Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Victorian View Camera

So far, the oldest camera I've ever bought. An unnamed victorian wooden view camera including the original shutter in fully working order. Although I'm not able to check if the speeds are accurate, I can at least use the camera on  B or  T setting. The only problem is that the base to attach to the tripod is missing and I'll have to send somewhere to adapt a socket to attach a modern tripod. 

I've been meaning to use this camera for a while, my original plans were trying the 19th century photography process called collodion, in which a light sensitive emulsion is placed onto a piece of glass to be exposed. I won't get into the details here as there's plenty information on the web, but what I can say is that needs a bit of space to do it and at the moment this is something I don't have so I've decided to adapt the dark slides in order to take a normal 4x5 sheet film.

I cut a piece of cardborad on the exactly size of the plate, measured where the 4x5 film would be and then placed the paper holders.
The three  holders were cut and then folded in a way that the negatives could slide in...
You can make the holders to fold easily by using the opposite side of the blade...

then  fold it, you should end up with something like this ...

...glue the holders on the cardboard and  let it dry. Try it before with an exposed film just to check if it's correctly placed, take off the slides a few times just to be sure that is running free, if it's ok you're ready to go to load in the darkroom.

I really like the results... I shot two negs with available light and processed with Rodinal special 1:100 solution.

Ilford Delta 100 

f/22 -  4sec

f/11 - 1sec


rhys said...

wow, I would not know where to start with one of these old things. Any plans to shoot more with it?

Sofi said...

I acquired my great grandfathers camera (he was a photographer in victorian england) recently, it's extremely similar to this, I literally have no idea how to even put it together, do you have any tips or know any websites that may help me understand it more?