Remembering The Days Of The Large Format Lens

I remember an old news camera I used once a long time ago. If memory serves me, it was called “Aura Graphica” or something like that. My memory isn’t what it used to be. Maybe the real name of the old camera was “Speed Graphic.” Yes, that’s it — “Speed Graphic.

Image is from Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

I remember it was hefty, unwieldy, hard to hold and when the flashbulb went off you didn’t dare be staring at it because it could render you temporarily blind and the temporary blindness was followed by a tenacious greenish “spot” that eventually went away but which was most uncomfortable while it persisted.

The camera I am talking about was known as a “Large Format” camera and was used primarily for newspapers and magazines and the bulky, heavy monster was later replaced by 35-millimeter cameras and even later than that by digital. I have managed to purchase and possess all three types of cameras in my long tenure on this planet. I remember that it was entirely possible to get some of the most beautiful colored photographs from the 35-millimeter cameras —- photographs that were almost unbelievable in the depth, clarity, and beauty.

One of my favorite cameras of all time — (If not the absolute favorite) was the German-made “Rolleiflex” or “Rollie” as I affectionately named her. My trusty Rolleiflex and I had many adventures together, sometimes into very scenic places and sometimes into ve3ry dangerous places. By way of disclaimer, I am not being compensated for mentioning the name of the Rolleiflex camera that I adored so much.

I believe the old large format cameras like the Speed Graphic are used more these days by artists than by anyone but I will not sit here and absolutely insist on the accuracy of that statement.

PICTURE CREDIT: The photograph of the camera in this article is taken from Wikimedia Commons and is licensed for use under a Creative Commons License — ( HERE ).


3 thoughts on “Remembering The Days Of The Large Format Lens

  1. My daughter is a photographer and she uses large format cameras a lot…she has several…a Mamiya and a Hasselbad , I believe that is it…..she has a hard time getting affordable film these days of the “instant” gratification cameras…..chuq


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