Now for the reflex route
After restoring a couple British folding cameras 1/4 & 1/2 plate, plus a couple of Speed Graphics and many Thornton Pickard roller-blind shutters I've taken the plunge into Reflex cameras.
On the way is the first of 2 Thorton Pickard Ruby reflex cameras, described as the shutter having finished it's life, no focus screen, no silver on the mirror, and no lens, there's corrosion of the back, basically a real challenge. The plus side was the price at under £20 ($31).
Hopefully this restoration will be more time and effort than further monetary outlay. I've a 7ft lenght of shutter cloth to make a new shutter blind and glass for the screen & possibly the mirror. It would be nice to find a sunken mount lens but that's not imperative at this stage. At the moment the biggest challenge will be the new reflex mirror although I do have an old article on making one !!!
I see this one as a learning curve as a local museum would like to have one in use at special open days, I don't want to experiment with theirs, I need to be confident I can fix it :D
The second if I get it will provide addional lenses etc and is in much better condition.
My fingures are crossed based on the premise that usually things look far worse than they really are. The 1/4 plate Victo looked like this
Attachment 52108 and is now restored, athough awaiting a new carrying handle.
And my pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic looked like this :unsure::unsure::unsure::unsure::unsure:
but is now fine, and the shutter's smooth,although the body's naked :D
Will document this restoration :)
Any after restoration pictures to show?
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
I just wish I had half the skills... I am always tempted by the fixer-uppers. Which for me has meant a few cameras sent off to repairmen instead. :) But the positive thing is, a few cameras (Nikon F2, Pentax S1, Rolleiflexes and some more) will live on a bit longer as fully functional tools.
I really like these reflex cameras, but how practical are they, really? Slightly clunky, odd beasts or better?
This is the Houghton's 1/4 plate Victo, it really needs a carrying strap fitted & re-photographing as it was still missing a couple of brass fittings as well.
Attachment 52116 Attachment 52117
I've made some adapters to allow me to use a Graflex 6x7 roll film holder with this camera and modern 5x4 DDS with the Houghton's Half plate Duchess. The great thing about these cameras is it's easy to make lens boards and fit different lenses, add shutter, even fit different backs.
I'm going to have to find out :D
Originally Posted by Jerevan
By uncanny coincidence I have just spent the last few weeks playing with a Thornton Picard Ruby reflex.
Oh dear... :confused:
There is a science fiction film. I can't remember what it is called. It is one of these set in the future 'Everybody living underground after the nuclear holocaust because the planet's surface isn't inhabitable any more' type things. One guy tries to escape - and is pursued by 'android supermen' types. In the last scene he is running down a long tunnel to escape. The androids are after him - and in a control room somewhere we see the cost being expended on capturing this guy clocking up by $$$$. At a certain point, the androids stop and just let him go. He doesn't know why, but it is because the 'system' has decided they've expended enough resources on him and so they just give up and write him off.
So, the question is, does anyone recognise the film?
Because, that is exactly what it was for me like trying to fix a Thornton Picard Ruby Reflex... :blink:
That's quite an improvement. Is the front standard fixed or can you apply some movement to it?
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Here's a few pictures. I have a LOT of these - the full strip down sequence. Then reassembly. Then strip down. Then reassembly again. Then strip down - and finally a picture of a box of bits :(
Here is a picture of the original shutter curtain (right) and my first attempt at making a replacement. (It is a bit ragged around the edges and the top lip isn't very tidy. The second and third attempts were much neater, but no more successful)
At one point I got the shutter working outside of the camera. It jammed up (again) as soon as it was re-assembled...
Steve, I suspect it's the curtain material that's causing your problems. I may be able to help you out there if you want to pop down and collect some :D
On this model the front standard is fixed, although it'sremovable to fold the camera up. Of course there's rear tilt which on a smaller format is usually sufficient.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith