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  1. #1
    darinwc's Avatar
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    old plate camera: to refinish or not?

    I have an english-style triple extention plate camera, similar to a thornton-pickard field camera. Its in lackluster shape, without a bellows. The finger joints on some corners have separated and someone did a messy job of gluing them together.

    Ive managed to re-separate the joints and I am going to reglue them properly after a bit of sanding.

    However, I was wondering your opinions on if i should do the minimal amount to get the camera working again or if i should completely dissasemble and it, sand and refinish the wood. That would also entail giving all the brass a good cleaning.

    What are your opionions?

  2. #2

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    If it were mine, and I was going to the time, trouble and expense to replace the bellows, and reglue bad joints, I'd want to look as good as possible when I was done. I'd say that refinishing and polishing the brass would be appropriate.

    Sounds like an interesting, hopefully fun, project!

  3. #3
    glbeas's Avatar
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    If you've got the time and ability, whats to question? Make it into a fine looking working camera.
    Gary Beasley

  4. #4
    Ole
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    If it's really lackluster, I would try to give it back some lustre.

    I have a small project that really needs refinishing: A small 6x4.5cm plate camera with peeling leather. What I suddenly learned is that the leather is all that is keeping the "front release" button in place!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #5
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Most of my "small" restoration projects usually turn into "large" projects, too.
    —Eric

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    If you are more interested in pretty cameras than in making photographs, certainly refinish it. Otherwise, the time and energy spent in a major refinishing job might yield some fine negatives. The refinish job can wait until the camera has been replaced by another workhorse.

  7. #7

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    As long as you aren't in a hurry, take your time and do a bang up job, the whole enchilada. Now that is if you are capable of this type of work or willing to learn n experiment with it. After all, it's not working now so the worst that will happen is it still won't work but you did have a great time doing it.

    It's the journey that makes it worth the trouble.
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  8. #8
    ragc's Avatar
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    Do it!


  9. #9

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    WOW, what a beauty!
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  10. #10
    ragc's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    It's an old Asanuma & Co. (Asanuma Shokai) King 1 English style half plate camera, pre-WWII Japanese. I built 4x5 and 5x7 backs for it from old B&J backs and installed Satin Snow screens on both, cleaned it (the finish is original), polished the brass, and had new bellows made for it. The strap is a dog's collar. The tripod base is plywood, left with the plies visible, bolted to the old-style tripod slots with ground blots that allow the rear and front extensions to move unimpeded, and two spirit levels from a cheap plastic carpenter's level, mounted with brass tubing. Lenses are a 90mm Schneider Angulon, a 150mm Fuji Fujinon and a 210/370mm Schneider Symmar convertible. It looked pretty bad when I got it for a song...now it's my baby!

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