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Sunday, 21 April 2013


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I am not a sports fan, but I love baseball stories! It seems to me that baseball has been home to more characters than any other sport... :)

Never mind the camera -- look at that beautiful bokeh in the background! ;)

It may be a bit on the large size but at least it appears to have an integral viewfinder...

Looks pretty close to this camera in a lot of the details:

[Close, but not quite. --Mike]

One thing with these cameras, you can make modifications with a saw, more or less. I wouldn't be surprised to see variations in the design.

Looks similar to page 7 here:

What a great post, --to be able to find and tie a Photography related angle (with a picture, no less) to Mr. Segura's adventure (which could have been a fun 'off-topic' post on it's own) is just one more example of the truly interesting writing (and research skills) that keeps us hungry for more.
Well done, and thanks

[Right you are, on all counts, except I don't get the credit for it! Julius sent me the link. I just filled in a couple of blanks. --Mike]

SLR? Damn talk about mirror slap.

Look like a SLR design.

A rangefinder and mirror less (leica, 6x9, ... adopt this approach) is even better.

If one has to insist on a mirror, I suspect a twin lens is more practical for sport - the classical debate between Rollie and Hassey. If one has to design a camera for this kind of subject in this era, the mirror vibration and black out take a few innovation to make it worthwhile and it is still under challange.

Really wonder why SLR?

Wasn't Segura tagged with his foot off the bag at second base, just before he heads for the dugout?

This WAS small format back then, when I lived in DC, was getting some film processed at Asman Labs on "the Hill", and they had 11X14 negatives (of baseball teams) on the light box they were printing for the Library of Congress!

well I'm sure when it was made, everyone on the forums declared "the death of 8x10 format..."

"now anyone can take a picture, even a ball player..."

Was the Abbot and Costello skit "Who's on First" based on his antics? He might have been the inspiration. Along these lines, have you ever heard the 1950's Andy Griffith standup comedy routine called "What it was, was Football" ? A friend just played this for me a couple days ago and it is very funny, without expletives too.

Does the photo exist taken with the camera?

As Earl Dunbar said, look at that beautiful bokeh. The shot was likely made by 3 1/4x 4 1/4 Graflex with uncoated glass in the 165-210mm range. Modern lenses may be sharper and contrastier with less flare and other effects, but it doesn't mean they necessarily make more beautiful images. Not by a long shot.

Fascinating article, Mike.

On another note, when you've shot as much as I have with a Canon 1D-series camera, a Fuji X-Pro1 seems small and light. It's all a matter of perspective, as are most things in life.

Some days, depending on which of my 10 bags I take with me, my 1Dx feels like that camera looks.

Reminicient of Alfred Stieglitz with a Graflex 4"x5" SLR taking cloud photographs ("Equivalances") at Lake George, NY in 1929.

Photo by Paul Strand.

Now that's a way to get some back exercise.

«...shades of "freedom fries"».
Thanks for reminding us of one of the most embarrassing moments in the recent history of America.
As for the picture: now we know who started the "who needs tripods" trend.

At least it has the waist level viewfinder I miss on modern DSLRS!

A neck-strap's out then?

Actually, I think my Nikon D600 is too big compared to my XPro-1.

Looks like a Graflex camera to me, but this one is pretty big.

My father bought me a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Graflex when I was a teenager (around 1967), at a local auction for $12 and I made many images with it (I could buy the film at the local camera store for $2.38). The vertical slit focal plane shutter increased in speed as it made its way across the film plane (not cool). I still have the camera but the bellows and the lens iris are no longer working.

I replaced that camera as a young adult (my early 20's) with a 4" x 5" Graflex with a modified back that takes the standard film holders (since the 3/4 plate film was not easy to find). The lenses on the Graflex were made in Rochester by Kodak and they were the world's finest (can't go wrong with a Tessar design; Kodak called them "Anastigmat"). The focal plane shutter still accelerated as it passed over the film plane. Even today, a totally cool camera nonetheless.

In my 40's, for a decade, I traveled around the world, on business, with a compact 35mm system. First a Nikon FE (too heavy) and eventually a Minolta CLE system (the perfect 35mm) always loaded with Kodachrome (I miss that film dearly). For weekends I had a backpack with a Speed Graphic and 4 lenses (65mm, 90mm, 135mm and 210mm) and a high tech carbon fiber tripod. I finally made friends with T-Max after a marathon senistometry session. I could carry that back-pack all day and not get tired. Many of those images were printed in Palladium and Silver.

As I become 60, with a little reluctance, I am slowly embracing the digital domain (and my degrees are in Computer Science!). I carry a Nikon V1 with me everywhere (which has replaced the CLE and is about the same size and weight). I have a little Sony Nex-3 too which is a better image-maker but the Nikon V1 with 10-30mm was dirt cheap, focuses lightning fast and has an eye-level finder which I like a lot.

I imagine, long after I am gone, only those Palladium prints, and maybe those Kodachromes that I made will survive.

I wonder, how many of those digital images will still be visible, decades later, after all those bits rot?

Big and heavy are not the same thing, as anyone who ever flew in a balloon knows.

The Xpro1 is large (and very comfortable to hold and control) but also light. I traded my D600 for a D800 recently (and I am overly wowed by the IQ) but the Xpro1 with a zoom or 2-3 primes is a great deal less effort to lug around.

If you look carefully, hats were bigger then too. :)

Hmzzz, that is almost as big as my GX680....with a 50 mm wide angle.

Greets, Ed.

I assume that the stylish dude in the background is the one who normally lugged the camera around! I must update MY wardrobe..

Actually, it's a Smashelblad wherein upon exposure, a hammer is tripped and smashes the reflex mirror so the film may be exposed.
Very rare.

As ESPN's Jayson Stark reports, the legality of Segura's misadventures is still highly questionable. So although the game is in the books, the jury is still out on what actually happened.


I'd like to point out how small that 5x7 press graflex really is. Todays standard press/sports camera , say a Canon 1dx would fit inside a 2 inch cube if it had the same sensor size to bulk ratio. or put another way, if it were packaged as efficiently as the Canon 1dx it would be 49"x32"x32" and weigh 94 pounds without a lens.

Of course Graflex was a leader in the mirrorless big film small camera field. If someone made a APS-C mirrorless compact as compact as a Speed Graphic, it would measure 40.5mm x 40.5mm x 21.mm (with lens collapsed) Just like a Sony NEX, a Speed Graphic could be used with any lens, and was a favorite for trying out random old lenses magnifiers and glass paperweights for picture taking. Unlike the NEX it had 4 viewfinders, 2 for focusing and 3 for composing.

Sure would be challenging to walk up to a urinal with that camera on a strap around your neck, plus you'd have to take the baseball glove off.

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