PDA

View Full Version : New Mammoth Camera arrives!



goamules
21-Jan-2015, 09:02
I just got this Star Camera Co. 18x20 unpacked, I'm pleased it made it in one piece. The ground glass made it, and there was only a tiny wood chip I'm gluing in this picture. Kodak 2D in lower left for scale. That piece on the right is the plate holder. It's larger than my TV!

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8577/16333218292_19413b9742_b.jpg

I know all your equipment hounds will want a full report, so I'll be updating this thread as I get it assembled, a lens put on, and finally take some mammoth wetplates! Looks pretty good so far, the rail is off and I have to put it back on, along with that large wood square that appears to be the base. It has a tripod screw on it. I have a few lenses I need to consider for it, but certainly a Mammoth Petzval, and a period wide angle landscape are in the consideration.

Randy Moe
21-Jan-2015, 09:06
Wow!

Erik Larsen
21-Jan-2015, 09:12
Beautiful! Looking forward to seeing some of the results you get

Thomas Greutmann
21-Jan-2015, 09:13
Cool. Megatons instead of megapixels.

Greetings, Thomas

angusparker
21-Jan-2015, 09:30
Can't wait to hear more. I thought mammoth plates were 18x22 so I guess this is a variation on the theme? Probably not much standard when you get that large.

Drew Bedo
21-Jan-2015, 09:32
Congratulations! A photographer ddoesn'tneed a reason to justify getting another camera . . amd .the-bigger-the-better!

Please post multiple views of the assembled camera in one of the Show Your Camera threads.

Ari
21-Jan-2015, 09:34
Congratulations, Garrett; now let's see some wet plates with that point-and-shoot!

Jmarmck
21-Jan-2015, 10:16
I guess a hiking trip to Bryce Canyon might will not be in order. :D

Yes, post wet plates.

Louis Pacilla
21-Jan-2015, 10:21
Very Cool Garrett! You deserve it.

BTW- What format is your 2d in the photo?

John Kasaian
21-Jan-2015, 10:26
Congratulations!
If that photography thing doesn't work out, you can always convert it into condominiums LOL!

cowanw
21-Jan-2015, 10:32
Wow!

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 10:40
Thanks all.


Can't wait to hear more. I thought mammoth plates were 18x22 so I guess this is a variation on the theme? Probably not much standard when you get that large.
The "mammoth" size did vary over they years from the Daguerriean times through the Wetplate era. Just as there was an English and an American "half plate" of different sizes. Any plate around 14" or 17" was considered mammoth for daguerreotypes, usually. Later, that was increased to 16x18, 20x24, etc., as the wetplate process is easier than polishing silver plates for daguerreotypes. William Henry Jackson and Carleton Watkins shot a lot of 18x21. http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Search/Results?lookfor=WA_Photos_Folio_1&type=CallNumber&sort=title

With dags and wetplate, the size were all hand made, cut, and such. There was no standard sizes, for the bigger stuff, until generations later. Basically the photographer cut the plate to fit whatever size holder his camera maker had made. The small sizes were more standard, so they would fit in the gutta percha and leather book type cases.

Louis, that is a 5x7 2D for scale. I'll get some pictures with a person in it soon, for more scale.

Jim C.
21-Jan-2015, 10:41
Holey Moley ! I assume that's a 8x10 2D you have in the picture for scale ?
Looks like you finally have a camera that will do justice to those howitzer sized lenses you have ;)

Alan Gales
21-Jan-2015, 10:43
Sweet! I'm looking forward to seeing it ready to shoot with a huge brass lens on it.

DrTang
21-Jan-2015, 10:46
first up - 18x22 selfie!

Jac@stafford.net
21-Jan-2015, 10:53
OMG, if you get caught out in bad weather, you can live in it!
.

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 10:55
Yep, it's time to mount a big lens. Several have been in my collection for years, waiting on a camera. As always, I get a special feeling looking at the ground glass through an 1800s lens for the first time since who knows who looked through it. What pictures did the lens take? Who were the subjects? Lincoln? Civil War generals, wealthy families? It's very cool.

angusparker
21-Jan-2015, 11:05
So this is a new camera? Seems quite reasonable prices on the website.

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 11:12
Yes, Ray at Star has been making wetplate cameras for many years. Like a lot of craftsmen, you need to be patient, and add about 2 or 3 times the duration of his estimate. He can be slow. But he does know what he's doing. They are utilitarian, and robust. They are not AAA quality mahognay, polished by virgins, with aligned brass screws. Just good, solid cameras.

angusparker
21-Jan-2015, 11:12
Yes, Ray at Star has been making wetplate cameras for many years. Like a lot of craftsmen, you need to be patient, and add about 2 or 3 times the duration of his estimate. He can be slow. But he does know what he's doing. They are utilitarian, and robust. They are not AAA quality mahognay, polished by virgins, with aligned brass screws. Just good, solid cameras.

Might tempt me down the line - at least in a smaller size!

Mark Sawyer
21-Jan-2015, 11:14
Groovy! Did you measure the lensboard yet to see if it takes the same 9x9 as your 8x10 studio camera?

BTW, I believe mammoth plates are more properly referred to as "platters". :rolleyes:

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 12:15
It's a 9" board, so I have a few mounted that will cover the smaller plates. For those that don't know, you can shoot multiple sizes, "down" to 8x10.

Andrew Plume
21-Jan-2015, 13:29
"platters"

that's a good one Mark, my best to you

and Mr GA, great to see that you now have 'a mammoth beast', I'll expect we'll be seeing some plates of Mrs SA and your girls too and of course my best to you too

andrew

Jody_S
21-Jan-2015, 13:40
My back hurts just looking at the photo. Nice!

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 14:09
Thanks Andrew, you can be sure I'll be doing them soon. I already have Mark making me a silver bath (when I get him the dimensions).

Jody, you should have seen the UPS guy, he carried it from the street to the door (I live in the country), all 40 lbs of it. He was sweating! No carrying for these, though John Coffer uses a big wagon wheel carriage. Google him!

Andrew Plume
21-Jan-2015, 14:25
great, thanks Garrett, brilliant effort from 'the UPS man' (- they're over here too in 'the trademark vans and brown gear')

very best

andrew

lecarp
21-Jan-2015, 15:32
Did you not once own a mule?

Jim Fitzgerald
21-Jan-2015, 15:37
Garrett, beautiful camera. Congratulations. I can relate to the fact that cameras take time to build.
Not being exactly perfect is okay as well. It is nice to see great looking wood. Big cameras are fun!Enjoy!

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 17:27
Girl and lens for scale. No, that 14" lens won't cover. I'll have to pull out the big guns. For mammoth.... cause you know they are big. And need big guns.... Mammoths do. Ah...I better get another can out of the fridge....

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7501/16150814139_bb84613834_c.jpg

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7506/15717078333_fa2f45263e_c.jpg

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 17:35
The back glass swings, the plate holder sets on two pegs, like an early Anthony. One thing I cannot fathom, is why he would make 8.5" lensboards instead of the 9" that thousands of Century, Ansco, Scovill, Folmer, and Eastman studio cameras use? So I can't just place one of my current lenses, in their 9" board, on the camera. And if I mount a lens on this camera, I can't swap it to an 8x10. If you happen to buy one of these (he makes them custom to order, but I got it from the guy that ordered it), insist on a 9 inch board.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8606/16149621620_b951d9b998_c.jpg

Taija71A
21-Jan-2015, 17:37
___

Hi Garrett!

How much 'Bellows Extension' do you have on... Your new 'Big Beauty'?
Just curious... Thank-you!
--
Best regards,

-Tim.
_________

StoneNYC
21-Jan-2015, 17:46
Girl and lens for scale. No, that 14" lens won't cover. I'll have to pull out the big guns. For mammoth.... cause you know they are big. And need big guns.... Mammoths do. Ah...I better get another can out of the fridge....

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7501/16150814139_bb84613834_c.jpg

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7506/15717078333_fa2f45263e_c.jpg

Hah! She looks happy.

goamules
21-Jan-2015, 17:50
She always is. Didn't smile for the first 15.5 years.

I think it's 35" bellows or so. Not a ton, but it will have to do.

Randy Moe
21-Jan-2015, 17:51
I looked these up. Very reasonable. I like the self casing 20X24.

Taija71A
21-Jan-2015, 18:08
... I think it's 35" bellows or so. Not a ton, but it will have to do.

__

Garrett... Thank-you for the very prompt 'Message Reply'.
Have... Lots of FUN! :)
(*I am sure that you will).
--
Regards,

-Tim.
________

jumanji
22-Jan-2015, 00:03
What's the lens in picture Garret? I have a 14" American radial drive petzval and it looks just like yours.

angusparker
22-Jan-2015, 01:46
The back glass swings, the plate holder sets on two pegs, like an early Anthony. One thing I cannot fathom, is why he would make 8.5" lensboards instead of the 9" that thousands of Century, Ansco, Scovill, Folmer, and Eastman studio cameras use? So I can't just place one of my current lenses, in their 9" board, on the camera. And if I mount a lens on this camera, I can't swap it to an 8x10. If you happen to buy one of these (he makes them custom to order, but I got it from the guy that ordered it), insist on a 9 inch board.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8606/16149621620_b951d9b998_c.jpg

I know its a kludge but what about getting an adapter board? Assuming most of your lenses are mounted on 9" boards and those lenses don't protrude back through the board, or if they do, they don't measure more that 8.5" wide then you could get a "up converter" to go from an 8.5" board to a 9" board. I'm sure that SK Grimes could make one for you for a price. Probably around $250 is my guess. Would save a lot of hassle.

goamules
22-Jan-2015, 06:14
I have thought about making some alterations so I can shoot my lenses on 9" boards (too many too count). But I'd do the work myself. Good idea, I was thinking of opening up the camera 1/4" on each side, but making a lensboard jig, like an Ilexpo shutter, should work.

angusparker
22-Jan-2015, 08:33
I have thought about making some alterations so I can shoot my lenses on 9" boards (too many too count). But I'd do the work myself. Good idea, I was thinking of opening up the camera 1/4" on each side, but making a lensboard jig, like an Ilexpo shutter, should work.

I'm guessing it would have to be made of machined aluminum or some other metal given the weight of lenses and the small difference in lens board sizes. I'm having something like this made by Grimes right now to get a bigger lens on a Sinar board.

billie williams
22-Jan-2015, 09:08
Congratulations, Garrett. It's a beauty!

tgtaylor
22-Jan-2015, 10:14
That's a great camera Garrett and for me tempting since I do "alternative" prints. A coupe of quick questions:
How much does the camera weigh when set-up? Can you shoot film negatives with it or are you limited to (glass?) plates?

Thomas

goamules
22-Jan-2015, 10:29
These cameras are rough approximations of 1870s Anthony wetplate cameras, before there were film holders and backs to hold them. So no, there is no provision for shooting film. You'd have to make one, or ask the builder if he could do that. Star Camera Co.

How the back works is you focus, then swing the ground glass out of the way. In the darkroom, you have poured collodion and inserted the wet plate into the holder. You carry it to the camera, pull the darkslide and shoot as with film. But you have to remove the plate holder and go back into the dark room to develop immediately, before it drys. You have about 5-10 minutes from the pour, to developing, to rinsing the finished plate. Almost like Polaroids.

goamules
22-Jan-2015, 13:08
I've cut lensboards many different ways. But this method is the easiest for me. The double bar cutter can adjust from about a 2" to 6" hole (we'll see for the next lens, a Mammoth!). I only got 2 factory lensboards so have selected two lenses that will be permanent fixtures on the camera. Probably. Using a hand turned brace bit ensures you won't crack the board, or have a razor sharp bit fly off the arm if you use too many RPMs on a power drill! This way takes about 10 minutes. Cut halfway through one side, then using the pilot hole you can turn the board over and cut the other side until the slots meet and the core drops out.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7467/16316867036_dee7dcb997_c.jpg

For the first lens I selected a classic Dallmeyer No. 3 Wide Angle Rectilinear. This is one of the lenses I've had the longest, and it deserves to be used for Ultra Large landscapes, which it was made for. I've shot it on 8x10, but Dallmeyer listed it for 16x18 if I recall. It does seem to cover the entire glass pretty well. I need a bigger dark cloth!

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8635/16341068931_fce48404f9_c.jpg

goamules
22-Jan-2015, 13:23
Civil war photographer Sam A. Cooley using a CC Harrison Globe, pattented 1862. The Dallmeyer Wide Angle Rectilinear was patented in 1866, and gave the Globe a lot of competition.

http://www.samackenna.co.uk/samcooleydetail.png

Randy Moe
22-Jan-2015, 13:28
I've cut lensboards many different ways. But this method is the easiest for me. The double bar cutter can adjust from about a 2" to 6" hole (we'll see for the next lens, a Mammoth!). I only got 2 factory lensboards so have selected two lenses that will be permanent fixtures on the camera. Probably. Using a hand turned brace bit ensures you won't crack the board, or have a razor sharp bit fly off the arm if you use too many RPMs on a power drill! This way takes about 10 minutes. Cut halfway through one side, then using the pilot hole you can turn the board over and cut the other side until the slots meet and the core drops out.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7467/16316867036_dee7dcb997_c.jpg

For the first lens I selected a classic Dallmeyer No. 3 Wide Angle Rectilinear. This is one of the lenses I've had the longest, and it deserves to be used for Ultra Large landscapes, which it was made for. I've shot it on 8x10, but Dallmeyer listed it for 16x18 if I recall. It does seem to cover the entire glass pretty well. I need a bigger dark cloth!

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8635/16341068931_fce48404f9_c.jpg

Great that you showed how easy and safe it is to make lensboards.

Your methods wood make a good DIY post!

cowanw
22-Jan-2015, 14:03
Great that you showed how easy and safe it is to make lensboards.

Your methods wood make a good DIY post!

No pun intended.:)