Novice, plate camera find - any info/help much appreciated !
Was chuffed to bits to find this at a local auction room yesterday. It's a whole plate, manufactured by 'Billcliff' - I think that's Joshua Billcliff of Manchester England ?? The lens is a Dallmeyer portrait anastigmat 12" F4.5. Unfortunately the elements are very cloudy and hazy. It's difficult to tell where the haze lies, ie: on the inside or the the outside of the glass. Ive unscrewed the rear element so I'm left with the lens separated in two parts but can't work out if there are any further elements within each section. What's the deal with getting this clean or is it possibly beyond cleaning ??
The camera seems in remarkably good condition inc the bellows and definately hasn't had a lot of use judging by the the lack of any wear marks, dings and rubs etc. I'm guessing the period to be around the late 1800's ?? Can't really work out all the plate holders and how they function yet and I expect it's gonna be a long haul before I ever get to actually using this beast !! Would it be possible to adapt the back to take sheet film and what roughly would be the max size I could cover ?
Any info or suggestions most welcome