I finally developed and scanned the first roll I put through my Century Graphic and couldn’t be happier with the results. I was so excited when I put the film up to dry and looked at the huge negatives. I was surprised at how much bigger 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 seems than 2 1/4 x 2 1/4. People who shoot large format probably find that laughable, but I haven’t ascended to that scope quite yet.
You probably can’t tell from the compressed images in this post, but the 101mm Graflex Optar f/4.5 is quite sharp. It seems like the bellows are in good condition and the shutter doesn’t stick too much. That’s pretty good for a 64 year old camera.
Most importantly, though, I had a really fun time shooting with it. It was a much more deliberate process than with any of my other cameras. I had to find the subject, open the shutter, compose, make lens movements, focus, close the shutter, tighten all tripod adjustments, remove the ground glass, put the film back on, meter the subject, compensate for shutter stick, and then finally make the exposure.
Graflex Century Graphic | Ilford XP2 Super