Keystone F8 Aerial Camera

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by photochucker, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. photochucker

    photochucker Member

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    Hi Folks

    I have just joined your organization - have had a lot of reading to do as there is soooooo much info here.:smile:

    I am hoping that someone can point me in the right direction (I know I let myself open with that statement!!!):rolleyes:

    I just purchased a Keystone F8 off of the auction site we all love and sometimes hate - BUT!!! - I paid more for the shipping than I did for the camera so that is supposed to be a good thing.:D

    When it arrived I was very happy to see that it had all of the parts and even better the camera looks like it has had light use and it works. It took me a little while to figure out everything - is simpler than my Kiev 88 but not as simple as my old Spotmatic. It is a heavy beast but I like the big robust feel of it - hopefully I will never have to pack it farther than I can throw it!!

    It takes 7 inch roll film that I have found out is no longer available so it looks like I need to get some 5 inch and make 5 x 5 inch negatives - it is a 5 x 7 format with the film running with the 5 inch dimension - or I can order some of the 9 1/2 inch and make a cutter to trim to 7 inch - which is actually my preference - but the cost might get pretty high doing that.:confused:

    I would appreciate any feedback that you could give me in regards to using the beast and suppliers for film, developers, and for film spools. I have one spool that came with the camera and will need some more so that I can roll my own.

    I have read that the lens is very good for B&W - has anyone shot any color in this camera? If so what did it turn out like?

    I have read the articles and descriptions on cutting film that are elseware on the site - as a very handy guy - I am an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer by trade - I can fabricate just about anything that I might need - I just need the info from you fine people to eliminate any problems that I might have.

    I might start off by making a set of spool collars to use 5 inch film so that I can see how good the pictures are before getting any 9 inch to cut down. That way I can decide if it is really worth the effort.

    I am fully aware of the limitations of a fixed focus camera - my intent is to use it for landscape photography - a seriously big point and shoot camera.

    Thanks in advance,:smile:

    Chuck
     
  2. JackGreen

    JackGreen Member

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    Hi Chuck,
    There were bag mags for those. Somewhere I have an advertisement sheet from and aeriel photo supply from many years ago offering them. I expect they were adaptations of the 5x7 Graflex slr bag mags. ( See http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=005BI2)
    I have an F8 and I have a bag mag but that's as far as I've gotten. I'd love to hear of any progress you might make.
    Regards,
    Jack
     
  3. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    I have a Williamson aerial camera that I've parted out. The spools are for a 7" magazine, and if you'd like a couple to play with, I have no use for them - postage only is all I'd like for them.

    cheers
     
  4. photochucker

    photochucker Member

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    JB - sent you a PM. Thanks for the generous offer!!


    Chuck
     
  5. photochucker

    photochucker Member

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    JG - Thanks for the reply.

    I have loaded a roll of 120 film in the camera and am going to go out and shoot some pictures with it. I cobbled up a way of feeding it through the camera and will get it developed next week. I will let you know how it works.


    I would appreciate a couple of photos of the "Bag Mag" that you have - this would be a way that I might go if it gets to be too hard getting film for the camera.

    Thanks in advance.

    Chuck
     
  6. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    5X7 Fairchild bag mags do show up on the auction thingy now and then. If you would like some info on bag mags go to http://www.graflex.org and do some searching of the archives. The Graflex mags are the same thing and the Fairchilds, I believe, were made by Graflex. Somebody was also custom cutting aerial film at one time, but may have quit. The only problem I can see with using one of these cameras for general photography, is it's focused on infinity. If I were to do it, I would find a way to shim out the lens mount so it focused on about 40 feet, and use the apeture to reach infinty with depth of field. As it is, almost all your dof is wasted, as the depth will fall beyond infinity. Good luck and have fun.
     
  7. photochucker

    photochucker Member

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    It Works!

    Well I got the photos back from the shop today - I was able to take 4 shots out of a possible 5 before the film jammed so had enough data to make a determination on the near focus of the camera.

    I used f/calc from tangent software to determine the theoretical depth of field for a camera with a 400mm lens - 15 inch focal length is not quite 400 but that was all I could use for an input.

    With the camera set to a far focus of infinity @ f5.6 the near focus was 310'

    @ f8 it was 250'
    @ f11 it was 210'
    @ f16 it was 170'
    @ f22 it was 125'
    @ f32 it was 100'

    The photos confirmed the above calculations.

    I had an out of focus pole about 100' from the camera and the bow of a boat was about 200'( hard to tell regarding focus) - with in focus and sharp lettering on the bridge of the boat that would be at about 230'.

    I shot the above @ 1/400 - F11 using Fuji Pro400H - 400ASA - using my Pentax Spotmatic as my basic light meter to give me F11 @ 1/500.

    I used 1/400 sec as I was hand holding and the shot might have come out a bit clearer if I had rested the camera on a monopod.

    I was shooting with a far bank at about 1/2 mile - I could see individual rocks on the beach and small branches were very visible so the camera is performing the way it was designed.

    Now I gotta get some 7 inch film and try that!!!!

    Chuck
     
  8. JackGreen

    JackGreen Member

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    Hi Chuck,
    So you have a large (and heavy) 6x17 point and shoot. Great! I'd like to try mine when I get a chance.. Any idea why the film jammed? How did you load it? In a darkroom most likely. Let us know if you find a source of 7" film.
    Jack
     
  9. photochucker

    photochucker Member

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    Stuffing in 120 film!!

    Jack

    I fabricated up a small pocket using cardboard and Red Greens' duct tape. This allowed me to place a spool of 120 film in a small area so it wouldn't migrate and would hopefully unwind in a behaved manner.:confused:

    In the dark I wound the leader on the middle of the 7 inch film spool - draped the film accross the glass plate and into the cobbled up pocket. Put on the lid and made sure the camera was not turned sideways so that the film would stay in alignment.:wink:

    I managed to get 3 shots that were full length (vertical) so ended up with a 2 1/4 inch by 5 inch negative. The film jammed on the last one - looked like the leader and film were pulled through at different rates as there was a bump in the film where the end was attached to the leader. If I was to do it again I would try it with some 220 film as it does not have the continuous paper backing - just the leader and trailer.

    I guess that gives me a 6 x 12 cm (vertical format) - extremely large and heavy - point and shoot - roll film camera. If anyone gives me any hassle I can bean them with the camera - makes a pretty formidable weapon!!!:D

    I am on the hunt for some film that won't cost an arm and a leg - lost those in the last fuel fillup in my Dodge pickup truck!!! - wife is grumpy 'cause I got too many toys - gotta be careful what I put on the plastic. She thinks I have gone off the deep end - going back to film and buying those old junk cameras, but it is still a small price to pay for a hobby - at least I'm not spending it all in the bar!!!!!:rolleyes:

    Regards,

    Chuck
     
  10. JackGreen

    JackGreen Member

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    Keystone

    Hey Chuck
    I think I have a pretty good idea of what you did. I thought of using 220 film too to avoid a jam. Your attempts encouraged me to haul my Keystone out and give it another look. What I discovered was that you can remove the glass plate pretty simply. The lower metal tab slides down and to left, albeit with a bit of force, as you would remove a lens board from a wooden view camera. With the glass out you can replace it with a "standard" 5x7 bagmag. Fits right in! It looks like the focal plane is just about correct, too. That is to say that the position of the film sheath is just about where the outer surface of the glass is.. I would expect a bag mag to be easier for you to find than 7" aerial film not to mention that 5x7 sheets would be easier to process. I'll try to take some pics of the camera w/ bag mag and post them.

    Regards, Jack
     
  11. photochucker

    photochucker Member

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    Here's the photo I took.

    Here is the photo that I took - loaded it into flkr.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/128/330487502_4d87d612d7_o.jpg

    This was scanned from the proof rather than from the negative so the quality is much less than it actually is.:wink:

    I have found a couple of interesting places that have film that would work - and I am thinking about using some cirkut film - 8 inch cut down to 7 inch.

    Unfortunately I am going to be away for the rest of the month - I am a maintenance trainer for an airline on the west coast and will be instructing for the next 3 or so weeks.:sad:

    Jack - if you get a chance to post some shots of your camera and the bag-mag I would appreciate it - I looked at mine and I don't see an easy way to remove the glass - is it possible that we have different models of the same camera - or that yours has been modified?? - I will try to get a couple of shots of my camera and post them this weekend.

    Thanks for all the input everyone!!!:smile: :smile: :smile:

    Chuck
     
  12. JackGreen

    JackGreen Member

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    Hi Chuck,

    I'm posting some rather poor shots or the back of the camera with the bag mag in place after removal of the ground glass. There is an aluminum bar that holds the glass along one long edge and I had to resort to using a a large screw driver against the short edge. I tapped the screwdriver with a light hammer to get the bar to move out of the way. Not a precision solution I admit. The bar seems to be held in place by some sort of half moon fasteners that may reguire a special tool to loosen.
    Hope you can follow this.

    Jack
     
  13. JackGreen

    JackGreen Member

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    Hi Chuck,
    Somehow I managed not to attach the photos it appears.. I'll have to look into what I'm doing wrong..Apologies
    Jack
     
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  15. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    >>* BUMP! *<<

    I just got hold of one of these babies:

    [​IMG]

    It's been a while since anybody here has posted on the subject. What ideas, if any, have people been able to come up with since then?

    So... I gather I won't be able to get the standard film for it, anymore.

    Does this mean I'll have to build a film slitter and cut down some 9-1/2 inch film if I want to use it the way it was originally made?
    This is a project I MIGHT be tempted to take on, some day.

    What about processing? The thing takes film with specialized emulsion. That means I'm going to have to send it out for processing... assuming I can get film by one means or another. Right?

    I'm supposing that the best non-aircraft use for something like this, *IF* it can be used at all, would be to take it up to the top of a tall building or an observation tower and shoot landscapes and vistas with it. Don't you think?

    I know this is a pretty specialized camera with a narrowly defined purpose so I don't expect miracles. I just inherited this camera from a relative. It is probably going to be just a part of my collection but it would be nice if I could take it out and use it just once for old time's sake.
     
  16. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I've got one. Cutting down roll film and respooling is a hassle (if you can find 7" spools, get 'em!) You can make film cans out of black plastic sewer pipe(but they'll look like pipe bombs so better watch your step!) MR.FOTO sells (or used to sell, I haven't talked to him in awhile) 9-1/2" dated frozen aero film at good prices---just figure out a way to slit it. The address I have is Box 6157 Harrisburg, PA 17106 He had Panatomic X and Plus X films inventoried. Good luck! The F8 is a sweet camera!
     
  17. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Oh, if you want a Houston Fearless roll fim processor (handles 70mm to 9-1/2" widths) PM me if you have a truck and can pick up in California!
     
  18. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    If you have to truck it, it sounds like it might be fearful, not fearless. :tongue:
     
  19. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Its on a pallet. A pick up truck will do nicely(if I could figure a way to lift it up to the bed!):confused:
     
  20. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    My GF would kill me. :blink:
     
  21. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Here's an idea I have to build a film slitter.
    Check out this animatic at YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQAvTeW3UFs
    (The original file looks better b/c YouTube recompresses the data. It's hard to see the blade in the middle of the device.)

    This is strictly a mockup for a design. Haven't begun building it yet.
    Basically it would be two cranks for the film rolls, some lateral guides and some guide rollers with a razor blade in the middle. You would put the full roll on one side, thread the film between the guides, go under the rollers then over the razor blade before fixing to the takeup roll. From there, simply crank the handles until the film is slit.

    I suppose I could build this device into a dark box or use a changing tent.
     
  22. eworkman

    eworkman Member

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    I got one years ago, figuring I would pull the lens and use it on a Speed. Instead I found another lens almost ready to mount. My F8 has a nifty FP shutter and a glass sheet to keep rollfilm flat. It was advertised as camera plus bag mag, so i figured the bag mag would fit- Looks like I need an adapter/alternate rear door to hold a bag mag.
    #1 Would someone please shed some light on this quandary- have I missed something, or am I missing a camera part? I assume the glass platen would be removed ??
    #2 The Bag mag sez made by Folmer and Scwhing, combination Plate and Cut Fil Magazine. By comparison to a film pack holder i confirm it's same as Graflex. Each sheath/septum hold cut film under the sheath lips on 3 sides in front of a painted steel plate- argggh HEAVY. I presumed that the steel plate might be removeable in order to accomodate a glass plate negative, but I am unable to move/jiggle the "insert" in any way separately from the outer sheath. I was hoping to try replacing the steel with an equivalent sheet of plastic or aluminum.
    Any hints as to if/how this can be done without screwing up the outer, thin, aluminum sheath?
    #3 If I can get sheet film [by making the bagmag fit correctly] I'd see if I could shim the lens out to a focus of say 100 feet or so and deal with the resulting DOF [ I haven't done my homework on that yet]
    Thanks y'all
    Ed
     
  23. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I just found a roll of Super-XX Aerographic (7in x 18ft) film unused in its original box, inside its original can. The seal intact.

    Problem: It expired in 1949!

    Probably, the best I can do with it is use it as a pattern for cutting new film to size.

    What do you think?
     
  24. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    I'd certainly shoot some of it and develop it, just to see if maybe it's not fogged beyond all return. Super-XX is pretty fast film for its day, though, right? Overexpose/underdevelop! (Pull it a stop or two).

    Duncan
     
  25. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I think I have two rolls. (Haven't dug all the way to the bottom of the box of stuff I found it in.)
    I suppose I could shoot one, for better or worse and see what happens.

    If the pictures turn out I know I've got another roll. Plus I could keep that used roll as a pattern for making more, should I ever get the gumption to cut down a roll of 9-inch film.

    What do you think the stuff is worth? I don't imagine it's worth anything more than a curiosity. Is it?
     
  26. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    You own the film, you own the camera, might as well give it a shot! If you were pondering whether to spend any money on the film, I'd say it's not a good bet, but if you already have it in hand you might as well go for it, nothing to lose but time and chemicals.

    I'm not familiar with how these rolls work. Is there backing paper? If it's just film with no paper you could shoot and develop a few bracketed shots and then just process those before deciding whether the rest of the roll and the second roll are even worth bothering with.

    Duncan