Conley 4x5, possibly trashed bellows - worth $50-70??

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by mudman, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. mudman

    mudman Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi,
    I have a chance to buy one of these, but from the description from the seller, the bellows need replacing. Is it worth it? I'm kind of tempted just because the thing looks so cool.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,091
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bellows are quite easy to make, so go for it.

    Ian
     
  3. mudman

    mudman Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well I just talked to guy further, and the bellows are fine it's the pump release for the shutter that is gone. Going to pick it up tonight. Will this thing work with Standard sheet film, or is it a glass plate only camera? Excuse my ignorance on the subject.
     
  4. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
  5. mudman

    mudman Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm guessing it's probably a plate camera as well, but can you use standard film holders in a plate camera and get it to work?

    Edit: It's a Conley XV model.
     
  6. mudman

    mudman Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well I bought it. The bellows need to be reattached to the front standard, but other than that, are light tight. The lens is a bit dirty, but should clean up. Talked him down to $60. Can't wait to get some film holders and shoot a few shots with it!
     
  7. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Film holders are the first part of the solution. The catch is that the film is held at a different distance from the ground glass than the old glass plates were, so focus will be affected. I have an old Seneca plate camera on which the previous owner had flipped the ground glass around to frosted-side-out. While not an exact fix, it puts the point of focus closer to where it should be. I find I can make pretty darned sharp negatives for a hundred-year-old camera with an inexpensive original rapid rectilinear lens.

    Another fix I saw on the large format forum is to cut a piece of aluminum with a rectangular hole in it the same size and position as the film window on the holder. The aluminum is the same thickness as negative glass (you'll have to do some research here.) The person posting the solution focused with the aluminum sheet in place, pulled it out, inserted the filmholder and made the image.

    You also can fool with shimming the ground glass until you find the right focal point.

    Good luck. I own two 100-plus year-old cameras and enjoy working with them.

    Peter Gomena
     
  8. mudman

    mudman Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well I have a friend that has a few glass negatives kicking around, so I can find out the thickness easy enough, and I have a blacksmith for a next door neighbor. Question - just to make sure. The aluminum goes in place while focusing, and then you remove it and replace with a standard film holder while taking the image?

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  9. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Yes. It would be a rectangle the same width as the film holder with some extra at one end so you can grip it. (I think the original post I read said the maker bent an angle on the long side for an easier grip.) The rectangular hole would be the size of the opening for the holder offset to match the window in the holder. Focus with the adapter in, remove it, slide in the film holder and make your exposure.

    Peter Gomena