2147 views US ARMY Rangefinder camera 70mm – Graflex Combat Graphic


In 2002 on a road trip to South Carolina, I stopped off in Fayetteville, NC, to visit the Airborne Museum and took this photograph of this enormous rangefinder camera. It has been viewed over 2100 times in my photostream on flickr.com. Curious what attracts views.

“its a Graflex Combat Graphic – made for the US armed forces and took 70mm film.”

Combat Graflex sometimes referred to as a Combat 70 or Gulliver’s Contax.  Designed by Zeiss Ikon’s Hubert Nerwin. Resembles a Contax II on steroids.  Madfe between 1953 and 1957 and used by the US ARMY SIGNAL CORP up to and including the early years of the Viet Nam War.

Google for more info, but as a start try this: www.geh.org/fm/mees/htmlsrc/mG736700001_ful.h tml

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CV Bessa R Nokton 50mm f1.5 lens


Cosina Voigtlander Bessa R body with CV Nokton 50mm f1.5 lens, for 35mm film, a rangefinder camera, with a bright viewfinder.

Lens mount on this camera is Leica Thread Mount or LTM. The later lens mount from Leica is the M-bayonet mount.  CV makes camera bodies and lenses in M mount as well. For more information on the range of products see www.cameraquest.com

 

Voigtlander was originally a German firm with a long history of lens making. Taken over by a Japanese firm and breathed life again into the 35mm rangefinder type of cameras with some low cost bodies and lenses, designed fo provide affordable quality when compared to Leica products.

The other lenses I have for this camera:  Cosina 35mm Classic f2.5 LTM (Leica Thread Mount) and a f2.0 Jupiter 9 85mm (LTM made in the former Soviet Union).

CV Bessa R with Jupiter 9 85mm f2.0 lens mounted, Picnic Table at Awenda Provinicial Park near Penetanguishene, Ontario

My plan is to get some fresh colour film and reload this body and take some photographs outdoors tomorrow.  I will post the results when I get them processed.

two old lens test shots with the Jupiter 9.  There are reports of examples of this lens being difficult to focus accurately.  Some discussions point to two factors, a slight difference in the Leica Thread Mount and the Soviet copy, and general production quality control problems.  The general consensus is the earlier models of the FSU lens are of better quality.  Look for earlier, i.e. lower serial numbers.

US ARMY Rangefinder camera 70mm – Graflex Combat Graphic


Airborne Museum, Fayetteville, NC from a trip south in 2002

This is an excellent museum. lots of info and displays including a section the First Special Service Force “The Devil’s Brigade” see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Brigade

This Camera is sometimes nicknamed a Texas Leica. It is a very large rangefinder camera, taking 70mm film.

See this: http://www.digoliardi.net/ks6/

Some features: wind-up spring driven motor drive, finder shifts for different lenses. A film cutter so you can change films anywhere in the roll. Shutter release is on the back by the right thumb. Field finder accomodates three lenses (rotates 180 degrees for the wide frame), the flash accomdates both Edison and M type bulbs (a socket for each. See the pics.) Has a big switch by the film speed dial to set the proper flash delay for FP bulbs. Tripd mount on bottom and one side. Uses the universal 70mm cassette common to Hasselblad and others. And more.

Film for them, double-sprocket 70mm, is getting very hard to come by. Very expensive.

It was surprisingly quiet, too.