Friday, September 3, 2010

Speed Graphic shutter on 8X10

Being frugal and scrounging for solutions often results in combinations of things on hand. This chimerical camera is a good example: I have several barrel lenses with no shutters, such as the Aero Ektar shown here, a Symmar 240 convertible, and others with focal lengths and image circles big enough to consider for the first 8x10 experiments with Reagent III.

What you see here is a Speed Graphic body, without bellows, grafted onto an old and very heavy Calumet view camera that was provided at a very modest cost for the benefit of our cause.  The focal plane shutter of the Speed is quick to use, has a lot of available speeds, and is larger than the average Packard shutter.  Here is more on the Speed Graphic shutter.

Except it is no longer a "focal plane" shutter, way up front like that. The better terms might be "behind-the-lens", or "in camera".  A shutter can be placed anywhere in the light path, even in front of a lens, and some old ones are.

The use of an  in-camera shutter allows us to use all kinds of lenses - even simple lenses, pinholes, eyeglass lenses, plastic lenses etc. which are in the spirit of experimentation in analog photography these days, a trend especially noticeable in the Lomography  movement.

The Aero Ektar is too short to use on this camera, but was just the first lens that came to hand after grafting the modified back and lensboard adapter onto the Calumet.

 Seen supporting all of this is the very luxurious and mechanical Saltzman tripod, one of the heaviest and most robust tripods made. One would think this is a very solid setup, but unfortunately, it is not at all.  The top plate of the Saltzman flexes very easily even with just a little camera on it.  This particular Calumet Montclair, for all its weight, is a wiggly device on its own. Together they vibrate and oscillate in an almost surreal and agitated manner, taking several seconds for the most obvious motions to stop. It is going to be a challenge to use this out-of-doors, if there is any wind.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob - they are mocking you on Large Format board for this.

Bob Crowley said...

I think they are not really into experimentation and are more about preservation.

Sam said...

Nice shutter kluge. Suggest a redwood stump would provide adequate support.

Bob Crowley said...

Not a kluge at all. Much better and more precise than any Packard shutter, and holds many lenses easily. The stump is not a bad idea though, as the Saltzman tripod is very much overrated.

We have used this now several times with good success, including the Harman direct positive materials at 8x10 inches.

James Weber said...

I love Franken-Cameras! Nice work, Bob!

Unknown said...

This is a brilliant hack, not a kludge at all. Very cool Bob :)

pitchertaker said...

A Kodak Aero Ektar placed on printing paper and left in the dark for 24 hours will produce a ring of density on the paper. They are radioactive.

Bob Crowley said...

Really!!!???? NO! Actually, I think everyone know this. If you have one, send it to me and I will "dispose of it" for you!

Unknown said...

Hello Bob, I've seen your super cool "Frankenstein camera" on Facebook (AE group) and just this morning realized it is your work... AWESOME. I was thinking of buying one Graflex to do the same - Use it's shutter as in-front-of-lens shutter but your setup is super cool too. Would you share some ideas on how did you managed to build the holder that attaches to 8x10 camera's front standard? I was thinking to buy one of Graphic Pack Film adapters, using it's plate & one lens board for my Cambo grafted together into some kind of adapter that will help put this 2 cameras together! Do you think this is good idea?