Graflex Variations: Facts and vs. Replica

Hello all, hope everyone is good

Ive always wanted a vintage Graflex Luke Skywalker lightsaber so I finally bit the bullet and got one from eBay. I was really lucky to find this forum and thread and I read through it beforehand but I’m not 100% sure how genuine it is.

I’m hoping at least the top part of the flash tube is genuine vintage but not sure what you think of the rest of the parts? The Bottom tube says Manufactured by Graflex and has a patent number on that’s covered by the two rivets and D ring holder. The bubble strip doesn’t have the right number of bubbles I think.

I’ve taken far too many photos(sorry) but hopefully it can help others looking to identify whats vintage and what’s not depending on your expert thoughts.

Thank you so much for your time and any questions or requests please do ask.
That’s definitely a vintage Graflex! Great job with the photos

The d ring, bubble strips and t track could be more accurate but getting replicas of those parts is pretty affordable! Check out wannawanga. Congrats on a really nice Graflex!
 
The Graflex appears to be real. You are correct in that the bubble strip is incorrect, it should only have 7 bubbles. Also the d-ring tab is very wrong and I worry that the holes are not going to be hidden if you were to replace the d-ring tab with an accurate one. The T-track grips are also wrong in the profile. I would recommend wannawanga.com for replacing the parts with accurate replicas. But at the end of the day if you are happy with it, that's all that really matters. Welcome to the club.
Thank you for looking at the photos and fantastic! Im really pleased to hear its genuine!

Yes I saw the D ring tab it seems like a very quick job they did on that, a bit slapdash. I’m not sure how that can be fixed. On the T tracks it’s the angled ends that’s the main issue?and the lack of the cut out bit in each track maybe for screws or rivets?

Was it only in ESB that it had a red button on the bottom too?

Really happy to be on the forum, thanks
 
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That’s definitely a vintage Graflex! Great job with the photos

The d ring, bubble strips and t track could be more accurate but getting replicas of those parts is pretty affordable! Check out wannawanga. Congrats on a really nice Graflex!
Hi, that’s great to hear its real! Thanks for looking at it

Is this a later version of the Graflex flash? What sort of approx decade do we think it might have been made in 1960s/70s maybe? Can we tell from the bottom tube printing perhaps?

should I do anything with the rust on the photos the inner side of the middle sleeve With the ’Graflex’ wording on?

thank you
 
Hi, that’s great to hear its real! Thanks for looking at it

Is this a later version of the Graflex flash? What sort of approx decade do we think it might have been made in 1960s/70s maybe? Can we tell from the bottom tube printing perhaps?

should I do anything with the rust on the photos the inner side of the middle sleeve With the ’Graflex’ wording on?

thank you
Hi, you’re welcome!

Yes, your flash is a later version, I can tell from the stamping on the bottom and a few other small details, although most of the changes are pretty minor compared to the earlier Folmer Graflex flashes.

The Graflex Inc. flash you have was manufactured between mid 1945 to mid/late 1948. They stopped making the Graflex flash in 1948 and replaced it with the Graflite flash.

I personally wouldn’t do anything about the rust but if it bothers you, you can clean it up with WD40 and a paper towel. Stay away from anything abrasive because the chrome plating is super thin.

Hope this helps!
 
Thank you for looking at the photos and fantastic! Im really pleased to hear its genuine!

Yes I saw the D ring tab it seems like a very quick job they did on that, a bit slapdash. I’m not sure how that can be fixed. On the T tracks it’s the angled ends that’s the main issue?and the lack of the cut out bit in each track maybe for screws or rivets?

Was it only in ESB that it had a red button on the bottom too?

Really happy to be on the forum, thanks
I mean the profile of the T-track when you look at it on the end. Here is a couple example of more accurate T-track profiles. There are better pics of the profiles, best I could find quickly.

You are correct, the ESB version had two red buttons, the ANH only has the one.


img_2972-jpg.jpg
 
Hi, you’re welcome!

Yes, your flash is a later version, I can tell from the stamping on the bottom and a few other small details, although most of the changes are pretty minor compared to the earlier Folmer Graflex flashes.

The Graflex Inc. flash you have was manufactured between mid 1945 to mid/late 1948. They stopped making the Graflex flash in 1948 and replaced it with the Graflite flash.

I personally wouldn’t do anything about the rust but if it bothers you, you can clean it up with WD40 and a paper towel. Stay away from anything abrasive because the chrome plating is super thin.

Hope this helps!
Hi, thank you for that. Was wondering when it was made so that helps build a picture.

I was thinking whether the rust could get worse(maybe it’s so slow it won’t really) and patina is the key for vintage flashes I guess.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts
 
I mean the profile of the T-track when you look at it on the end. Here is a couple example of more accurate T-track profiles. There are better pics of the profiles, best I could find quickly.

You are correct, the ESB version had two red buttons, the ANH only has the one.


View attachment 1707592
Hi, thank you, yes I can see that profile on the picture.

Did the ANH version have those stuck on or riveted/screwed in? I was wondering if it’s best not to do that as it’s a major change to the bottom of the flash but not sure.

Thanks
 
Hi, thank you for that. Was wondering when it was made so that helps build a picture.

I was thinking whether the rust could get worse(maybe it’s so slow it won’t really) and patina is the key for vintage flashes I guess.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts
If you’re keeping it in a climate controlled environment, it shouldn’t continue to rust. You could try some paste wax on the inside of the clamp to add a protective layer… the flash could have likely been in a damp place or maybe the old batteries were left in for a while.

I have a Graflex that had batteries left in it for probably 50+ years and it took a toll.

The last battery basically fused to the inside of the flash. It took hours to open it up and clean out what was left.
 

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I was just passing by the den at my parents home and a familiar name came from the television, GRAFLEX. They were watching an old TV movie about Jackie Kennedy, and sure enough they showed her using our old favorite press camera with what looked to be a 3cell slapped bang on the side. Cub reporter Jaqueline Bouvier being handed a Graflex by her boss. Funny old world.

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Like many of you I suppose, I light up every time a film shows a bunch of photographers of the general period, my eyes darting, scanning for Graflexes.
 
I was just passing by the den at my parents home and a familiar name came from the television, GRAFLEX. They were watching an old TV movie about Jackie Kennedy, and sure enough they showed her using our old favorite press camera with what looked to be a 3cell slapped bang on the side. Cub reporter Jaqueline Bouvier being handed a Graflex by her boss. Funny old world.

View attachment 1746539View attachment 1746541View attachment 1746542
Like many of you I suppose, I light up every time a film shows a bunch of photographers of the general period, my eyes darting, scanning for Graflexes.
Wicked nice find scarf!!
 
Aw shucks, t’wernt nuthin’.







(Internal monologue)
wait till I tell these guys about this trippy old 70’s cult film with space wizards and an ArthurIan analogue using a Graflex flash gun as a laser sword hilt, gee what a nice group of camera buffs
 
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I was just passing by the den at my parents home and a familiar name came from the television, GRAFLEX. They were watching an old TV movie about Jackie Kennedy, and sure enough they showed her using our old favorite press camera with what looked to be a 3cell slapped bang on the side. Cub reporter Jaqueline Bouvier being handed a Graflex by her boss. Funny old world.

View attachment 1746539View attachment 1746541View attachment 1746542
Like many of you I suppose, I light up every time a film shows a bunch of photographers of the general period, my eyes darting, scanning for Graflexes.
I wonder where that particular graflex is now..

Is it still intact ?
Turned into some sorta lazor sword ?
Resides in a Museum ?

Now there's a challenge
 
Huh, all these replicas are confusing me. :confused Your clamp and upper half are different from the images of a Biskit I have on the Graflex Bank, yet I have never seen that clamp before, with the G starting at a relatively correct position, and the X being all out of whack, yet the font seems to be the same...

What gives? :confused Just when I thought I'd unfolded the mystery of the Biskit! Ah!! This is just a neverending mystery and confusion! Any help would be soooo much appreciated!

GraFlexBank.com is for sale | HugeDomains
I’m unsure if this is active or there are questions still but I’m Biskit and I can try to remember 25 years ago for any questions
 
I’m unsure if this is active or there are questions still but I’m Biskit and I can try to remember 25 years ago for any questions
Hiii! I came around just after your flashes - do you remember if you had to change the design for manufacturing purposes or were you able to have them folded/cut the way Graflex did? Apparently that Vader stunt made from a graflex had the lip ground off and you can see the endcap flush with the thin edge leftover when it’s milled out… makes me think about the process more and more
 
Hiii! I came around just after your flashes - do you remember if you had to change the design for manufacturing purposes or were you able to have them folded/cut the way Graflex did? Apparently that Vader stunt made from a graflex had the lip ground off and you can see the endcap flush with the thin edge leftover when it’s milled out… makes me think about the process more and more
I’m trying to put together an entire thread on Twitter with all the details I can pull out of the memory banks. As far as the tubes went, they were the most accurate being brass of the same diameter and thickness of the original. We had them turned on a 4th axis machine and the bottoms were machined from a solid piece of brass. I made the decision to not recreating the “Graflex” and patent info on the end cap, I just kept them plain
 

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