radioactive quest

Aloha all !
sorry for the delay!

been working on building some businesses and finding some interesting and eclectic gear to make my job easier and vision more unique.

just arrived the other day, an amazing tool used in the 1950s, the Folmer & Schwing Speedgraphic U.S. Army Signal Corps 4×5, Still Picture KE-12(1) camera with a built in focal plane shutter that goes up to 1/1000 second ! the camera can be used with front lens shutter and an option of using the huge cloth focal plane shutter from 1/1000th of a second to 1/30th of a second ! pictured above with Jolo Lensboard and Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f/2.5 lens.

this unusual variant is a KE-12 signal corps 4×5 camera features all external non metal parts in olive drab leatherette and all the normal chrome/silver finishes are all anodized in black. the ‘stealth mode’ speed graphic. very unusual indeed. the mechanisms seem a lot smoother than the standard speed graphics i’ve owned.

the detail below shows the front 127mm /f4.5 Graflex ‘Yellow Dot’ Optar lens with graphex leaf shutter from 1/400th second, T thru B. this lens feels particularly heavy and dense with black anodized lensboard. when removed, the jolo lensboard by Jo Lommen and giant kodak aero ektar fits into the body/front standard without any ‘stretching’ of the front standard.

the camera even features handy dandy rangefinder focusing.

above image, Fuji FP100c . 4×5 instant film. notice the wild bokeh. its sort of the character of this wonderful speedy lens !

i’ll try to scan and post more 4×5 color instant images. at almost ¥400 per pop… it gets pricey fast !


6 thoughts on “radioactive quest

    • brian, thanks ! it weighs a ton ! especially after shlepping it around humid tokyo … LOL ! thank you kindly sir ! we’re overdue for cocktails ! u back in tokyo ?

    • k. hmm. more like 6 cans of spam…

      thanks on the bokeh comment. it is using the huge lens…

      the small standard lens fits within the body, not the ektar . it requires shlepping it around and mounting it on the body.

      cheers ! c u all soon !

      aloha !

  1. Cory,

    I’m looking for a Speed Graphic, KE-12 military or otherwise, that was made around 1953. Would really like to use a camera that was made the year I was born. Any idea where I can get one?

    • rich. your best bet might be ebay for the speedgraphic
      i’m not an expert on the years of production, but u could find a
      SN# / YEAR info possibly. good luck !

      cheers ! thanks for stopping and reading my blog !

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