The Polaroid MP4 Reflex Viewer.

For use with The Graflex View Camera - 4x5 Crown Graphic Camera  and 4x5 Speed Graphic Camera.

The advantages:

The very nice designed Polaroid Reflex Viewer is equipped with a contour hood which excludes ambient light. 

A build in bright optical mirror projects the ground glass image through the magnifier and shows all the brightness and sharpness needed for good and secure focusing. 

This is the missing device for relax focusing with the 4x5 Speed or Crown Graphic Camera.

The lack of a decent reflex viewer was always an obstacle for taking out the Graflex for a photo session in broad daylight..

The small collapsible Graflex focusing hood is absolutely insufficient to keep the light reflexes away from the ground glass in bright daylight.

Working under a black cloth is very annoying and suffocating and thus not a serious option.

A reflex viewer, such as the Polaroid MP4 is the ultimate solution. Unlike the Gambo, the Polaroid MP4 Viewer allows focusing with both eyes and  excludes ambient light. 

However, to prevent any misunderstanding...

A Reflex Viewer does not change your camera

 into a Single Lens Reflex camera.

The Gambo Viewer nor the Polaroid Reflex MP4 Viewer changes your Speed Graphic or Crown Graphic camera into a Single Lens reflex camera.

If you use the the viewer just like painters did  in the old days by using a "camera obscura" to compose, the reflex viewer is absolutely a very useful part of your equipment. 

On the other hand,  please be convinced that you only acquire what you actually need and avoid not to encumber yourself with unnecessary and usually unused equipment.

Above all, be so familiar with whatever you do use, that your technique is instinctive and your full thought and effort can be directed toward your  portrait. 

All the time you are busy with the preparation as described here below, the sitter or model could have changed his position or at least his expression, fell asleep or even has left your studio.

Just to make sure that you understand that this is NOT a similar reflex camera like the good old Super D, Mentor Reflex or Rolleiflex, nor all the well known Japanese 35 mm single lens reflex cameras.


How does it work ?

The front shutter of your 4x5  Speed Graphic has to be set in open "T" position.

Also the focal plane shutter should be in open position "O"

No film holder should be placed between the ground glass and camera. 

Regarding the fact that there is no mirror box inside the Speed Graphic camera allowing a mirror to swing up when the shutter is released, the image is projected in one direct line from the lens to the ground glass on the back of the camera.

To take a photo, the film holder should take the place of the ground glass.

Before doing that, we have to focus by the ground glass.

The Polaroid Viewer with its 45 degree placed mirror inside the viewer, projects the ground glass image on the magnifier.

The viewer build in magnifier shows the image in all its brightness while excluding ambient light.

Unlike the ground glass image, which is upside down, the viewer shows the image straight up, but still reverse left to right.

Even on this point you would not be able to take the photo yet. 

After focusing you would have to reset the front lens diaphragm and you would have to set the focal plane shutter at 1/1000 or 1/250 or 1/60....
Setting the FP shutter speed the image on the viewer will be obstructed, the front shutter still remains open.

Next you would have to slide the film holder between camera and Graflok back.

Having done that, the moment has come to pull the dark-slide. Now all you have to do is wait for the "moment supreme" and shoot. 
Up till now the focal plane shutter was closed while no light could pass the focal plane shutter.
Triggering the focal plane shutter with open front lens, the slit of the focal plane shutter will expose the film.

After having taken the picture do not forget to push the dark-slide back again.

Considering the fact that the Graflex View Camera is not equiped with a focal plane shutter, it is less complicated and it works perfectly well just using the front shutter.

The Graflok back separated from the camera to be modified for accepting the Viewer.
On the Ground Glass both special Polaroid Viewer clamps.
The Graflex View camera equiped with the Polaroid viewer


To fit the Polaroid MP4 you would have to exchange the clamps holding the ground-glass with the Polaroid Viewer clamps.

Please note that the the camps needs a small modification to fit to the Graflok back..


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