Wanderings with a quarter-plate

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by vickersdc, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    About 2 years ago I bought a c1895 E&T Underwood 'Instanto' quarter-plate camera, which came with a lens-mounted focal plane shutter (much like the Thornton-Pickard shutters of the day). The camera was in pretty good condition and needed only light restoration, but the shutter needed a complete rebuild which I managed to do - it gives a shutter speed of around 1/15th. The original lens just needed a clean and is in excellent condition!

    This is a camera that I intended to use, so I cut some Ilford Multigrade paper to size (83mm x 108mm) and with a mixture of black glass and card inserts, managed to get the paper to sit securely in the DDS's. The camera even came with me to a trip into the Alps :smile:

    6T1K6175.jpg
     
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    vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    Here's the camera up in the Alps, with one of the results from a paper negative...

    IMG_4312.jpg Lac du Cristol 001-Edit.jpg
     
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    vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    In the last week or so, I managed to dig out an old box of 9x12 Fomapan 100 and was able to cut it down to size (in the back of my van as it's light-tight!). I changed the lens to a more modern Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon 90mm and for the first time ever, I shot some sheet film using this camera.

    Fiona - Thursley 251217 - pos (2).jpg

    Fomapan 100 cut down to 1/4-plate size, 1/15th @ f8, developed in Ilford MIcrophen for 7 minutes @ 20degC.
    Contact printed on to Ilford MGIV RC, Grade 1 for 3 seconds then Grade 4 for 3 seconds.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Nice one :D

    I have the same model camera sat awaiting restoration, with no bellows, or lens, I have some Quarter plate EFKE PL100 but have a few quarter plate cameras inc SLRs. Can we see more images of the shutter ?

    Ian
     
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    vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    Yes, I took some images of the rebuilding of the shutter that I'll dig out and post later, in the meantime here's another of the camera fitted with the shutter...

    077I3584.jpg
     
  6. Nodda Duma

    Nodda Duma Subscriber

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    Very nice! I like the orientation of the ground glass view. :D
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Back in the 1970's I used to visit the site of Underwood's factory in Granville Street Birmingham, at the time it was occupied by Hogg Laboratory Supplies. Ninian Hogg published a separate Photo chemicals list (he was listed in the BJP Annuals etc) and I bought quite a lot of chemistry from him. On my first visit he showed me around pointing out the old wood working shops it was only recently I realised it had been the Underwood factory. Later his son joined and took over.and moved the company to the Jewellery Quarter, the Bruswick works buildings were in poor condition and later demolished..

    Ian
     
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    vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    The shutter blind had completely disintegrated but all the springs were in good condition - no doubt helped by the fact that they weren't under any tension as the blind wasn't there. This did give me one problem though, as I had no template to use when remaking the shutter blind.

    I made a paper template and guessed at the size of 'aperture' and length of the blind, then taped it to the rollers. A few adjustments later and I had something that appeared to be okay.

    077I3572.jpg

    The next step was to cut the blind material to width, make the bars up and glue the whole lot down...

    077I3579.jpg

    Then came cutting the tape to length and glueing that down. Once the tape had set on one side, I could join it to the other, then glue each side down to the rollers before re-assembly. As it happens, I didn't get it quite right although the shutter does work, once it's been fired the curtain is a little loose (I've just had it apart again to glue some more of the curtain down in a bid to fix this issue).

    077I3583.jpg
     
  9. neilt3

    neilt3 Member

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    I'm about to restore a few shutters myself .
    What glue have you used for this ?
    Also , is the bar glued to the shutter cloth ?
    I've got some shutter cloth and straps on the way from Japan to give them a refurb as I've just bought a FKD 13x18 camera on the way from the Ukraine .
    With my 5"x4" gear the lenses I use all have shutters , but I'm planning on using quite a few old brass lenses with this camera , along with coating some glass plates myself .

    Thank you .
    Regards , Neil .
     
  10. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Wow beautiful job with the restoration!

    I actually just purchased a half plate camera that looks almost exactly like yours. Although mine is labeled Adams & Co.
    But it is the same design with the brass struts.
     
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    vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    Hi Neil,
    Yes the bar is glued to the shutter cloth and wrapped around it so it's also glued back on itself. The shutter tape is done in the same manner. The glue that I used is a runner cement called Super-X.

    Good luck with your own restoration, make sure you post some images once you've done it!

    Cheers,
    Dave.
     
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    vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    So this is actually the first image that I shot using this camera with this lens-mounted shutter (I've taken plenty with the camera, but the first time I've used this shutter). Here's the negative on the lightbox...

    IMG_5434.jpg
    Fomapan 100, developed in Ilford Microphen for just over 7 minutes. Exposure was somewhere between f11 and f16 for about 1/15th second. Or thereabouts.

    Anyway, it's a glass plate camera so I've just ordered 10x quarter-plate sheets of glass that I'll sub and pour developer on... then we'll see what happens!
     
  13. neilt3

    neilt3 Member

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    Thanks Dave , I've just ordered a tube off Amazon .

    I've got film holders for 5x4 and 7x5 that I'm using already and some 5x4 plate holders as well as some odd sized ones .
    Some of the FKD 13x18cm plate holders are due for delivery tommorrow .

    I'm still in the process of building my darkroom , so it'll be some time before I'm coating my own plates .
     
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    vickersdc

    vickersdc Subscriber

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    Several years ago I had an FKD 18x24 camera, complete with a complete of plate holders and lens. Great camera that I used photo paper in to give me a negative; I took it out several times locally and was pleased with the results from it, but I sold it and regretted that decision! Hope you have fun with your FKD camera :smile:
     
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    vickersdc

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    Last night I took the opportunity to contact print the negative (shown on the lightbox), trying out a few different grades... here's what I came up with...

    Thursley - roller shutter - pos.jpg

    1/4 plate (size) Fomapan 100 contact printed on to Ilford MG IV RC. Developed in Microphen. 10sec + burn in sky for further 5 sec. Some dodging of the water in the mid-ground. Grade 3.5.
     
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