Category Archives: using vintage equipment

using cameras and lenses that aren’t new. antique, old, hand me down, vintage cameras, soft focus, and other lenses too.

cyclone negative cyanotype

a couple of days ago i was making some more cyanotypes i loaded up some contact frames with waxed negatives to see if i could get a better print than i did with my old coated paper some of those prints just didnt’ work out ..  and at the same time i found an old hand coated paper negative made with the cyclone #3 a while ago, that was just sitting on the tabletop.  i had cleaned up quite a bit a week or 2 ago:  i swept the floor;  i organized;  i put things away;  i stacked things;  i found things i hadn’t seen in a while.  the paper negative was a rediscovery, even though it wasn’t really lost.  it seems like it was coated on xerox paper, it is thin and durable.  not sure what emulsion is on it, maybe foma?  maybe my home-brew, not sure.  it has a nice contrast and look and i stuck it in the contact frame.  the waxed negatives took a ton of time before to expose, so i was banking on a day or 2 in the sun for all 3 of the cyanotypes.  it was a lot more diffuclt in late october because the sun is low, and it moves across the sky differently than before, so i had to really follow the sun around with the print frames. i did OK i suppose, but i was more in open shade than i was in the sun, and that is OK too.  the print is made from the same classic formula i coated the others with.  and after 2 days in the sun i washed it in water and added a little hydrogen peroxide to finish the development, and eventually i painted some areas of the print with dilute washing soda to give a yellowish hue to some areas. anyhow, its the kitchen table and window and chairs. not sure if i am going to add my own colors or leave it, the blue tones of cyanotypes are starting to grow on me.

 

classic, and blue

window table and chairs
classic cyanotype H2O2 to develop out faster as i always do, and a little washing soda to bleach and ad color

http://jnanian.imagekind.com/store/Images.aspx/e7b40dbc-7aba-4bf2-ae7f-355201cb53c4/RecentUploads

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a few more paper negatives

as i wait for single coated paper to flatten out so i can coat them a 2nd time  i have a few paper negatives exposed the last few days in a cyclone, and processed yesterday.

i scanned 8 and have worked on a few ..  i added color sometimes, or not they lean off center.

paper negative

paper negative

railing and trees

railing and trees

Also posted in alternative process photography, liquid emulsion Tagged , , , |

paper negative fun with an empire state 1A

I’ve been on the lookout for a back for a camera i bartered for years ago.  the camera is a century 8 grande portrait outfit

 

century 8 portrait camera

 

(photograph courtesy of historic camera.com  a great website if you like looking at “old stuff” or want to see what you have )

http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=century_8

anyways when i received the camera it came on an ornate semi centenial stand ( without the film holder rack ) and the camera came with an 8×10 back.  i eventually made a 11×14 back for the camera out of foam core and waxed paper, and a paper negative holder as well.  it worked like a dream.  i just had to load each sheet separately, no big deal unless i wanted to take more then one photograph.

eventually i purchased a 7×11 film back and holders which i mounted on what was the mount for the 8×10 back.  and that worked beautifully too, but like the 8×10 is about 1/2 the 11×14 negative, the 7×11 REALLY is half the size.  11×14 is such a giant negative i have wanted to get back to shooting that format for a long long time.

recently i found an inexpensive back and a couple of film holders.  if you have ever priced anything large format, you know inexpensive is a relative term.  about a year ago i found a back, broken and in pieces that someone wanted to sell to me for a more money than i had to spend.  i don’t have very much money so i passed and figured eventually i would find something a little more for someone with a shoestring budget.  well, it happened a few weeks ago.  i got a back and holders, and it came with a camera and a 8x1o back as well.  couldn’t have been happier seeing it cost less than the amount for something broken !

the camera arrived in the belly of a greyhound bus.  just don’t ship greyhound on holiday weeks where there is a lot of bus travel, people and their luggage get first priority.  i brought the giant box home and unpacked it.  about a day later i had the camera cleaned up.  after 10 years in a box in someone’s basement it got kind of dusty, and dirty.  i reglued parts of the film holders back together too.  it didn’t have a ground glass ( focusing screen ) so i went to the local home goods store and had a piece of plexi glass cut down to 11×14, and i sanded it and sanded it, and sanded it until it was scuffed up enough to work as a cheap piece of ground glass.  i figure if i sometimes use waxed paper scuffed plexiglass would work fine.  it cost me less than 12$ and about 5 mins of time and saved me probably 4-5 times that.  i clipped the corners and inserted the ground plexiglass.

first i made a retina image.  i  wanted to see if the film holders leaked or the bellows were a mess.

the image came out really nice, so i desaturated it, and added my own color since i like doing that sort of thing

 

2 hour exposure, expired photo paper

2 hour exposure, expired photo paper

the other day i decided to load up the other 11×14 film holder up with paper, and a a 8×10 too.

i made a few kitchen window photographs

 

 

onion and limes and dirty window

onion and limes and dirty window

15-20 seconds

scrubby and window light

 

with an assistant later in the day we made some portaits.

legs

legs

 

counting to 20

counting to 20

 

looking forward to taking the empire on the road, and using the back in-studio

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last group of cups and plates

i had a mini project with cups and saucers and bowls and plates.  all taken with a large camera on sheet film, processed in coffee and print developer ..  scanned and colors added by me ..  all sort of green and red, some better than others, all just fun  and playing around.

 

the bottom cups and handles were not taken at the same time, and just sort of fit together and noticed after the fact …

green and red cups and plates

hand colored

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self made close up attachment

you read it right.

i made myself a close up attachment for my graflex slr.  i did this a handful of years ago because i wanted to do macro work, or at least “magnified” photographs and couldn’t put a long lens on the camera because of bellows extension.  so what did i do ?

i took one of the handful of old junk lenses i had lying around, and assembled something that i could stick in or on or over my camera.  i have done this with a few different lenses i use with the slr, and it is fun.  the depth of field is nearly gone so you have to be careful what you focus on.  you also need to realize that depending on where you have the bellows cranked open to, your lens to subject distance will change, and the magnification will change as well  …  so the image might end up looking normal not magnified.

this is something i made exposures of last week and assembled as a tri chrome moments ago.  i know the colors are a little weird, i kind of like this sort of charm, like a bad fotomat print  😉

because i had excessively expired film and developer i decided to stop down a little bit and make very long exposures.

i am not sure what F-number i stopped down to, my sunshade blocks the numbers, so i will just say 1/8 a turn  ..
and the film was exposed for around 15seconds each exposure.

 

graflex slr, sumatranol130 + dektol

home made close up lens, expired film, and developer

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around 36 exposures

the last few days i have been using a graflex slr ( series D )  ..  just moments ago i exposed my last 12 exposure  ” bag mag ” full of what might be foma 2oo and tmx 100.  i loaded the film a month or so ago in anticipation of using it up fast.  i researched the notch codes seeing i didn’t recognize them, there are a lot of films that used that code and my best guess is that i loaded was fomapan200.  i found this very strange because i have have only bought fomapan200 film once in my life and the film box is unopened.  …  i am certain there are elves living nearby and they seem very interested in large format photography!  they have borrowed my light meters and cameras, film holders, glass plate holders, even film and dry plates in the past … usually the stuff is lost for about a year and they put things back with film i have never purchased.  so, i’m guessing this 30 sheets of fomapan200 was an exchange for the 30 sheets of tmy ( old 400 ) that went missing about a year ago.  it sounds almost like a modern brothers grimm story ( the shoemaker and the elves ), but that’s a post for a later date.

===

i loaded it in the bag mags ( 4 of them ) and made some controlled exposures to test my new film developer line which is DEKTOL 1:7 ( 4 mins )  then SUMATRA CAFFENOL C ( 5 mins ) then wash and fix normally.  if you read my posts here from time to time you will notice this seems familiar.  i usually do the same thing using ansco 130  ….  while it is sort of a new adventure, i am quite certain it will be just fine and i probably won’t even notice the difference.   i’ll post a few scans after i process the film.

 

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what did i mean by paper negative test?

i recently mentioned something about a paper negative test.

i suggested bracketing exposures and judging your negatives …

here, i have uploaded 3 images

 

the first

not photoshopped

cyclone #3 maybe f11

as the caption reads ..  it was taken with a cyclone #3 which i guess is around f11

light meter was set to iso 6 and it suggested  5 seconds

i count fast …  so i counted to 6.

the developer was 2 day old dektol, it is cold in my darkroom but the image appeared at around 20 sconds

so from previous experience, ( making prints in dektol ) i let it develop out fot at least 1 minute.

the negative looks ok.  there is a roundness to it because the lens has a big hot spot,

the edges are light the middle of the negative is dark.

the inversion ( #2 )

straight inversion, of a straight scan

f 11 6 seconds 15 year old polymax rc

the inverted positive looks OK

( kodak paper has writing on the back so i don’t bother contact printing kodak paper negatives )

the center of the image is light, the sides are dark, the background blown out.

this is expected.

today was an overcast day

this was about 145pm

the sky has a lot of blue light but where i was ..  was filtered a little so my meter gave me

a false reading.  for the deck where i was it was OK, the wood, the deck chairs and flower pots

seem to be OK exposed  …  if i was to multiple expose or burn in .. while making the exposure

i would under expose the sky and trees

with a little PS – love

it doesn’t look much different ..

i adjusted the woods a little bit, evened out a little bit the roundness and brightness / contrast

brightness, lightness burning in selective contrast

cyclone might have needed an extra few seconds for the woods
maybe burn in ..

 

next exposure will be tomorrow …

maybe i will try 6 seconds and in camera dodge out the sky

the developer might be a little easier to work with too …

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not far

you don’t need to travel far to find interesting photographs

 

 

 

weeds by the cove

 

 

click on image, cross your eyes the middle image will be 3-D

Also posted in Misc., technique and style Tagged |

Trichromes with film

so far i have posted a handful of trichromes i have made but using digital technology

…  that is making b/w images using a digital camera ( not film ) and assembling them
in photoshop.  none of them have been using film which would just be a few added steps
exposing / processing and scanning .

the results are pretty much the same as with a digital camera, except you get the signature of the lens.
so, instead of my nice sharp nikon glass, i get soft german glass from my ancient 1930s rolliecord.

and instead of an instant image, you get a film made image processed in coffee and print developer  .
grain, tonality film base, stuff people love to try to emulate with a variety of digital programs, instead of
just breaking down and exposing the film in the first place ( something that i think is kind of funny)>

 

trichrome fun

 

schmutz on kitchen window is my main filter ( except for the RGB ) that is

thrichrome fun

 

 

espresso maker

trichrome fun

 

 

in addition to the 3 views 3 negatives approach i have fiddled around with just taking 1 negative scan
and making 3 duplicate files each with 2 color channels removed for the most part …
and i assemble the 3 black and white images in PS again to make a tri chrome
i did this and posted it on DPUG.org and someone mentioned that i was sort of just toning the
image using the color channels, which i had never thought of like that before …

narragansett bay

trichrome fun

 

 

 

 

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using a box camera

box cameras usually have one shutter speed and a OPEN setting for time exposures.  sometimes it can be difficult to make photograph
when there is a vast difference between light and dark in the view.  with only 1/50thS ( around there ) as the only shutter speed, how do you
make photographs that need less than 1 second worth of light, but more than 1/50thS of light ?

years ago i remember a trick a wonderful photographer, teacher named les mclean published over on APUG.ORG.  the thread and questions had to do
with photographing a waterfall or landscape or something with movement.  les used the example of a waterfall he photographed in the thread and said
it was made with 10 or 15 or 20 exposures ( sorry i don’t remember the exact number ) instead of one long exposure.  by splitting up the time between
exposures he was able to show movement and other things with his final image that a single exposure couldn’t do.

les’ time exposures got me thinking, why not do this with a box camera and see what happens.  it shouldn’t be hard seeing 2 /50th second exposures was about 1/25thS and 4 would be something like 1/10S and so on …  so i did just that.

5 1/50thS exposures

 

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using a cyclone

from time to time i get asked what kind of camera i have or use or like or like to use or …

my current favorite is a cyclone #3.  it is what is called a magazine camera, or a falling plate camera.
if you google “cyclone camera” you will probably find an advertisement for it over on flickr.  i don’ t know the guy
so i’d rather not hot link to his site.  it was a box camera that had 2 speeds, as they all seemed to have, I ( instantaneous) and T ( time )
the I speed was maybe 1/50th S  F maybe 13?   i don’t know they were pretty simple and are still a lot of fun!
basically the way they work is there are sleeves that sheets of glass with emulsion used to go in, they are called septums.
my #3 has 8 septums, i think it is missing 4 of them but they don’t appear without a camera, and i really don’t need ANOTHER camera.
you can put a piece of black cardboard in the septum and then either film or paper if you coat your own glass plates like me, you can load them without the cardboard
and WITH glass plates.  the slide in vertically one after another, then the blank and then the back which has a big bedspring to apply pressure to the septums.
you make your exposures and jiggle the knob and each exposed septum FALLS to the floor.  thats where the name comes from.
i used to buy smaller formats  of this style of camera.  they came in all sorts of different sizes, landscape shapes portrait shapes, ( long and skinny ) and
sometimes had elaborate shutter controls and apertures.  the #3 is pretty simple … i aperture and 1 shutter speed and T …i also have a #5 that i recently started to use
it has 3 apertures, and the exposed plates can be retrieved from the bottom of the camera  …  it is smaller too, sort of dainty if you can call a wooden box camera dainty.

anyways i started using the #3 a year or 2 ago and really enjoy how it works.  the lens has a sweet spot, i think, at around infinity ( joke )
its big and clunky and seems to work fine, except once in a while the septums get jammed and i have to wack the camera …  and people sometimes stare.
funny thing is, no one asks me anything when im using the camera.

i tend to coat paper myself using bottled emulsion.  i use liquid light a lot, and coat paper 2 coats.  the last batch i did was in the spring, and i just started to use it.
they turned out OK, sort of.  i also am using 10year old polymax fb paper.  its probably way older than 10 years old seeing it was all given to me about 13 years ago by a friend in portsmouth nh.  it was thelast single weight paper made by kodak, and it seems to hold up well.  even if it didn’t i would use it seeing it is kind of foggy, and less contrast is always good when shooting paper negatives.

 

burning bush behind

 

i also went into providence …

tower

i went again today, but the paper is still drying on the line ..

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safari

a month ago we went on a safari

downtown, in the heat, and the midday sun.
we loaded the demlar box ( 4×5 plate camera )
some hand coated 4×5 dry plates
and some film

we had some laughs, took some snapshots
photographed some strangers even

and headed home

the plates were processed in coffee and ansco 130
this one was contact printed on old kodak polycontrast rc paper
i added some water color, and texture with paper towel
and then some extra contrast and extra colors with PS

 

saturday at india point

weeds danced in the lakes of summer sunlight

 

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7×11 portriats

made a handful of 7×11 portraits and i can feel for those photographers
who had slow materials and kids that couldn’t sit still.  it was still fun …

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semi centennial stand, what’s that ?

a semi centennial camera stand is a camera stand on wheels.

it can slide up and down ( counter balanced with springs )  and many portrait photographers
had their cameras on them since they used big bulky large format cameras that weren’t portable.

according to “the photographic times and american photographer”

a book i found in google books edited by wi lincoln adams in 1890
( volume xx, published by the photographic times publishing association in ny )

 

http://tinyurl.com/cokdhop

( a link to google books )

info on the the semi centennial stand can be found on page 181 –
it says: ” the semi centennial camera stand invented by e.c. fisher and sold by c.h. codman & company,
is worthy description in this column. it is called ‘ the camera stand of the future’
and twelve reasons are given why the professional photographer should adopt it.

they are as follows:

first, because you can lower the camera within thirteen inches of the floor,
this being lower than any other stand will admit of.

second, because you can raise the camera as high as you wish.

third, because it is the only camera stand using rubber wheels as casters,
therefore it is perfectly noiseless.

fourth. because it has one of the best turning castors in use.

fifth, by the use of its coiling springs and key, you can make it counterbalance any weight of camera, from 8×10 to 14×17 inclusive.

sixth, because you can quickly adjust your camera up or down with perfect ease.

seventh, because it is very strong and rigid.

eighth, because it is simple in construction and will not get out of order.

ninth, because it is thoroughly made, of neat design, light with no heavy weights.
it is an ornament to the studio.

tenth, because with ease of working you will make better work. you never look down upon the sitter, but squarely in the face.

eleventh, because it was invented by a practical photographer, and has been perfect in all its points.

twelfth, because every stand is warranted perfect in all respects.
the stand when packed ready for shipment, weighs ninety-five pounds, and the price, boxed is twenty-five dollars.

 

Also posted in Misc. Tagged , |

7×11 / 11×14 camera work

it has been a long time since i took portraits or make any negatives using a 11×14 camera.
i traded a few prints years ago for a century 8 camera on a semi centenial no 2 stand. i fixed the bellows
(they are cardboard) and fiddled with the camera and stand to get it in working order. well, almost in working order … it didn’t come with a 11×14 back, so i made one, and the ground glass,
and for a long while i was taking portraits with it. i later bought a 7×11 back and a handful of film holders for the camera and took a fair amount with them too. the negatives i made weren’t on film, but paper negatives. so the exposures were long.
its been a while but i am going to start shooting with it again.

 

here’s a link to the camera ..

http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium2/pm.cgi?action=app_display&app=datasheet&app_id=396

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