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Marco B
09-21-2010, 04:33 PM
Searching in English is likely to throw up much information as Nadar was French few of the cameras he sold would have left the country. I'm sure if you looked in the French equivalent of the British Journal of Photography you'd find adverts for Nadar & his camera sales.

Ian

That still seems a bit disappointing...

Now my French isn't good, and I don't know if there is better word in French for camera, but even after setting the Google language preferences to French and searching with the keywords "Nadar appareil photo", very little is turned up... :(

I did hit upon another interesting English site though... Now if you had one of these, there might be some real value: ;)

Historically Important Cameras (http://johnsrolleionlypage.homestead.com/historicallyimportantcameras.html)

It is one of the most extraordinary collections I have seen up to now displayed on a site. Especially love this one:

26968

Marco B
09-21-2010, 04:40 PM
And I didn't know Brad Pitt was into analog photography, maybe we should invite him to APUG ;)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thLZj-T5dZQ

anon12345
09-22-2010, 12:31 PM
I was very pleased to learned that it's auction estimate falls in line with what I paid for the camera. So, now I will reluctantly move on to phase 2 of this operation . . . bellows replacement. I have made a number of 8x10 bellows, but this would be the smallest to-date. I've seen leather bellows, painted cloth bellows, vinyl and cloth bellows, and even paper bellows. The paper versions have intrigued me because of their simplicity.

Ian Grant
09-22-2010, 12:57 PM
Regardless of the estimates the camera is worth more to you. While it might not add to the monetary value it does have the Nadar connection and you know it passed through the shop. There's some great cartoon's he did of himself online and some are worth printing & keeping with the camera.

On a more practical note, see if you can make an adapter to take standard 5x4 darkslides, I've made an adapter for a roll-film back that slips in like a plate holder on my Quarter plate, there may be enough room to do similar with your camera. Then I made a second lens board to use a more modern lens.

I've seen the Sands, Hunter tailboard camera with a Thornton Pickard shutter attached to the lens board, but they can also be fitted to the front of the lens.

Let us see how you get on with it, it's nice camera to own and it'll be fun to use.

Ian

anon12345
09-22-2010, 01:25 PM
. . . .

On a more practical note, see if you can make an adapter to take standard 5x4 darkslides, I've made an adapter for a roll-film back that slips in like a plate holder on my Quarter plate, there may be enough room to do similar with your camera. Then I made a second lens board to use a more modern lens. . . .

Ian

I'm more inclined to try and use the original plate holders, if possible. At first glance, they look like they'ld be perfect for both 4x5 film and paper negatives with no alteration to the holder. Just drop in the film, drop in a backing board, put the septum in, and repeat for the other side. I'll realize the difficulties in actual practice. It can't be any worse than loading my ol'drop-plate camera.

I'm not a big fan of roll film, not at all. Sheet film keeps me engaged. I can make a single exposure, and then get right on with developing and printing . . . all in the same afternoon. Whereas with roll-film, it can take me several weeks to expose a roll of film. Otherwise, I'm just wasting roll-film so that I can move on to the developing stage.

Ian Grant
09-22-2010, 02:33 PM
I wasn't thinking of a roll film conversion in your case, it was the only real option with my Quarter plate camera as film's only available as part of Ilfords ULF order and expensive, plus I have no plate holder :D

You're right a spacers possibly all that's needed with your wooden holders, I'm more used to the German 9x12 metal plate holders that need a film insert. The only thing you may have to watch is the nominal 5x4 film size is a touch less than the plate size, but you may have no problem.

I'll copy what I have about the Sands, Hunter cameras and let you have the info as jpegs. It's interesting that the company still sold a tailboard camera 45 years later in 1928. I collect BJP Almanacs but pre WWII copies tend to be expensive, pre WWI even more so. The Tailboard camera & a field camera are in the 1928 Almanac but gone by 1935 but 35mm is beginning to appear with fast f1.5 lenses, there's better more modern Rolleiflex's and Europe made faster switch to small formats than the US.

When I'm back in the UK next month I'll be looking for plate holders for my quarter plate camera, (I may have also bought a half plate camera), let me have some photo's and dimensions in case just I find some holders that may fit your camera. I'll be liaising with a friend who deals in cameras and will ask him as well.

Ian

anon12345
09-22-2010, 02:57 PM
And I didn't know Brad Pitt was into analog photography, maybe we should invite him to APUG ;)



It's funny that you mentioned that. I purchased the Pentax 645N that I currently have listed in the classifieds, from a concern located on Main St. in Shawnee Oklahoma. Mr. Pitt, I do believe, has had some association with this town. It's a small world after all.

TheFlyingCamera
09-22-2010, 03:19 PM
If you want to use it without altering/harming it, you can always have a new back made to fit it that takes 4x5 film holders. Also depending on how the original bellows are mounted, you MIGHT be able to remove them without destroying them and have a new set made to fit. I'm doing this (on a bigger scale) with a 12x15 Watson "field" camera (I use the term loosely - it's a tailboard model that is effectively self-casing, but it has no carrying handle and it is solid mahogany so it weighs a ton). The original bellows for it were completely shot when I got it so I'm just going to make (or have made) a new set.

Marco B
09-23-2010, 02:31 AM
On a more practical note, see if you can make an adapter to take standard 5x4 darkslides, I've made an adapter for a roll-film back that slips in like a plate holder on my Quarter plate, there may be enough room to do similar with your camera. Then I made a second lens board to use a more modern lens.


I'm more inclined to try and use the original plate holders, if possible. At first glance, they look like they'ld be perfect for both 4x5 film and paper negatives with no alteration to the holder. Just drop in the film, drop in a backing board, put the septum in, and repeat for the other side. I'll realize the difficulties in actual practice. It can't be any worse than loading my ol'drop-plate camera.

On a side note, these remarks actually raise an interesting small question for me: At what time did the modern 4x5 holders become "standard"?? :confused:

E.g. if I wanted to buy a historic camera, what is the oldest camera that I can buy that will take a modern 4x5 holder without any adjustment or fiddling to either camera or holders?

Ian Grant
09-23-2010, 03:00 AM
On a side note, these remarks actually raise an interesting small question for me: At what time did the modern 4x5 holders become "standard"?? :confused:

E.g. if I wanted to buy a historic camera, what is the oldest camera that I can buy that will take a modern 4x5 holder without any adjustment or fiddling to either camera or holders?

1946 I think, I have a BJP Almanac with the details back in the UK.

That was the point where the Internatioanl backs became standard and the Imperial & Metric size holders would fit the same backs.

Prior to WWII there was a major problem in Europe where there were no agreed standards and plate (film) holders and even roll film backs weren't interchangeable between all cameras of the same format. For historical reasons Zeiss made 3 variations at one point.

So after 1946 a European 9x12 DDS (double dark-slide) would fit a 5x4 camera and vice versa, and similarly with larger formats.

The flat sided DDS that we use now was used as far back as the 1890's but it seems to have become more Universal in the US earlier than the UK but backs became more standard with the introduction of film packs and roll film holders. Some of the early Kodak's made in the US & UK would take modern film holders.

Ian

Marco B
09-23-2010, 03:08 AM
1946 I think, I have a BJP Almanac with the details back in the UK.

That was the point where the Internatioanl backs became standard and the Imperial & Metric size holders would fit the same backs.

Thanks Ian!

Ian Grant
09-23-2010, 04:03 AM
If you want to use it without altering/harming it, you can always have a new back made to fit it that takes 4x5 film holders. Also depending on how the original bellows are mounted, you MIGHT be able to remove them without destroying them and have a new set made to fit. I'm doing this (on a bigger scale) with a 12x15 Watson "field" camera (I use the term loosely - it's a tailboard model that is effectively self-casing, but it has no carrying handle and it is solid mahogany so it weighs a ton). The original bellows for it were completely shot when I got it so I'm just going to make (or have made) a new set.

Is this your camera the "Premier". See attachment from the 1928 British Journal Photographic Almanac, (click for larger) if it is I also have three much better whole page adverts 1935 & 39, and 1954 for the same model.

It was made from some time in the 1880's onwards, the 15x12 model was 21 in 1898. It looks very similar to the 1928 Sands, Hunter camera which was 6 for the same size in 1928. The half plate version was still made in 1954 and still taking "Double book-form dark slides " :D

Ian

TheFlyingCamera
09-23-2010, 05:59 AM
Mine looks more like the Sands, Hunter than the Watson you have the advert for. I have rise only on the front standard, (very limited) tilts and swings on the rear standard via a rather unusual mechanism consisting of two brass rods that supply the friction lock for the rear standard. Fine focus is accomplished by a crank and worm-screw drive.

Ian Grant
09-23-2010, 07:09 AM
There's artistic license in some of these illustrations, also they will look different depending on the size/format, the 5 adverts I have clearly show the same camera, but slight changes . Watson appear not to have changed the Premier camera over it's long production run of at least 70 years :D.

The 1910 advert uses the same image as the 1928 one, there were six sizes available from half plate through to 15"x12", the text is as follows:

For any purpose where lightness and portability are not the chief consideration (when the "Acme" is preferable), these Cameras should be chosen. They are most solidly constructed, and their extra weight gives to them the highest degree of steadiness and strength.

This model, which is our original pattern, still holds its position and commands a large sale. It has been extensively imitated but no other pattern has been introduced to equal it for strength, durability and convenience.

The Cameras have double extension to focus, giving a very long range, are adjusted by rackwork or screw (the larger sizes from 12 by 10 upwards, are always made to adjust by screw), double swinging back, giving motions in horizontal or vertical directions, rising, failing, and sliding fronts (two fronts), leather bellows body, folding baseboard, and reversing frame.

When fitted with a Repeating Back, at the extra cost shown on next page, these Cameras will do all the work required in a Studio, forming a perfect equipment both for indoor and outdoor work for professional photographers.

Included with each Camera is an extra sliding panel for a second lens ; all sizes, from -plate to 8 by 6 have a movable central partition and wide front, so that they may be used for Stereoscopic Pictures if desired, or two pictures on one plate by sliding the lens across.



Perhaps an interesting line is "It has been extensively imitated"

The 1898 advert states the camera model was introduced in 1883, the largest was a18"x16", and they made them in the common Continental sizes as well.

The Premier was the only large tailboard camera Watson made, there were some lighter touring models but full plate was the largest size.

Ian

edp
09-23-2010, 08:29 AM
I have a half-plate Watson Acme, and the craftsmanship is superb.

Ian Grant
09-23-2010, 08:49 AM
I'm surprised how little some of these camera's are selling for, a very good condition half plate Watson Premier sold for 269 ($410) 8 weeks ago with the original case, two Dallmeyer lenses, a Thornton Pickard shutter and 6 dark slides. A 15"x12" Premier was fir sale for for 300 with no bellows, I think the seller's is an APUG member, as he mentioned having a 2nd 15x12 Premier and having new bellows made by Custom (Camera) Bellows, and getting a wet plate back made.

Ian

anon12345
09-23-2010, 10:29 AM
I checked the book plate holders ability to handle regular 4x5 film. The film will overlap the edge of the ledge inside the holder ever-so-slightly. So, to make this method work reliably I would need to eliminate the extra space around the film to keep it centered in the window. Another option and as mentioned previous, one plate holder contained two special holders containing paper negatives. They are thin metal frames, painted black, each having a thin mahogany backing board. I need to post some pictures of these.

Ian Grant
09-23-2010, 10:42 AM
Dann, those special paper holders are similar to the film inserts used in 9x12 plate holders. It's also the reason why the nominal size for cut film is fractionally less than for glass plates. Would 5x4 film fit those adapters ?

What some people do is use card cut to the size of a plate and stick the film to it with a couple of drops of honey, that's not something I've tried :D

Ian

anon12345
09-23-2010, 11:14 AM
Dann, those special paper holders are similar to the film inserts used in 9x12 plate holders. It's also the reason why the nominal size for cut film is fractionally less than for glass plates. Would 5x4 film fit those adapters ?

What some people do is use card cut to the size of a plate and stick the film to it with a couple of drops of honey, that's not something I've tried :D

Ian

Great, that's all I need . . . fighting off the flies gathering under the dark cloth as I try to focus. :(

A question . . . the darksides on these holders have a cloth backing on the lower-half of the wood slats that make up the darkside. The slats of the darkside are not glue together. This would make the darkside flexible, just like the slats in the lid that make up a roll-top desk. What is the purpose for this design?

Ian Grant
09-23-2010, 11:54 AM
Great, that's all I need . . . fighting off the flies gathering under the dark cloth as I try to focus. :(

A question . . . the darksides on these holders have a cloth backing on the lower-half of the wood slats that make up the darkside. The slats of the darkside are not glue together. This would make the darkside flexible, just like the slats in the lid that make up a roll-top desk. What is the purpose for this design?

Not sure about why they are loose but sometimes old glue degenerate over time. Often they used bone (gelatin) glues, sometimes old plate camera's are just a pile of wooden sticks, fallen apart :whistling:

I've had contact frames, and the focus frame of a pre-Anni Speed Graphic fall to bits when I've tried to clean them for restoration.

Ian