Help needed - Quarter plate camera

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Ian Grant, May 17, 2010.

  1. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've had a Quarter plate camera for years that an ex girl-friend gave me in the early 90's. It's sat on the mantle piece until last night when I decoded restoration was in order. The lens is in excellent optical shape andcovers 5x4 I have a TP shutter that can be used on the front.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The initial restoration of the wood & brass was easy and took about 4 hours, the bellows are shot and will have to be replaced, and I'll have to make a new focus screen. The intention is to make a second back that will accept a roll film holder, or perhaps adapt a 9x12 Rollex (pre WWII Linhof fit) that I already have, but the register is significantly different.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The BIG problem is the front standard is missing, I have the lens board and panel that fits in & attaches to the bellows. I need some help, either if someone has some spare parts or photographs of what the standard might look like.

    The other missing part is less critical and I need another beass piece, essentially a stop as shown below the thumb nut.

    [​IMG]

    Any help/suggestions welcome.
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    David Vickers has been toying with cameras, Ian. He has a planer and has done some decent work. He has even been doing some ground glasses as well. Might look him up and see if he might be able to throw a little something together for you.
     
  3. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    Hi Ian

    you can pretty much guess what the front standard looks like. The 2 key holes in the nickel plate on the front of the camera "key" (lock) the front standard into place (2 screws stick out from the front standard and slide sideways to lock the lens board into place.

    The lens board needs to be smaller than the back standard so that you can close the camera, but big enough to take the lens board...the thickness of it would be based on what timber you have available - I would guess around 8-12mm thick..

    If I can find a picture of a similar camera I'll post it for you

    As for bellows have a look at the DIY bellows (and ground glass) kits made by a APUG member (his website is http://www.diycamerakit.com/index.php - I've never made bellows, but the feedback from APUG members has been very good)

    Good luck!
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thanks Andrew & Chris.

    The ground glass isn't an issue as I've been making my own anyway for some time , and I already have the bellows pattern. I made and tested patterns about 3 months ago and can adapt them easily to fit any camera, I just need to get the outer covering.

    I can work out the size for the front standard as the camera is quite similar to this Half Plate Pembroke in the image below. It may even be made by the same company as the hardware is identical, there's some artistic license in the etching as the TP shutter is mounted sideways :D

    Still hoping someone may have some parts which would save having to make the brass plate to adjust the rise/fall and getting the brass nob etc which are a bit like the fitting in the second image.

    Ian
     

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  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    A local joiners/cabinet maker is building a new standard, bellows are in progress, just the brass fittings to make :D

    Also making an adapter to allow a Roll film back 6x9 or 6x7.

    Ian
     
  6. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Very good, Ian. I need to get another older camera so my wife can remark that I don't need ANOTHER one . . . ;p
     
  7. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Hi,

    I'm interested to know how you cleaned up your woodwork?
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Easy Steve.

    I totally dis-assembled the camera stripping off all the brass work, taking every screw out so all the wooden parts were separate, then I used wet & dry paper 400 grit. Finally I french polished the wood work, I cheated using a small paint brush giving 2- 3 light coats. The very bright sunlight when I took the photographs exaggerates the colour differences in the wood.

    Ian
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    [​IMG]

    Now with a newly made front standard and a freshly ground new focus screen all that's needed is the new bellows, 3 brass fittings and a new top strap.

    The camera will be used with a 6x7 roll film back on it's way from California courtesy of WadeD, so now to make an adapter to take this :D

    Ian
     
  10. moki

    moki Member

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    That's beautiful, just like it was always there.
    But how do you do the movements with this standard? From the picture it looks like it's fixed/glued.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you look at the image of the similar Half plate there's only rise & fall on the front standard, the lens board is just sat high because with no lens attached it does :D

    The standard has two screw which I filed to fit the key ways, them filed palt after fitting so there's a good fit between standard and focus bed.

    [​IMG]


    There's a small amount of rear tilt, whether enough is another question.

    Ian
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Now finished designing, making & fitting the bellows.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The camera folds up neatly, but I need to make a lens cap and the carrying strap.

    [​IMG]

    Just 3 brass fittings to go which is where help would be appreciated :D

    Ian
     
  13. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Got drawings of the missing parts ?
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I can easily draw them, I've not yet had time but they are quite simple. I'll draw them up tomorrow in Coreldraw.

    One is another small stop plate shown below that the darkslides fit up to.

    Ian
     

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  16. edp

    edp Member

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    Nice.
     
  17. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Looking at the knob, I'm wondering if there is a captive nut in the front panel to lock it in place - If there is, don't suppose you'd know what thread it is ?

    If this is a British made camera, I'd suspect it would either be a B.A. or a Whitworth.
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There is a captive nut in the front panel, I've not found anything that fits so far. The camera's now in Turkey so I'm not sure how I'll check the thread, a small knob of a Bowens Monolight flash was very close, right size but wrong thread :D

    I'll see what threaded bits I have on a couple of TP shutters and see if they fit, then ascertain what thread they are.

    The roll film back adaptor is now under way.

    Ian
     
  19. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Parts machined in brass so far:

    [​IMG]

    Lower left plate is [s/c]rap...
     
  20. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Impressive work!! Looks great. Are you going to disguise the roll film holder so it looks like wood?:D
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Vinyl wood finish covering :D

    No, sleight of hand, who will notice when I slip the holder in fast take the shot & remove, it'll be an illusion :smile:

    I have made another lens board and fitted a modern coated 105mm f3.5 Trinar, in a Compur shutter, it's cell focussing so I could focus the camera/lens at infinity on the ground glass and use the cells for focussing, it's hyper focal point is marked.

    On the other hand I'll also look out for some quarter plate dark-slides to compliment the camera so that it's as original as possible.

    Wade, it's very easy to adapt the film back I bought from you as the register is much greater/further back on the camera/screen. So I just cut a piece of wood to slide into the camera and then mount the back to that, shimming to the correct register. I have a pair of Pacemaker lens board sliders that I can use to lock the back in place, like a Graflok back. Sounds harder than it should be in practice.

    Paul will get back to you in a couple of days re- the knob/thread.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2010
  22. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    I´m considering building something along these lines. Simple foldable field camera. Lovely little thing that. Good work.
     
  23. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    O.K. Will hold fire on posting these parts until then - Having done one set, I feel they would look better with a larger radius on the corners. 1.2mm looks out of place, so I may go for 3.2mm... Perhaps someone would like to comment ?
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Just found two comprehensive lists and diagrams of Brass and Wooden parts available for camera builders in the 1890's I'll copy then in the next couple of days.

    Every single part need to build a plate camera is listed, boxes, front standards, focus rails & gear, knobs, bellows etc. Just what we need today, I'll copy the pages in the next couple of days.

    It's obvious that a photographic dealer could offer his or herb own range of wooden field/studio cameras, and adverts show they did.

    From the rather extensive scouring texts for details of my particular Quarter plate camera it seems the format wasn't that common until the advent of later hand-held cameras (quarter plate/9x12), which coincides with a n increasing use of enlargements, particularly on a commercial scale

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2010
  25. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    After looking at over 2,000 pages of camera adverts i found no identical Quarter plate cameras, however the details of the parts indicates that the brass work was similar to what was available from Lonsdale brothers of Leeds in the 1890's.

    Based on that then perhaps the plate to adjust rise and fall might originally have had square corners on the standard side and quite rounded corners on the lens side, but as Londsdale Bro's parts aren't identical it's a guessing game. All missing parts to match Lonsdale's are in 2nd image coloured yellowish. (Not to scale)

    It's all a compromise

    Ian
     

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  26. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    The second photo has some items that look like what Paul has made. Good stuff. Where can I find the same info? Do you have a PDF of it? I love old camera info.