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  1. #1

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    Newman and Guardia Folding Reflex - advice

    I've recently come into possession of a Newman and Guardia Folding Reflex Camera (in a bunch of photographic 'junk'). Information is here

    Unfortunately it is in a bit of a mess - the viewer hood has detached, the shutter is non-functional, and the reflex mirror catches on the folds in the camera body (presumably since it has been folded for many, many years).

    Looking at the single darkslide, it would appear to be a plate camera (at least the DDS I have has what appear to be glass plates in it!

    1. Is it worth repairing?
    2. Is this a job for the amateur? (i.e. me!)
    3. Does the camera have any particular value?


    It's an interesting camera that's for sure - Whilst I don't think I'll ever use it, it may be a fun project

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It may well be quite easy to repair, I have some notes from a book on shutter repair but found this wasn't difficult to do when I restored a Speed graphic shutter.

    These older cameras can look in far worse than they are in reality so you may have quite a reasonable camera without too much effort and it maybe quite easy to do yourself.

    So yes worth repairing, value is more difficult to asses.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    I will try and get a picture posted up this evening - it's obviously been folded for a long time, and so the reflex mirror catches on the creases. The viewing hood is completely detached, and I'm not quite sure whether all of the material is even present!

    I had another quick look at it this morning - serial number is FR99, and it has a Ross Xpres 136mm, f4.5 lens on it. The helical focus on the lens is pretty stiff (old grease I would imagine), but the movements (yes movements! - front rise/fall and 'up/down' tilt) seem to work Ok.

    The only thing about it really is the fact that it's a plate camera - I wonder whether I could rig up a polaroid (100-series packfilm) back seeing as that is the correct size image area !!

  4. #4

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    I've acquired two cameras of this type (a Thornton Pickard and a Butcher Ensign).

    The tricky bit is getting the shutter working. There are different types. One with a single long blind with various fixed apertures in it is fairly straightforward. The type with two separate blinds on two separate roller mechanisms giving a variable gap is much harder.

    Golden rule is to use a digital camera (excuse the bad language) and keep snapping pictures and make notes as you dissemble. Amazing how quickly you get to the 'which way around did this bit go again?" phase!

    Looking at some on eBay recently, they don't seem to fetch much. Being leather covered they look a bit 'scruffy', usually, unlike the shiny wood and brass versions, which I think means they have little collector appeal - plus they're not really very usable for those who want to take pictures.

    I'm lucky enough to have a roll film back which fits mine, so I can take 6 X 6 or 6 X 6" pics.

    I'd be interested to see some pictures.
    Steve

  5. #5

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    Steve - I couldn't find any on ebay - a number of 'Sybil's, but no folding-reflex. In fact the only prices that turned up via google were from proper auction sites (i.e. Christies and Bonhams!). Pictures later

  6. #6

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    Ok, just posted some pictures up on flickr.

    Here's a few pictures:
    - - -

  7. #7

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    It looks lovely to me! Probably in better condition than my Butcher Ensign. Obviously something unspeakable has befallen the lens hood - they usually sit on a wooden frame which fits over the ground glass above the mirror, although I'm not that familiar with this camera - it does seem to be very shallow front to back...
    Are the mirror and upper ground glass intact?
    Does the shutter make any attempt to fire? Do you know if it is in the wound up or fired position?

    Very restorable, I'd say. Funnily enough, I found a Newman and Guardia plate holder earlier this week whilst sorted out some stuff :-)
    Steve

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Steve that looks like it shouldn't be difficult to restore. I have some adverts for these cameras in one or two BJP Almanacs (in Turkey) and I'll copy the images for you in 2-3 weeks. I'll also send you the copied pages on the shutter repair.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    That's encouraging - thank you for the responses!

    With a little effort I can move the 'top' ground glass into position, at which point I can see an image formed by the lens, so - to my mind - that implies the mirror is at least partly-silvered. If I wind the shutter-cocking knob, the shutter makes some attempt at moving - however the shutter release is stuck solid. I can't really tell whether the shutter is cocked or not (nor can I tell whether the shutter release only moves when the shutter is fully cocked for example).

    The top viewing-hood should be fully attached to the top of the camera, and folds down in front of the lens. In the original link I posted in my initial post you can actually see the circular indentation on the hood where the lens rests when folded; additionally you can see at the rear of the hood there are a pair of panels which form the top part of the box when the camera is folded.

    It'd be nice to get it working again, although a source of plates/film is going to be the tricky thing if it's actually going to get some use (and what's the point of a camera if you don't take pictures with it!!).

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    What size film does it take, most sizes are still available although some only in the Ilford Ultra Large Format special order . Plate holders can be adapted for film so that shouldn't be an issue.

    Ian

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