen some possible "real" ones that have minimal damage or wear on them currently but I am suspicious as it seems there was a time a few years ago when I had the urge to look that all the real ones were pretty beat up and it was tough to find a near mint one. Now it seems it isn't so hard and that worries me.
     
  2. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    It does look like the last topic on this fell off the board.

    Unfortunately, replicas are getting better and better all the time.

    Some things to check are:

    -The writing around the base. there are a few variations out there such as "folmer-graflex" or "graflex" and a patent number.

    -there are some differences in the base around the contact pins

    -Battery corossion

    -the real deal is plated brass, if there are any scuffs or scratches, you should see the brass underneath. I don't know if any of the replicators have gotten this correct yet.

    Sorry for the lack of pics, but I may have some on my machine at home. I'll see if I can get them up in the next day or so. Till then, I'm sure someone with a more deffinitive answer will step in.

    -Fred
     
  3. Chingon

    Chingon Well-Known Member

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    Look at the brass pins that are near the top. No matter what condition a genuine Graflex is in, those will always look tarnished or worn. Also, the real Graflexes have litte hexagonal shaped washers around those pins. I'm pretty sure the replicas don't. Of course, if you are inspecting it in person a clear indication of whether or not its a genuine Graflex is too look inside. You will see corrosion from the batteries and it will smell funny.
     
  4. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My Larbel replica has the hexagonal washers under the pins.
     
  5. Star Wars Chick

    Star Wars Chick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is great so far. I would appreciate any pictures that you might have too.
     
  6. Chingon

    Chingon Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know that. I don't think the replicas currently coming out of China have that, though. Luckily a Larbel Graflex is easily distinguishable by the PB logo in the trademark stamp on the bottom of the tube.
     
  7. lgtsbr

    lgtsbr Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    the new Parks ones have the pins with the hex base, so that is out.
    you can't always count on corosion in the battery compartment either, sometimes batteries just don't leak....

    The easiest 2 ways to tell are to look at the end for a patent number and the condition of the pins - as stated, the pins will almost always be tarnished on a real Graflex. Of course, the overall condition is a good indication too, if there is too much shine or next to no scratches then it is probably a replica...

    I know I need to get my hands on at least 1 replica for a DV ROTJ conversion, so I have been tempted to sell off one of my originals...still thinking on that one though B)

    Dave
     
  8. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    Forget about the outside. Crack em open and look on the inside. The insides aren't finished and will show lots more telltale signs of age. Run your fingers along the inside of the tube to see if they pick up any battery debris, rust, etc. Also the springs in the bottom half were plain metal. They will show wear after 60 years, even if the flash was barely/ever used they would be a little rusty.
     
  9. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    Every time I see this topic it makes me mad that the other thread fell off the board. It had a ton of good info on it.

    I asked for it to be archived, but it was deemed unworthy. :cry

    Getting a full list of all replicas, then adding traits for that replica is a good way to start.

    Here are a few:
    Biskit, Parks, Graflex Reborn, Larbel.

    The finish on the Biskit ones is real shiney and the tube is thicker. I believe I have a Biskit, but not 100% sure.

    Some replicas have a screw that holds on the Bunny Ears and not a pin.

    FB
     
  10. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    I've gotten a better camera since the last thread, so I'll try and take some decent pictures of my real graflex. I also have a 2 cell that may have similar text (except for the "2 CELL" stamped on the bottom) around the base. I'll see what I can get.

    -Fred
     
  11. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don't have a real Graflex, but I remember a few things from threads as these. Please correct me if I'm wrong...

    Parks has a screw holding the "ears" in place, instead of a bolt.
    The bolt holding the "beer tab" could have concentric machine marks. Replicas often don't.
    The bottom of a real Graflex should have a more rounded edge than on some replicas, and not be too perfect.
    Real Graflexes could miss the patent number.
    Larbel has "by" replaced with "pb" for "Plasma Blade".
    Parks has a dark red button. Real ones can be either dark or bright red.

    There are differences between clamps also, when it comes to text and stripe positioning, how the sidebars are bent and the finish of the lever and the shape of the head of the lever pin, but these are difficult to keep track of. I think real lever pins have smaller heads than those of most replicas.
     
  12. Star Wars Chick

    Star Wars Chick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is awesome info guys, keep it coming.
     
  13. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Pics, as promised

    First up, a pic of the my 2 cell bottom.

    Notice the top line reads "Manufactured by Graflex, Inc."

    [​IMG]


    Pic of my 3 cell bottom

    Top line reads "Made by the Folmer-Graflex corp"

    [​IMG]


    Insides of the 2 cell

    [​IMG]


    Pins

    [​IMG]


    Top view

    [​IMG]



    Thanks to WC for hosting

    -Fred
     
  14. lesternessman

    lesternessman Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the pics.
     
  15. Star Wars Chick

    Star Wars Chick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yup, those are very helpful.
     
  16. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've got some real and replica Graflex's....... I could, you know, come over and show them to you if you want....... ;) :love
     
  17. Star Wars Chick

    Star Wars Chick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  18. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh. My Parks Graflex also has some visible machine marks in the cut top curve.
     
  19. midrifter

    midrifter New Member

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    Thanks for the great pics...





     
  20. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    The older Graflex replicas are easier to spot, but the newr ones coming out like a Parks, or a good Larbel, well, you really have to look.
     
  21. tripoli

    tripoli Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    EBay makes it hard sometimes because the pictures are not that great for many of the auctions. Always try to look on the bottom due to the graphics and bulge of the side tube and plating. Many times the bottom is nicked and you can see the brass under the plating. The stamped printing is a great tell all.
    If it looks too new, its probably fake. See if they have the original packaging or if it was part of an mint outfit. If not, thats another big clue to a repo. The originals also have a fine grain running around the diameter of the plating on the tubing. There is always some scratching to this, its impossible to avoid with use. You will ussually see marks from the camera clamps on the tube in fine scratching as well some discolorment. The clamp itself ussually has some discolor from corrosion especially around the square locking pins stamped in the clamp.
     
  22. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    With the state of replicas getting so good,I'd be hesitant on buying a Graflex claimed to be real from anyone I didn't know. ie. ebay. I'd try and stick to folks on prop forums.

    Steve :)
     
  23. Star Wars Chick

    Star Wars Chick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Now that isn't a bad idea, I didn't think about that.
     
  24. Dewy

    Dewy Well-Known Member

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    I"m telling the best way is to crack it open and take a wiff. Real flashes have this old smell to them, you just can't replicate that...
     
  25. kell

    kell Well-Known Member

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    Very informative thread, Thanks for the pics Gigatron. I had no idea they were made of brass...

    Thanks gang


    Kell
     
  26. lgtsbr

    lgtsbr Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    took some pics of 1 of my real ones

    [​IMG]
    Close Ups

    currently in the JY for sale or trade....possibly B)

    Dave
     
  27. LogansRunner

    LogansRunner Well-Known Member

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    That is a good way to tell, but that may run a problem if your looking for one on ebay or other online places/dealers... :)
     
  28. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Some more pics:

    Overall pic to show the finish

    [​IMG]


    A pic to show the pins under the red button:

    [​IMG]


    Top half (again):

    [​IMG]


    Slide button, red button knurling and pins:

    [​IMG]



    Thanks to wc for hosting.

    -Fred
     

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