Antique Cameras

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pinhole_dreamer, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    I just did purchase a 1912 Ansco folding camera from evil-bay this evening. It's my early b-day present.

    Earlier today (since I took a day off from work), I found this site :

    http://www.rolandandcaroline.co.uk/homemade4x5/homemade4x5.html

    which I'm going to TRY and make over my summer vacation. (Wouldn't THAT have made a GREAT paper for school - What I Did on My Summer Vacation!) Hubby is even going to help because I'm not allowed sharp objects (we've had some massive fiascos where a blade was embedded in the webbing between index finger and thumb, chipping the bone) unless it's a dremel. I'll order a double sided film plate and we'll build the body around that. More research is needed, though.

    From what I've found online regarding the Ansco camera, the one I purchased was used to make postcard photos with roll film. I doubt if I can get any film large enough (experience talking - using 120 in my Brownie Box). I have a feeling I'll end up sticking a roll of 120 in this one and giving her a good test to see if the bellows are light tight. The description says the bellows are tight but I'll test it for myself.

    Any suggestions on where to find a manual, though? (I like to read.) I've found ONE manual...but it has a lens that isn't a fixed focus.

    Oh...ONE other question...How does one go about putting in the viewing screen in a film plate camera? (Making one, basically.) How does that work?

    Thanks!

    Susan
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi susan

    you might have trouble loading your camera with 120 film
    in december/ january i purchased a 3a camera
    and now roll cut down sheets of 5x7 or 8x10 rc paper down and tape them end to end
    and respool the film spools with paper. it works pretty well :smile:

    as for a viewing screen ..
    waxed paper works wonders ...


    good luck with your new camera !
    john
     
  3. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    Thanks John. I use 120 in my Duaflex - I sand down the ends of the spools and it works really well. The Ansco folder I bought takes the equivalent of Kodak's 122 film. The 122 seems to be a bit larger (wider) than the 120 film...but so is the 116 that is supposed to go in my Brownie Box. (Wall plugs are a nice fix for that!) I get a bit of light leakage with the Brownie box...but it looks like vignetting so I really don't mind as that's the look that I'm going for - and confusing historians down the road! ;D

    As for the film plate camera...wax paper I understand...but (this is where I need to do a LOT of research), just HOW exactly does the film plate sit in relation to the wax paper? This might be a silly question...but I'm totally new to film plates. I've thought about and thought about it...and decided that I better figure them out. Why? Because they're neat and I'm a camera freak.
     
  4. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    The ground glass sits on the same plane as the film, supposedly. The easiest way to set your GG up is to have a back that will take a frame, usually recessed with locking tabs to hold it in place. Decide on what type of film holders you are going to use and design your camera back around that.
     
  5. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    That's about what I figured. Hubby suggested that I just order a double sided film holder and we build the camera body around that.

    If that's the case, I can use paper OR sheet film. I found an old discussion here about using tanks vs. trays. I'm still reading that one as it's time for me to hit the sack.

    Thanks for the explanation. I'll go back to reading and thinking about this one.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    122 film was more than 5" wide so the 3a format could take 3.5x5.5 views :smile:
    i have a 116 camera as well, but i respool that too since like my 3a i have 2 spools ..

    what i did for my viewing screen is
    make a sandwich with a square hole and put the waxed paper in the "frame"
    it slides into a box which is the camera.
    when you look in the back you can see the image on the waxed paper ..
    and remove it / replace it with a film / paper holder to expose.

    i make my paper holders from the same materials but instead of being
    a square hole all the way through both boards, i only make the square in
    one hole, so it is the same distance from the lens as the ground glass ( paper ).
    the main think you have to remember with making film / paper / plate holders
    is the T-distance is the critical measurement -
    it is the place the lens focuses so the film / plate / paper has to
    be the same place / distance as the ground glass &C.

    its really not that difficult and if you are able to "stop your lens down"
    you can be a little off and it doesn't really matter.

    have fun !
    john
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    That's usually the best way.


    Steve.
     
  8. Sethasaurus

    Sethasaurus Member

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  9. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    That's the whole reason why I'm going to go about this the hard way. I'm cheap...but husband is cheaper than I am. I don't mind having to roll film if that's what it takes. *shrugs* At least I'll learn something I didn't know before.
     
  10. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    The trick to rolling your own is to unroll the film and paper loose in your hand. That is, as you take it off of the roll, re-roll it loosely in your catch hand. The film is taped at the spool end onto the paper and when you re-roll onto the 122 or 620 spool pull it tight. If you unroll onto one spool first, the film will bunch up at the taped end and make it hard to re-roll. Does that make sense?
     
  11. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    Yes. That makes sense.
     
  12. Matthew Rusbarsky

    Matthew Rusbarsky Member

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    I also have a 122 folder. There was a guy on Photo.net a few years back who was converting large rollfilm folders into panoramic 120s. The results were amazing. All you really need are some spacers for the spools and a down and dirty mask to keep the film from bowing in the frame. A red window in the right spot would be nice, but you get so few images on a roll you could just advance with the "count the turns method". You might want to give it a try before you hack it apart for the 4x5 mod.
     
  13. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I agree. I've made masks with posterboard and with aluminum flashing (watch the sharp edges!) I used fiber plumbing washers to set the right film width on an original take-up reel to avoid having to adjust too many things and I fit spacers into the sides of the place where the new roll of film goes. Counting turns of the handle is easy if you don't mind uneven spacing of the images - you only get a few on each roll anyway. It's nice to have 2 1/4" x 5" pictures from my old Kodak 3A folder on 120 film.
     
  14. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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  15. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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  16. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    There was a recent auction on eBay for 9 rolls of 122 film that went for $59 and some change. The stuff was 1939 expiration, IIRC. I wonder how film manufactured in 1935 or thereabouts works today?

    The purpose of the 3A cameras with their 122 film was postcard sized contact prints you could mail to your friends and relatives. Although I understand that some professional post card photographers used them as well. Such cameras would be kind of fun if you could get film for them for, say, five bucks a roll; or if you could get 3.5" (90mm) film to respool.
     
  17. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

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    Absolutely. I took TWO 120 backing papers and cut down some paper for the camera and that's exactly how I did it. Kind of a pain but since I could do it with the red light, not too terrible.