View Full Version : Yellowstone History

22-Aug-2015, 21:07
I've recently returned from a trip to Yellowstone. I've been before, but this time I really got interested in the photography of FJ and Jack Haynes. That got me doing some research on early photographers and I became interested in WH Jackson, Asahel Curtis, and Thomas Hine. I ended up buying an album of c.1905 postcards by Haynes and another boxed set by Asahel Curtis. I also bought a book on the Haynes family, Northern Pacific Railroad photographers, and have a book coming on FJ Haynes (Frontier Photographer.) I started buying a few early postcard sets on ebay, but quickly realized the earlier stuff would be stereoviews. I'm looking for a few from the 1870s, maybe early 1880s. I am patient. I've been interested in early photography for quite awhile now.

On my trip I took a Nikon D800E with a few of the current state of art lenses for it (20/24/35/50/85/80-400mm), and a Nikon F3/T with AiS lenses 28/50/105mm. I used the F3/T for about a third of the shots, shooting FP4. I really liked the little F3/T. This was a family trip so I didn't take anything else, fearing it would be too time consuming. As it was, I used a tripod for virtually every shot and switched lenses constantly. I've been before and will almost certainly go back again. When I do, I'd love to shoot some more b&w film, only this time with one of my 4x5 cameras. I have a Chamonix 045n which is light and very versatile, and also a 1925 Gundlach Korona and 1905 Century Camera model 41. That camera has a really nice 6 inch Velostigmat mounted in Volute shutter. It's compact and a piece of art itself! I have a nice selection of lenses made from 1905 to about 1925, mostly mounted in Compur, along with a few rapid rectilinear and Petzval lenses from the 19th century. WH Jackson would have no trouble using any of these.

I was at first suprised that most of the early photos (<1900) available were stereographs. (After 1900 postcards seem to dominate.) I suppose that makes sense as the stereograph was sort of like the TV of today. Anyway, all of this has me wondering about making my own stereographs. There are some LF stereo cameras that pop up on ebay with regularity, but they are relatively expensive. They also don't seem to have shutter mounted lenses. I'm wondering how hard it would be to adapt the Chamonix to take stereoviews? Surely this would be possible? Maybe I'd have better luck trying it with the Gundlach Korona as the front standard is much bigger. Are there still supplies to make the cards? Might be a fun project me for me someday. Otherwise, I'd be perfectly content using what I have at Yellowstone. My wife was fussing when I used the F3/T, asking if I was also going to use my "real" camera, but she had to admit some of the b&w shots came out very, very nicely. Meanwhile, I study up on Jackson, Haynes, et al. If they could do it, I can do it!

I'll mention that I did not see one person at Yellowstone shooting LF, and only one other shooting a film camera (M6). Most of the crowd had small mid priced DSLR and the rest were holding their phones up in the air. Wonder what they would do if I showed up with my CCC model 41 on a vintage wooden tripod, head tucked under a dark cloth?

Kent in SD

22-Aug-2015, 21:23
Wonder what crowds would do if I showed up with my CCC model 41 on a vintage wooden tripod, head tucked under a dark cloth?

They'd probably stop and try to feed you just like our grandparents used to feed the bears:


Ah, the memories.

Glad your vintage Nikon F3T + AIS lenses saw plenty of action. ;^)

22-Aug-2015, 21:32
Two things any camera needs to create stereo are:
1. two matched lenses
2. a dividing panel that goes from the lens standard to the back of the camera. This is to prevent light from one lens "bleeding" into the image area of it's companion lens.

Look for purpose-made stereo cameras (some large format) that were used for identification purposes such as police departments.