Graflex Pacemaker versus Anniversary


This page gives a short overview to distinguish between the Pacemaker and the Anniversary Speed Graphic as well as the compatibility for use with the 7" Aero lens.
When not familiar with the Graflex range of Press Cameras and not having both cameras next to each other on the table, it could be hard to distinguish between the Anniversary and the Pacemaker.
There are however some eye catching differences between the Anniversary and the Pacemaker Speed Graphic. 
We'll confine ourselves to the Post war Anniversary which is more common than other pre war Anniversary.

Anniversary Speed Graphic


On the left the Pacemaker Speed Graphic with aluminium lens board and on  the right the Anniversary with black wooden lens board.

Both Speed Graphics are equiped with a focal plane shutter.
The winding key on the right side, seen from behind the camera, defines the present of a focal plane shutter situated in the back of the camera. Such a shutter is indispensable for the use of a barrel lens like the Kodak Aero lens.

The most significant detail of the post war Anniversary is the black 4x4 inch wooden lens board.
Further black lens standard, shift and rising front, no tilt. The Anniversary as well as the early Pacemaker Speed Graphic were equipped with a Kalart rangefinder.
Only one slide lock on top of lens standard rather than two with the Pacemaker. The Focal plane shutter is controlled by the famous pre war 6 tension winding mechanism.
This very reliable mechanic, combined with the 4 slit focal plane shutter, gives the photographer the choice of 24 different exposure times. Twice as much than its successor the Pacemaker, which provides only 8 different exposure times. Both cameras have the Kalart rangefinder mounted to the right side of the camera next to the winding key.

The newer version of the Pacemaker Speed Graphic however, has a top mounted rangefinder - see photo - which can be matched with other lenses just by changing the lens cam. The predecessor of the Top Mounted Speed Graphic, the one with the Kalart Rangefinder does not have this feature. When changing lenses it is necessary to calibrate the rangefinder for the new lens which can be an annoying tricky job.
The alternative would be to focus on the ground glass which is anyway the best possible way to take the best possible shot. Another possibility is to use the distance scale on the front of the drop bed. For fast street-work the rangefinder is indispensable.


To be sure the camera is a Speed Graphic
 and not a Crown Graphic!


The most eye catching differences between the Crown (left) and the Speed (right) are the focal plane shutter controls.
Winding key, Speed indicator window. Front/Rear shutter slide control and the flash bi-post.
Whether top mounted or side mounted ranger-finder is not essential, neither is the back.



How to distinguish between the 

"Top Mounted" and "side mounted "Pacemaker Speed Graphic.

Comparing to its predecessors, the Pacemaker cameras, were equipped with new desirable features. To start with it has a build in release knob which controls the front shutter as well as the focal plane shutter. Further more: Metal front with stainless steel U support with metal light trapping. Precision made magnesium backs and focusing panels. Four sided metal folding focusing hood. Hinged Infinity stops allowing free forward movement of front standard. Optical viewfinder with vertical and horizontal parallax correction. Build in focal plane flash synchronization. Sealed window shows focal plane shutter speeds. Tilting front.  Stainless steel open sports frame finder with parallax adjustment. Interchangeable aluminium lens boards. Provision for use of focusing scales with wide angle lenses. Last but not least: In 1947 the horizontal Graphic or Graflex back was changed into the International Graflok back. This international back became world wide standard in the next decennia for all 4x5 film cassettes. You can use all sorts of film holders such as the Fuji, Polaroid 550, Polaroid 545 Kodak Readyload and all 4x5 film holders on this camera back.


Side Mounted

4x5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic

The Pacemaker Speed Graphics (1947-1973) continued to provide the rear focal plane shutter but with less shutter speeds (1/30 to 1/1000 + T) comparing to the previous models such as the Anniversary and has a simplified speed selector mechanism. The Pacemaker has a Graphex front shutter with an Optar 135mm lens, both made by Wollensak.
The side mounted Kalart rangefinder was officially replaced in 1955 by the top mounted Graphex rangefinder.

The Pacemakers were the last Graphics build along the familiar lines. There were two types: The Pacemaker Speed "Side Mounted"  and "Top Mounted".  There are "side mounted" Pacemakers equipped with the Spring Back and others which are equipped with the Graflok back. Originally like all the pre-war Speed Graphic cameras, the Pacemaker Speed Graphic was equipped with a Kalart Rangefinder, mounted on the side of the camera next to the winding key. There is no feature to match the rangefinder with the lens when changing lenses. For focusing with a different lens than the standard one, the photographer should focus on the ground glass or even on a lens related focusing scale next to the track.


Photos above  show the Pacemaker Speed Graphic with the Side Mounted Rangefinder

The Top Mounted
Pacemaker Speed |Graphic

Its successor, introduced in the late 1950's was the so-called "Top Mounted" Speed Graphic. It had a Graphic Rangefinder especially designed for the Graphic cameras (Speed and... Crown) placed on top of the housing. The principal feature of the new rangefinder is that it is instantly adaptable to any of the 9 standard lenses of different focal length. Each interchangeable cam is matched at the factory to the lens with which it will be used. Changing cams was relatively easy by exchanging the cam in the tube that couples the interchangeable lens to the rangefinder. Never the less in both cases the lens standard should be placed against the infinity stops of the related lens. Some cameras had more than one distance scale to enable working with different lenses. Beside the interchangeable cam, one would need for each lens a matching distance scale. Further more for each lens a couple of infinity stops which should be fixed on the right spot of the focusing track. The Top Mounted Speed Graphic camera is always equiped with the Graflok back.

Unfortunately there exist not such a cam for use with the 7 inch Aero lens.



Photos above show the Pacemaker Speed Graphic with the top mounted rangefinder.

_______Good to know if your Speed Graphic is suitable for use with the Kodak Aero lens._____________

whether your camera is equiped with a Top Mounted or with a Kalart Side Mounted Rangefinder is irrelevant
for use with the Kodak 7 inch Aero Lens.
However the film size is!

You must know that there are 3 different film size Pacemaker Speed Graphic cameras.

Be sure to buy the right one to fit the 7 inch Aero lens.

The 4x5 inch camera is the one on the right side. The build in release knob is situated one length from the bottom of the camera house.


The Graflok back versus the Graflex Spring Back.

The Graflok Back accepts only attachments with the raised lock rib light trap. It has a spring loaded focusing panel which pulls back to accept all Graphic sheet film holders and is instantly removable to permit the attachment of Graphic Roll Film holders by means of the Graflok slide locks.

This international back became world wide standard for all 4x5 film cassettes. You can use all sorts of film holders such as the Fuji, Polaroid 550, Polaroid 545 Kodak Readyload as well as Roll film holders on this camera back.

The later models Speed Graphic with the Kalart side mounted rangefinder sometimes can be found equipped with the Graflok back as well.
As from 1955 the Pacemaker Speed Graphic with the top mounted rangefinder was standard equipped with the Graflok back.

The Graphic Spring Back
accepts only Graflex sheet film holders which have the raised lock rib construction which slide into the back beneath the focussing panel.
To use the thicker accessories such as the Grafmatic holder, some spacers might be necessary to give a bit more space between the focusing panel and the camera back.

On the left Pacemaker Speed Graphic Camera equipped with the Graflok and on the right a Pacemaker Speed Graphic with spring-back.
Note: Two chrome spring clamps and two chrome slide locks on the Graflok back (photo left)  to allow to separate the complete back from the camera house while the spring back is fixed to the camera body (right photo).

On the left Camera with Polaroid Pack Film Holder. On the right with mounted Polaroid 545 holder, both hold by the slide locks.

On the left mounted with the 6x6 Roll film holder and on the right mounted with the Grafmatic back.
Note: The Grafmatic as well as the Polaroid 545 also fits to the spring back.
To remove the focussing panel of the Graflok back depress the two knurled chrome plated supporting arms and slide the panel slightly to the right where it may be lifted off.
To reattach the focussing panel, fit it to the back and slide to the left, until the arms catch beneath the hooks at the top and bottom.


To mount a 7 inch Kodak Aero lens

You need a

1) Pacemaker Speed Graphic and it is not essential whether it is equipped with a Kalart rangefinder or a top mounted Rangefinder
2) Pacemaker Speed Graphic is the one with the winding key, little window, rear front slide control and flash bi-post.
3) Pacemaker Speed Graphic the one with the aluminium lens standard.
4) a JoLo Lens board


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