Graphic View cameras

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In 1940 or 1941 Folmer Graflex followed the Corona View field-type camera with a full studio camera, the Graphic View, at a price of $97.50 USD[1]. (Equivalent cost in 2008 would be $1,451.11.[2]) The camera is notable for its unusual "inverted V" three-sided monorail, which makes the camera nearly impossible to use without the original Graflex tripod head or a reasonable imitation. [3]


Movements are standard for a monorail-type view camera:

Front standard only:

  • Rise and fall (3 5/8")

Both Standards:

  • Shift (5/8")
  • Tilt (26°)
  • Swing (12°)

The View Graphic has a maximum bellows extension of 12", and a minimum of 3 1/2". The distinctive red bellows (made of some sort of coated canvas?) are not designed for removal or replacement; there were a few of the View Graphic cameras made with black bellows for the US Military (and released to consumers near the end of the View II run.)[4]
A matching bellows lens hood was made to be attached to the front standard, it was hinged and could be swung up for access to the lens/shutter.


The Graphic View was available with both the Graflex back and spring back. Graflok backs are not original to the Graphic View, but have been retrofitted in some cases. The Graphic View is easy to change from Landscape to Portrait: simply remove the back and re-attach in the desired orientation. The only size made in both models was 4×5 inch.

Graphic View II

Graflex followed the successful Graphic View with the Graphic View II In 1949, making a number of slight changes:

  • the View II has a slightly different "mottled silver" finish (to the original matte grey) on painted metal surfaces.
  • the View II tilts the front standard on the optical axis of the lens, rather than from the base of the standard.
  • The the View II has a maximum bellows extension of 16" (with a four-inch longer monorail.)
  • After 1955, the View II was offered with the Graflok back as a standard feature.


  1. Gerald Pierce,
  2. based on 1941/2008 CPI
  3. According to Michael Crowell (archived), the Bogen/Manfrotto 3299 quick release tripod adapter makes a reliable substitute.
  4. Michael S. Crowell (archived)