So about that genuine Graflex...

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by mugatu, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I thought I would post about some recent findings regarding one aspect of the Graflex flash. I thought that it might be pertinent as we head into what is seeming like Graflex madness season. As you know or may be finding out (or have known for decades longer than I have), the itch you may have gotten for a Graflex is not unfounded. We all understand and have had or still have it. In the spirit of honest trade and brotherhood, I would like to show you something I have noticed about Graflexes for sale...even what looks to include all the way genuine Graflexes, I feel it always better to know the true shape of whatever it is you are getting.

    The Glass Eye

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    No doubt many have been re-ignited by the sight of the Graflex in the Episode 7 TFA teaser from Celebration and wish to purchase one somewhere. There are amazingly accurate replicas out there, and there's no qualms about that. But for some, the quest for their own saber must be a real Graflex. I don't blame them; I have my own. But there it was, the Graflex in the second teaser. And everyone wanted that lightsaber. I do too.

    One thing you often pick up as you go along in getting that Graflex is a desire for greater accuracy. Accurate to what? Well, there are exceptions but probably to the one in the movie. The one in the movie appears to have the glass eye, which (correct me if you know otherwise) is a test light to test whether the battery was still good. It is located on the front of the Graflex, generally speaking, near the top. It is removable and consists a three piece assembly:

    image.jpg ,
    a collar , a glass hemisphere, and a tapered coil spring. Hopefully yours comes with a lightbulb that sits behind the assembly. It pops out when you flip the side switch that leads up to the emitter area. If you don't have the light bulb it's not a big deal. I don't believe the glass eye was ever lighted up because I think you have to be pressing it in for the light to come one. Somebody please correct me on that if you know otherwise.

    image.jpg ,



    A Similar Looking Glass Eye Placeholder

    There is another guy that that can screw into that hole left behind, besides a red button, it's this guy:

    image.jpg

    He doesn't look a lot like the glass eye assembly from the side, does he? He's made of what amounts to single come shaped piece with what would be his external "ring" being knurled just like a normal glass eye. But he has no glass at all. Just a funnel shape leading down to his narrow end.
    That's another example of him to the far right, with a cable coming out of his center. Does anyone know if these are genuine Graflex parts? I have no reason yet to believe that they aren't genuine Graflex. I have witnessed this cable before, coming out of the hole designed for the glass eye, but neither the glass eye not the placeholder were present. That is the worst situation of all.

    Think you can pick them out easily? From the front, without the cable/cord coming out, it can be difficult. I know my pictures are dark but look at this:

    image.jpg ,

    Here's one without the cord in a Graflex top tube.



    image.jpg

    Here it is behind a Graflex with the glass eye. It's hard to tell at a glance. You may want that glass eye at some point. Maybe you'll want the other type. I am not claiming any auction sellers to pulling a fast one. If they don't know then they don't know. If they do know, then they may be trying to pull a fast one. There's nothing wrong with full disclosure of exactly what it is and the condition of it that you are selling.

    Also, research is best. Make sure you know what you want before you go buying. I understand the temptation well. I find no fault in you that I don't find in myself when it comes to impulsiveness.

    And here is my own ESB since I never did a build thread. I love it. It rests above my head on the headboard area. I do get a sense of that Galaxy when I wield it. My first prop built:

    My Luke Skywalker ESB

    image.jpg ,
    completed at this stage:
    Folmer Graflex Corp (no Patent Number)

    non-Graflex parts:
    silver tape
    T-Tracks (x6)
    Screws
    replica Kobold clip
    D-Ring
    (came as a kit by Roygilsing with input by Sym-Cha at wannawanga.com)

    Here is a throwntogether a bit too dark same as the others obligatory Wampa Cave end shot with the New York as close as I could get it:

    image.jpg ,

    Also, my T-Tracks appear to be much more symmetrical than the Wampa Cave scene. It is hard to tell on the screen-used saber exactly where its T-Tracks sit as parts are broken and busted off. Plus I encourage "feeling the Force flow through you" when picking it up and I'd rather them be thinking how cool it was to hold a lightsaber as opposed to "Gee, Andy sure did a crap job...looks his black things are all broken...I dont know about Star Wars but I was pretty good at shop, I could probably really help him, I mean he really screwed it up".

    Ill rearrange the T-Tracks at a later date to make them more screen accurate. As for now, I have no shame in my Luke ESB and I keep it close, Sith!



    Hopefully the pics work. Sorry again that they are so dark.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  2. Wardog2a

    Wardog2a New Member

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    My Graflex actually came with this part also and I was wondering if it was common. I had to use a Parks glass eye as a replacement. I always assumed it was a means to power the flash tube from a outlet instead of batteries?
     
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  3. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    Both the Graflex "eye" and that other piece were designed as low-light focusing aids. The "eye" technically is the "spotlight" and is turned on via the sliding switch. It essentially is a flashlight that helped photographers to focus when light was poor.

    The second "eye" with the chord was manufactured by Kalart, the same company that made the rangefinders found on most Graflex cameras. Many rangefinders also had a tube with two prongs on top. Inside the tube was a tiny light bulb (just like behind the "eye"). The chord coming from the "eye" plugged into the two prongs, and when the switch was activated the tiny bulb lit up and twin beams of light shown from the rangefinder's two lenses. The photographer turned the camera's focusing knobs until the two beams met and that overlap point was in focus. You could focus in total darkness. Very ingenious.

    Now you can die happy that you know this. :lol
     
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  4. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    [​IMG]

    Chaim
     
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  5. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks guys. I am glad to know this stuff now! Thank you for sharing the info with me. Yeah these little corded Kalart "replacements" are sure irritating when you weren't expecting them! But this is really fascinating to understand how these work within the flash.
     
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  6. Wardog2a

    Wardog2a New Member

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    I'll wait till after 12/18! heh. Thanks! This has been something that's been bugging me for a few years now.
     
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  7. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    The RPF on the stick, baby! If we don't know it, nobody does (or something like that :lol ).
     
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  8. Panaflex

    Panaflex Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great thread. Adding to the knowledge base.
    Thanks for posting.
     
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  9. DakGibralter

    DakGibralter Member

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    Awesome stuff guys! Thanks for the info. Glad I kept my glass eye.

    Andy, your ESB looks terrific!
     
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  10. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks, Alden. To be honest, I went a bit heavy on the epoxy.
    And the rotary tool on the T-Tracks.

    And the rotary tool on the beer tab rivet. You think yours looks bad there? No close ups from me!!!
     
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  11. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    mugatu ... it's time for your close-ups, sir! :lol

    Chaim
     
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