Instant film in the Speed Graphic with the Aero Ektar lens

Today I met up with @lazybeard and @Jana_Obscura to play with Colby’s new Crown Graphic, my Speed Graphic with Aero Ektar lens, and the new anamorphic pinhole camera that @theschlem gave her to try out.

I had been wanting to use the Polaroid back on the Speed Graphic, while using the Aero Ektar lens for a while.    I also wanted to find out the minimum distance from camera to subject, so I flipped down the infinity stops on the Speed Graphic, and pushed the lens to the front of the tracks.

Here’s a photo Jana shot of me doing this:

jana pic

Here’s a few shot from a more traditional distance:


And here are some closeups:


And for fun, here’s a scan of the instant peel-apart stuff you usually throw away.


Here’s some background info:

The Aero Ektar was a WW2 reconnaissance lens.  Its got an f/2.5 aperture, so on large format, you get a super shallow depth of field.

Putting this lens on a Speed Graphic was popularized by David Burnett.   Its become known as the Burnett Combo.    There’s a photo of him with his camera here.     Nowadays, these lenses are still pretty expensive.   But the effect is so worth it.

Shooting instant film in the speed graphic does crop the photo down from 4×5 to the Fuji pack film size, so you have to shoot for the middle of the frame.  But with a little careful aiming, its not an issue.

It was a totally great and productive meetup.  Then we went for Mexican food.

I’m so lucky to have film geek friends to support & encourage my habits.   🙂

12 thoughts on “Instant film in the Speed Graphic with the Aero Ektar lens

  1. Now that’s a camera! The photos are fantastic. I’m pretty nosy and I tend to stop and chat with people who are about with lovely monsters like this. I’m also pea green with envy.


  2. Love that lens. I’m always on the half-lookout for a Speed Graphic so I could use one of those bad boys someday …


  3. I love these shots. Great stuff, I recently got a Speed Graphic and it came with a couple different Polaroid backs, but I haven’t taken the time to figure out they work.


    • Well hopefully they’re the size that takes the Fuji instant film that’s still made, and not the older “80” style. Measure the dimensions of the frame area that would be exposed to the light.


      • I just went and looked. One takes Land100 packs (3 1/4 x 4 1/4) and came with the original instruction sheet (score), the other 500 Land camera (singles I believe). Gonna order up some Fuji FP-100C and see how it works. Cool!


  4. This project is starting to get expensive – I’ve just ordered an Ondu pinhole as a result of another post and now I’m checking out Speed Graphics and Aero Ektars! Lovely shots.


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