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  1. #31
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    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!
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    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

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  2. #32
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    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 "

    Ian
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails watson_sm.jpg   sandshunter_sm.jpg  

  3. #33
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    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.

  4. #34
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    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 .

    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 ½-plate to 8½ by 6½ 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

  5. #35
    edp
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    I have a half-plate Watson Acme, and the craftsmanship is superb.

  6. #36
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    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

  7. #37

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    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.

  8. #38
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    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

    Ian

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    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

    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?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cesaraugusta View Post
    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

    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

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