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Thread: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

  1. #11

    Re: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

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ID:	167282Hi there guys, we dont have a catalogue for large format cameras just the smaller cameras, lenses and accessories (34th edition).

    so over the last few days we have:
    camera - Cleaned off the grime and with very fine wire wool and wax cleaned up the woodwork as much as we want to.
    camera base - dismantled, hovered out spiders etc and then cleaned as per camera
    stand - as per camera, it has got one loose piece of timber which needs gluing and it has a water stain on one part but we havent decided whether to try and fix that or accept it as signs of its past life. havent needed to oil the gears as the ebay seller did it and they move beautifully.

    we are leaning towards leaving the bellows as they are and most likely the water stain as this was a work horse of a camera not an immaculate prized possession so that is probably the path we will stick with, however we really like the bellows support and will most likely have a go at making that just to help the bellows in their old age.

    we have an enlarger and the front looks very very similar to this camera so that gives us somewhere to start with building the front. (See pics).

  2. #12

    Re: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

    regarding the back we have found a picture of a watson combination studio camera, slightly different but again close enough to give us a start, and i have taken a better picture of the back of ours which measures 17.5 inches wide x 18 high (inside measurement between the timber frame).

    we have a watson scientific double extending camera which needed a new focusing screen which we did ourselves so feeling reasonable confident we can make a new one for this.

    thanks for all your help, looking forward to getting stuck in to sourcing and making the missing bits
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  3. #13

    Join Date
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    Re: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

    Thanks for the photos - it clears up a lot!

    The bellows is the same type as yours and the catalogue engraving shows the expanding support slats I mentioned earlier.

    I can see that your back is complete. The velvet vertical strips for light exclusion are still there. All you need is the fitting GG frame and some plate holders of the same dimensions. This is "type 1" camera back and is the easiest to make/have made!

    I found a couple of examples just now and the light was good enough to take some photos.

    Note that the GG frame is missing its glass and that it is (was) held in place by wooden strips rathan than brass tabs. It is far less thick than the shown plate holder. This is of the tambour type, which means it is not necessary for a light seal across the top. You can see the cross mounting system for loading the plate horiz. or vert. Each corner rests on a small silver triangle. I have taken out the rear loading door and not pulled the tambour down at the back. This is far too complex for reconstruction, but a simple design could be just as effective.

    The GG frame and the plate holders are basically plane sided boxes. You can just attach pegs at the top and bottom to match the cut-outs that are already there.

    Sorry about the information overload but I have a back which shows how your original system can be adapted to more humane sized photography. The last photo shows a frame type which would slot down into the back of the camera - and which is mounted with a permanent GG and place for plate holders.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpeg   image.jpeg   image.jpeg  
    Last edited by Steven Tribe; 16-Jul-2017 at 02:33.

  4. #14

    Re: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

    Thanks steve, huge amounts of information but in a good way! you have given us loads to think about and get on with which is great. we think we might have found a potential lens so if that works out we are going to start making the woodwork for the lens and for the ground glass holder.

    thanks again for your patience explaining everything.

  5. #15

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    Re: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

    Quote Originally Posted by wood & Brass View Post
    ........we think we might have found a potential lens......
    Which means you have decided the format?

  6. #16

    Re: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

    possibly, but dont hold me to it, we think we are going to aim for 12 x 10, but would really like a watson lens so i presume this will have an impact?

  7. #17

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    Re: Bellows renovation to do or not? (NOT LEATHER)

    Watson did not make any lenses.

    He engraved other makers lenses with his own name and a serial number - he probably kept a shop ledger of these numbers. In fact, I have a Ross CdeV lens which is engraved by Ross on one side and Watson on the other. The Watson side has two serial numbers. The first is when the lens was sold for the first time (New) and the second (A much higher number) for when they sold it as a used lens some years later.

    Apart from Ross and Dallmeyer - who always engraved their lenses - there were other UK and French makers who would supply "blank lenses" to respected sellers like Watson.

    It is easier to find lenses for 12x10" rather than 15x12" - even slower Portrait Petzvals can be found.

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