Folmer Graflex K-20 Aircraft Camera, 1941

a.k.a. Fairchild K-20

Folmer Graflex K-20 Aircraft Camera

Fairchild K-20 is a hand-held large format aerial photography camera designed by “Fairchild Camera and Instrument”, used during World War II by the U.S. Army, on base engraved “PROPERTY, U.S.ARMY AIR FORCES, CAMERA, AIRCRAFT”, with Paragon Anastigmat 4.5/163mm lens and red filter.

Approximately 15,000 were manufactured under licence for military contract by Folmer Graflex Corporation in Rochester, New York between 1941 and 1945.

The K-20 uses a large–format 5.25″×20′ to 5.25″×200′ roll film, with an image size of 4×5 inches. Equipped with non-interchangeable 4.5/163mm lens with an adjustable diaphragm – made by Kodak, Ilex, or Bausch & Lomb. The camera featured the use of a vacuum to keep the film flat.

Photo credit: © Leitz Photographica Auction