Archive for September, 2007


Freestyle APHS & Rodinal!

September 25, 2007

OK, so I’ve spent my allowance already but I still want some 8×10 film. I could keep using photo paper (see other posts). It works but there are some short comings.

What are my options? Can you say litho film? Freestyle Photo sells a nice one, Freestyle APHS. Reasonable price. And there are handfuls (handsful?) of formulas and recommendations for getting continuous tone from litho film. The easiest is to use highly diluted Rodinal. Good ol’ Does-it-all Rodinal.

A few links about using APHS and Rodinal:
Jim Galli
APUG thread(and by the way, LOTS of good stuff at APUG).

So loaded up some APHS and gave it a try. First try, not so hot. I think I miss-metered the test target. Second try, much better density in the negative. But while drying, it looks like there is some scum on the back (non-emulsion) side of the negative.

A scan of the negative, made positive with GIMP: Freestyle APHS and Rodinal Test #1


A bit more fiddling with lenses

September 19, 2007

After viewing the RC paper negatives when dry I decided to do two more with 100% more and 150% more exposure. I kinda like this better as a negative…

Two Minute Exposure


Lens fiddling

September 19, 2007

Decided to play a little bit with the two lenses I have for my 8×10. One is the landscape singlet I made, approximately 400mm, f/10. The second is a rapid rectalinear ca. 1880 which looks to be about 13″ and f/8, but I haven’t measured properly yet.

Still using B&W RC photo paper for my “film” as it is cheap and slow. Slow is important with both these lenses as they are barrel only, no shutter. Exposure times on the order of seconds to minutes are easier to deal with.

Decided to just shoot closeups of a small Alaskan totem pole that my grandparents acquired sometime in the 50’s (I think). In both cases, the Seneca needs to be racked out quite far. For my singlet lens, out to about 660mm, for the r.r. about 17″. Because this puts the bellows out past the focal length of the lens one must apply an exposure compensation factor to account for the light drop off. The factor is (BELLOWS^2)/(FL^2). Then multiply the exposure time by this factor.

Landscape Singlet Lens result: Landscape Singlet

Rapid Rectalinear Lens result: Rapid Rectalinear Lens

The position of the camera was not changed, but because the R.R. lens is more wide angle, the apparent magnification is less. So the scans were cropped to show approximately the same portion of the image.

Definately gotta try the singlet lens for some portraits!


Rectilinear Lens – wreck’d a linear what?

September 12, 2007

Once again, Ebay pays off. Won an auction for a circa 1880 “Rapid Rectilinear” style portrait lens. The good thing is it comes with one Waterhouse stop so fabricating additional stops will be simple. And I have a proven design to examine with the hope of building something similar.

The Rapid Rectilinear lens is a symetrical two (sometime given as four) element configuration. The two versus four comes from how the two groups are fabricated. A more modern process would be two but this one is likely made by cementing two lenses together to form each group, thus four pieces of glass.

The big name in Rapid Rectilinear’s is “Dallmeyer” as in John Henry Dallmeyer. This isn’t a Dallmeyer brand though, at least it isn’t stamped Dallmeyer.


Simple lenses for simple minds.

September 9, 2007

Having a view camera but no lens is no fun at all! First step was to make some lens boards. Easily done with 1/8″ plywood, a straight edge and box cutter. Now I have two choices for a simple home made lens. Pinhole or singlet “landscape”. Just build both. First the singlet landscape lens. A quick look at Edmund Optic (Anchor Optical, their surplus site didn’t have what I needed) scores a 40mm dia by 400mm FL plano-convex lens. This is great, uncoated, but great. And at the cost, I won’t feel bad if something happens during construction. Now off to the hardware store!

A bit of gray PVC pipe from electrical, a few large diameter rubber washers from plumbing and a new can of flat black Krylon. After a little work plus epoxy and latex caulk I have a nice new 400mm F/10 lens. And swirly focus (can you say abberation).

Home-made 8×10 Landscape Lens on Seneca 8×10

Photo paper makes for good film to test a camera. And a good thing because I don’t have stops made for the lens yet so even at F/10, the photo paper is pretty “fast”. Easy to deal with by taping some ND filters to the lensboard behind the lens. Slows my paper down to approximately EI 2.

Stops need to be made, but this will wait until another trip to the hardware store to get some thin tin.  Tin, not brass because I’ve got a scheme for attaching the stop with a magnet.


More AltProcess

September 6, 2007

Got my Gold Chloride / Borax toner mixed up last night. I got the order of little brown bottles from Specialty Bottle so I finally had somewhere to keep the 1% Gold Chloride solution.

So I decided to try a little printing and toning. The Hula Bike inkjet negative worked very well for Cyanotype Hula Bike Cyanotype from Inkjet Negative
So it should also work pretty well for a salt print as they both require the long density curve negatives. Worked great! And the gold/borax toner give a very nice warm red-brown color.
Hula Bike Salt Print from Inkjet Negative

Now to get the Seneca camera up and running!


Size matters.

September 5, 2007

Ebay is a wonderful thing. But you have to be patient. After trying for nearly a year, I finally got my hands on an 8×10 (10×8 for those overseas) camera in decent condition for a reasonable price.

Seneca View Camera in the black ebonized finish with nickel plated hardware.

It may have been modified or possibly had parts replaced as the lensboard clips match the catalog drawing but not the photographs of the smaller full plate on the above web page. Also, at some point, the rear rail was installed using a hinge. The rear rail also has a rather serious split on one edge. This split has allowed one of the gear tracks to “lift” a bit and so causes some trouble when moving the rear standard.  A little gentle cleaning and gluing is in order.

For field work, the rear rail isn’t particularly necessary but to get greater extensions for portrait work, it is needed. So my guess is that this was used in a portrait studio or at least by somebody more interested in portrait work with long bellows extension.

Bellows seems OK but needs to be tested.

Next step is to acquire a lens. I got three 8×10 holders at a very reasonable price from a guy in Texas (Jeremy on  and the Texas Church Project).

Meanwhile I’ve got some lens elements coming from Edmund Optics to experiment with building a simple landscape lens ala “Primitive Photography”.