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David M

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Thank you. It looked to me as though you were supposed to fill in your own values for any three lenses you owned. I had guessed that pencilled (?) numbers had rubbed off. Presumably after setting the standards, you'd use the sliding tripod block to bring the image into focus at the desired magnification.

1:27 seems an odd magnification, as does 1:7.
1:2, 1:4 and 1:8 seem what you'd expect. Was there some special purpose for the others? I'm thinking of something like photographing a standard object such as (eg) a microscope slide to yield a convenient printed size for distribution or filing. Something half an inch long would just about fit a foolscap sheet.
I realise that it's not foolscap film. This is just thinking out loud.
 
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Ian Grant

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Yes the markings for the 203mm Ektar are in pencil. In practice Kodak only sold the Specialist 2 camera with the Ektar which is excellent from Infinity to 1:1 due to its Dialyte design, and also the optional Dallmeyer Wide angle. The previous pre-WWII versions were sold with a choice of Ross, Cooke, and Dallmeyer lenses, Kodak were the distributors for Ross and Cooke lenses in some countries fir a while.

A measure was used to initially position the camera and no doubt the sliding block used for accurate focus which is why unlike any other field cameras it's got geared tracking for precision. I've definitely got articles somewhere on medical/clinical photography from the 1940's or 50's, probably earlier as well, next time I come across them I'll see what they say about magnifications.

I'd not thought of looking but I should also have the Press Release in the relevant BJP Almanac when the camera was released. Essentially there were three assembled kit versions, Laboratory, Clinical, and View.

Ian
 

Simon Hendy

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The excitement - my Italian 118/120 conversion widgets have arrived, so at the weekend I will be testing my Ansco No.3 with 120 rollfilm, and then it that's successful 1/4 plate sheet. Borderline l/f I know...
I've spent a few days trying out my dad's old Pentax collection - 9 cameras to work my way through!
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Ian Grant

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You need a film gate adapter to keep the film flat (at the edges), easy enough to make.

Ian
 

James T

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You need a film gate adapter to keep the film flat (at the edges), easy enough to make.
That didn't really seem a major problem on my Autographic No 3 Kodak. More of a challenge was the advance as the window for 118 is at the edge of the film for 120.
For that I found a reasonable approximation using an empty backing paper:
Align the alignment arrow at the start of the gate and close the back.
7.5 complete turns to the start
2.5 turns per frame.
The spacing is a bit wide, but even with closer frames you wouldn't get 7 frames on the film.
 

Asha

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The excitement - my Italian 118/120 conversion widgets have arrived, so at the weekend I will be testing my Ansco No.3 with 120 rollfilm, and then it that's successful 1/4 plate sheet. Borderline l/f I know...
I've spent a few days trying out my dad's old Pentax collection - 9 cameras to work my way through!
View attachment 1477
View attachment 1478
Very much a specific adaptaion and I suspect it works well.
When in possession of numerous folders of obscure film formats, I made adaptaions using plastic rawlplugs to be able to use 120 film.
Somewhat crude but it worked!
 

Emmanuel Bigler

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Better late than never, two images of my Arca Swiss 5x4" F-metric camera

In the 5x4" configuration, fitted with a Schneider 360 Tele-Arton focused at infinity and the standard molded leather bellows. 210 mm of bellows draw at infinity in this telephoto configuration.

In the 6x9 cm configuration with a rollfilm back, the camera is looking over Besançon.
 

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joe monteiro

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The new beastie, Argyle 11X14 converted from landscape to portrait. Still a lot of rough edges but there's time enough
The Mickey Mouse vacuum source will hold a sheet of 8X10 film or 11X14 dw paper quite well but the 8X10 paper seen here had a bit of curl and wouldn't pull up.
The Wollensak 330mm Raptar seems to cover the 11X14 ok but movements are very limited.....LOL.
In one shot the front standard seems to be leaning but so is the post of the studio stand behind it, guess the little Panasonic felt miffed that it was out classed.
Problems
What to do for a back pack.
What to do when i need to use the table saw.
Now i need to find a victim err sitter to go for the show.

Thoughts
Argyle made some nice stuff clean and workman like.



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Paul Kay

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Here's my 10" x 8" Gandolfi "tailboard" (its not a folding version) camera sporting new bellows from Custom Bellows and with an early 1860s Grubb C Patent Lens which was made in Dublin. Whilst the lens is probably nearly 100 years older than the camera, the camera is little different from some built early on. The lens is the same as one of the lenses used by Carleton Watkins in Yosemite in the 1860s, but he shot on his 'Mammoth" camera using 18" x 22" glass plates, so my set up is of relatively small format! This amount of history was surprisingly cheap considering.

1736
 

Ian Grant

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Thanks Paul, that's an interesting Gandolfi camera looks to be special order as it doesn't fold and has no rear movements either. I'd agree with post WWII and probably 1950's, and that's a modern International back so will take 10x8 or 18x24 film or plate holders.

I think Camera Bellows may have changed the materials they used after WWII as the bellows of my 1950's De Vere monorail camera were falling to bits when I bought it in 1976/7. Of course it's possible De Vere were given a choice of material and chose the cheapest option :D

My experience after quite a few restorations is early bellows materials differed quite significantly and some last others don't. I've found some bellows used an outer paper based leatherette (best/only way of describing it) this ages and disintegrates.

Bellows aren't necessarily made from layers of material that are all light proof, it's the combination of layers lat may give the light proofing. I've seen this with bag bellows.

Ian
 

Paul Kay

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I have my suspicions that the Gandolfis produced a lot of 'special' order cameras. Standardisation was not one of their strong points. I have 3 half-plate Gandolfi cameras and all take different sized backs! I'll make a reducer to allow me to shoot 5x4 on this 10x8 eventually too. Custom Bellows is the easiest solution for me at the moment as I'm in the process of moving so time amd equipment are less available than they could be. Someone has fitted a ply base to the 10x8 at some point to reinforce it - and done so very well indeed - its a good modification but means that a longer tripod screw is needed!
 

Ian Grant

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The lack of rear movements and the rigidity suggest the camera was used for copying and set up permanently.

My 10x8 Agfa Ansco Commercial View came with a home made 5c4 reducing back which had started life as a post WWII Ansco 7x5 reducing back. I'll never use it the previous owner had it made to do Polaroid tests shots and copying artwork. If you can find a Speed or Crown Graphic spring or Graflok back that's the easiest way to make a reducing back.

Ian
 

Paul Kay

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Yes, my thoughts precisely - a 'process' camera and built somewhat late in the day. But harking back to a far earlier period in many ways. Very useful for what I want it for.

I have two Gandolfis with 5" x 4" backs (a 5" x 4" and a half plate with half plate back too - it should be simple enough to make a reducing adapter to fit them - I even have the mahogany ready so its just time and logistics preventing me at present. I have too many 'projects' on really but having bought stuff when it was pretty cheap most always ere intended to be long term. Biggest problem is finding someone to make flanges for lenses with ancient and unknown threads.
 

David M

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In the video that's mentioned elsewhere, they do say that the they like to talk to the customer to find out exactly what they want. It's probably kinder to say they specialised in specials. It's the great advantage of their very simple methods.

The rising and cross front suggests that they still needed to centre whatever was being copied.
 
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KenS

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When I felt I 'neded' to get an 8x10, the only one I was 'offered' was a 'Tailboard' 8x10, On 'inspection' and hands-on 'try-out before purchasing my first 8x10 ....being familiar to LF cameras with movements both front and rear I felt more than 'handicapped' on my 'try-out'

While the price was more than 'reasonable', but.. the frustration of 'not' having the full range of 'movements' on the rear standard, I felt it was NOT going to be a 'good' investment and declined the opportunity.

Ken
 

Paul Kay

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My aim is to use early lenses on the camera so movements are not appropriate. I have 5" x 4" with some movements so I'm not without!
 

Ian Grant

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My aim is to use early lenses on the camera so movements are not appropriate. I have 5" x 4" with some movements so I'm not without!
That makes sense. However I'll reply to Ken :D


When I felt I 'neded' to get an 8x10, the only one I was 'offered' was a 'Tailboard' 8x10, On 'inspection' and hands-on 'try-out before purchasing my first 8x10 ....being familiar to LF cameras with movements both front and rear I felt more than 'handicapped' on my 'try-out'

While the price was more than 'reasonable', but.. the frustration of 'not' having the full range of 'movements' on the rear standard, I felt it was NOT going to be a 'good' investment and declined the opportunity.

Ken

I have two10x8 Agfa Ansco cameras, a Commercial View and a Universal View, two because I was living much of the year abroad and weight when flying ws always an issue, and I bought when film camera prices were at a very low point. So I had two 5x4 and 10x8 kits.

My Agfa Ansco Universal View has a fixed front standard like Paul's Gandolfi Tailboard camera but only a small amount of rear tilt, it wasn't enough for my work so I never took it to Turkey.

On the other hand my Agfa Ansco Commercial View has front tilt as well as rear, it also has front and rear focussing and a sliding tripod block. The original owner a former student and later tutor/teacher at The Clarence White School of Photography (New York) had Ansco add front swing which is unusual :D I use the front and rear tilt quite a lot they become far more necessary as the format size increases.

Ian
 
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