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  1. #1

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    Keystone F8 Aerial Camera

    Hi Folks

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

    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.

    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.

    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,

    Chuck

  2. #2

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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. #3
    John Bartley's Avatar
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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. #4

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


    Chuck

  5. #5

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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. #6

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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. #7

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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. #8

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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
    Quote Originally Posted by photochucker View Post
    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

  9. #9

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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.

    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.

    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!!!

    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. #10

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    Keystone

    Quote Originally Posted by photochucker View Post
    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.

    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.

    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!!!

    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
    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

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