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  1. #11

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    Could very well be that I miss interpreted that information David. Is it possible that the term Full Plate meant different things to different manufacturers? Or do you think that sizes were "standardized" back then.

    If a full plate was/is 8.5 X 6.5, then the 15X12 would have to be considered atleast a "double plate"

    - William Levitt

  2. #12
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    There were all kinds of strange formats, and some professionals seemed to like having their own distinctive format (easy enough if you're coating your own plates and cutting your own glass), but I think certain terms like "full plate," "half plate," "quarter plate," "postcard," and "cabinet size" were used pretty consistently. I would guess standardization started coming in with manufactured dry plates.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #13

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    Just to keep this thread at the top of the list, I thought I would post an update as far as the restoration of the camera is concerned.

    I had the good fortune of meeting a cabinetmaker the other day that is excited about the chance to work with me in bringing the camera and the glassplate holder up to modern specs for practical usage.

    I went out and purchased a piece of mahogony to use as the raw material in order to match as well as possible the rest of the camera parts.

    The first thing that had to be done was to have a couple of spare lens boards made. Not just a rectangle of wood cut out with a tongue on each side to fit into the existing track...oh no, that would be too simple. The grain of the wood must run in different directions in order to prevent any future warping of the plate.

    Next, the circular opening on the base of the camera, intended for use with an old fashion tripod system, will be filled in with a circular base of mahogony, then a second circular base, slightly larger will be glued on top of that with the grain running in a 90░ angle to the first plate, again to insure that the plates remain flat and stable, no warping. In the middle of this base plate, a 3/8" tripod connection will be inserted.

    All of the wood will be glued using bone glue. Yup, bone glue. Animal bones are cooked down until a glue is formed. I guess that's the kind of glue they used to use dead horses for. According to the cabinet maker, it's the best glue for woodworking. And I like the way this guy works, using only hand tools and horse glue....fits right in with a 100 year old camera and a photographer that developes in ABC and uses Azo and Amidol.
    After he's done with theses stages of the project, he wants to make a few extra 12X15" glass plate holders for me! He's as excited about this project as I am.
    Then he sent me to a buddy of his who is a tinsmith. He's making a set of film sheaths for the glass plate holders, which will allow me to use modern film in them.
    All in all, a very productive day.
    BTW, in case anybody is curious, he's making the lensboards and camera base for $80, complete with a shellac finish to match the rest of the camera. And the film sheaths are going to cost me $10 a piece! Such a deal!
    - William Levitt

  4. #14

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    At those prices design your own camera and have the guy make it....

  5. #15

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    You're right! If I had known him BEFORE purchasing the 15X12" camera, I might just have done that. But it's fun to see the enthusiaism this guyx has about his work. The way we talk about developers this guy can talk about glue. Our film to his veneers, our Azo to his hand rubbed shellac finishes. We had a grand time in his workshop today discussing the details!
    - William Levitt

  6. #16

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    bone glue or hide glue? How big are the lensboards that you're worried about warping? Have him make floating panels-)) I actually think some of the old cameras I've seen had them. Seems like overkill to me but they look nice.

  7. #17

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    The lensboards are approx. 14X20 cm in size. Sure, I know what you mean, it sounds like over kill, but it was the method used in making the origional lensboards, so he's just staying true to the style, and I must admit, I like his attitiude! Take another look at the picture of the camera. The problem is, the lensboards slide in a tongue and groove system, allowing for a front shift. If the lensboard warps even 1mm (as he explained it to me), it's going to no longer move in the track properly. And on top of that, a warp would/could also lead to a light leak, again because of the system with which the lensboard is mounted to the camera.

    See pic for how the panel has been divided into three sections with the grain running in 2 directions for stability.

    The glue, as it was explained to be, is produced by cooking animal bone until it reduces to a sticky glue. It is then allowed to dry, and is then ground into small pellet shaped beads about 1mm in diameter. This is how he buys it from his supplier. He then melts the pellets creating again a liquid form. He showed me pair of maraccas he made using this glue to attach the handles to the gourd. This glue is amazingly strong and dries to a slight caramel color.
    - William Levitt

  8. #18

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    Sorry if I seem to be beating a dead horse, or thread in this case, but I thought I would keep you all updated as far as bringing this old camera back to life.

    We all know how expensive film holder are if you have them custom made, and that would certainly be the best way to go, for someone on an inlimited budget, but I am unfortunatly not. So, in order to get some extended life out of my glass plate holder, I had a sheet metal shop make me some 12X15" film sheaths. These are inserts, made out of 1mm thick aluminum, fabricated to fit into the glasspl÷ate holder where the glass plate was intended to go. These filmsheaths will accept modern film. I've uploaded an image showing the sheath thus far. They still need to be primed and painted black, but they are such a perfect fit, I just couldn't wait to share it with someone.
    The sheetmetal shop wanted to charge me 5.00 Euro for the two filmsheaths, but I just couldn't let myself get away so cheap, so I gave the guy 5,00 a piece. Still cheap I know, but I felt a little better about the situation.

    I can pick up the new baseplate with tripod thread on friday. So now I'm going to place an order for my sheetfilm.
    - William Levitt

  9. #19
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Neat solution. How are you planning to correct for the difference in registration from the film sheath, or is this not an issue? Maybe you could have the same shop make a shim out of the same sheet metal stock to fit under the groundglass.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #20

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    Personally I find it all interesting. Whether a person is looking at rebuilding an old camera or building something the more the ideas the better.

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