The Graflex XLSW Modern*

The Graflex XLSW Modern*


The Hasselblad SWC you might've seen on this very blog has left a lasting impression on me, possibly more than any other camera gear with wide angle capability. I just  couldn't stomach the $1400+ price tag for a first generation model, so I sought some alternatives. It just so happens Graflex made the XL cameras, and one of which was the XLSW. A super wide variant, using a Super Angulon this definitely was up there in the desire list. Unfortunately, most are too pricey or just beat to hell, so I decided to create my own flat top version. 

It was a great idea and it was pretty much done. It used a Rodenstock-Grandagon 58mm f5.6 that was plenty sharp and I already modded the body to flat top standard.

Then this modern XLSW showed up, I call it modern since it has a Schneider Kreuznach Super-Angulon 47mm f5.6 with later #0 Copal shutter, a work of art. It's actually made for 4x5 coverage, so all I throw at it should be good. The creator spent lots of time seemingly tuning it just right. Upon receiving it, I decided I liked the black front fascia better than the standard silver so I put it under surgery to replace it. It's fantastic now, after drilling two holes for the cold shoe mount.

Plans for this camera lie outside typical 6x9, 6x4.5, and Filmpack film. I plan to create and document a Graflex XL adapted Fujifilm Instax Wide back for this camera, in hopes to raise awareness that it can be done and without much effort. Since we've lost FP-100C and everyone should be concentrating their efforts on Instax Wide I figure I'd take the plunge. So stay tuned for that development!

As for the XLSW Modern* it has a few different configurations which are awesome.

graflex_xlsw_schneider47_DSC_2998_20160323In current configuration: Mamiya press 50mm viewfinder, Horseman 6x9 back


For more shots, there is a 6x4.5 mode using an RB67 6x.4.5 and a Bronica RF645 finder.


The thinness and flexibility of the Graflex XL system are a treasure trove.

graflex_xlsw_schneider47_DSC_3013_20160323An interesting study will come of this, with my plans to make an Instax Wide back, this FP back is also handy to see if it covers it all, so it'll be a good test.


But first things first, test it out with FP-3000B and then a roll of film, am curious to see how it performs!