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jamaeolus
14-Jul-2016, 17:39
Hi everybody. I'm a newb. I have been working my way backwards through photography stuff, am an avid manual lens collector, have dabbled with folders and medium format SLR's. I recently got the bug to try large format so bid and won on a camera. It is incomplete as it lacks the front fold out that serves as the basis for locking the front of the bellows to the rest of the camera. My meager research gives me hints that it is a British camera by C S Baynton. I don't have a flickr or such but am a regular at manual forum lenses and have posted photos of it
here:
http://forum.mflenses.com/anybody-know-c-s-baynton-field-cameras-t75467.html.

Just curious to see if anybody is familiar with this fine old camera. It is very finely crafted in dovetailed and biscuited dimensional mahogany with nearly all the fittings from brass. The lens board is clearly NOT original but the lens appears it may be. The one photo of a similar camera with the Baynton label that I found searching images of "field camera" is here :

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/60508-baynton-c-s--field-camera-1891-19

Elements of similarity that lead me to believe it is the same company include the bellows front elevation controlled by an overlapping brass plate with a groove for a knurled knob to lock, the knurled knobs also "look" the same" but the most compelling is the knurled knobs on the top of the bellows front plate that are linked to brass plates at the bottom to lock the front plate into a rail (missing on my camera). I hope to fabricate replacements for the lost pieces and make it work. I have used the lens on my Sony A7ii and it is fine. I am not familiar with the nuances of LF. Right off though it seems I'll need film holders and a "hood" (not sure of terminology). Any help or hints would, of course, be greatly appreciated.

IanG
16-Jul-2016, 02:03
An other member here asked if I could help.

Looking at your links and knowing Birmingham I can confirm the Exchange Buildings premises in New Streetl. were retail. The 1898 BJP Almanac shows C.S. Baynton was on the committee of Birmingham Photographic Society and also advertises Baynton's Backing, a specialist coloured binding tape for Lantern slides.no mention of anything else..

It's unlikely Baynton made cameras, it's most likely a retail badge which was quite common, In the UK it was possible to buy camera parts in kit form by the late 1890s, they were sold as individual parts, complete kits and finished cameras, that's wooden and brass parts to make a variety of different style cameras.

I notice a significant difference to the way the rear standrd is fiftted between the image you posted on the MF Lenses site to the CW page with the Baynton camera. It would be helpful to see more photos. I have a fairly similar un-named British halfe plate camera so it would be useful to make a better comparison.

Ian

jamaeolus
16-Jul-2016, 08:19
I will post links to more photos when I get a chance. Any idea what the drop bed may have looked like? I would like to restore it as close to original as possible. If I can't find out what that is I may just come up with my own solutions that allow more movements than most cameras of that era.

jamaeolus
16-Jul-2016, 08:23
The kit idea seems very possible. When I first started examining it I thought "this looks like its hand crafted, not manufactured" then I came across parts numbers and initials on some pieces. A kit would be consistent with both. Whoever made it did a very fine job. the joints are very tight. Thanks for any help.

IanG
16-Jul-2016, 09:12
Parts are often numbered on British field cameras, even with larger manufacturers. I did post pages from a catalogueshowing the parts, kits and complete cameras either here or APUG, I'll try and find them and post the link.

Ys I know what the bed would have looked like, as it'll be very similar to one of my cameras. I have some orpaned beds with the rack & pinion focussing but the closest is I think whole plate, I'll check though. I'll photograph my camera for you (I'd be doing it anyway).

Ian

IanG
16-Jul-2016, 10:15
Essentially these are the parts in 1898 (http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/1898-camera-parts.67527/#post-952706).

I checked and the two bases with rack & pinion focusing are definitely whole plate, the fittings are proportionally larger and they aren't adaptable. This is my Unknown half plate camera, I'd forgotten I'd already photographed it, you can see how the front standard fits also the back.

152921

Hope that helps. I have a fairly similat 12"x10" camera again no name but the seller still runs his grandfathers business which is a studion and retail photographic shop in Wales, it was the grandfathers camera.

Ian

jamaeolus
16-Jul-2016, 11:35
The kit idea seems very possible. When I first started examining it I thought "this looks like its hand crafted, not manufactured" then I came across parts numbers and initials on some pieces. A kit would be consistent with both. Whoever made it did a very fine job. the joints are very tight. Thanks for any help.

jamaeolus
16-Jul-2016, 11:42
Is that the 12 x 10 in the photo? If its 8x8 its extremely similar to the one I have. The only difference I see is that the panel in the front forks is oriented differently. So I would need a bed, a rack, and side rails and tripod mount and a couple of other minor fittings. Excellent!

jamaeolus
16-Jul-2016, 11:45
Whole plate and half plate terminology is foreign to me. I am brand new to this field of endeavor, so your patience is appreciated.

jamaeolus
16-Jul-2016, 11:46
I did post a couple more images on my friends manual forum site:

http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic,p,1478453.html#1478453

IanG
16-Jul-2016, 12:22
In the UK the main sizes (all in inches) were Quater plate 4 x 3, Half plate 6 x 4, Whole plate 8 x 6 (sometimes called Full plate in the US), 10x8, 12x10 15x12 etc. There was also 5x4 but not a format made by all UK companies before WWI. In the US you use the shorter edge size first.

That's a Half plate camera in my photo, roughly 8x8 inches overal by very approx 4 inches folded so similar to yours, my 12x10 is huge in comparison.

This is the 12x10 before bellows restoration with a Quarter plate camera:

http://lostlabours.co.uk/Uploads/qp-1210-2sm.jpg

If cameras come as kits they can be assembled differently, so slight variations. I don't think this happened in the US.

Ian

jamaeolus
16-Jul-2016, 17:24
Ah, thank you. That helps. Mine has an unnamed doublet with a lever diaphragm f8 to 64. It works. But unless you are after a real vintage feel it's not a great performer. I have decent woodworking skills and I have done some research on racks and I think I can get a functional replacement for that portion. I hope to save it from an ignominious end in the bin for a while and even make it work. I know very little about the process. I assume that I will need a dark bag, hood, and film holders?

Steven Tribe
17-Jul-2016, 01:15
I think Ian has covered this type of generic UK camera very well. I have two of these cameras with identical designs to the one that Ian has illustrated and the baseless one you have shown. One of mine (12x15") was sold by Lizars of Scotland, the other 1/1 plate, has no-name but has absolutely identical brasswork. There are only minor differences in back locking devices.

Your problem is the lack of the rather complex base plates. I am an avid DIY but making a copy of the base sections and the mechanism for focussing is unlikely to be succesful. Finding a parts camera of the same size would be the way to go if you want to get a complete camera out of this. And plate holders, of course.

Here is a very poor photo (compared with Ian's!) of these two!

IanG
17-Jul-2016, 01:22
Your problem is that British field cameras almost all used book-form double plate holders, getting ones that are a fit or close fit isn't easy even here in the UK it takes time, it'll be more difficult in the US. Then you need film sheath to use film in plate holders, although card should work OK as a spacer in this type of plate holder. I made an adapter that allows the use of moder 5x4 DDS (film holder) for one of my Half plate cameras, the adaptor fits in place like a bookfrom holder.

You might be surprised to find the lens performs reasonably well.

Ian

IanG
17-Jul-2016, 03:38
I think Ian has covered this type of generic UK camera very well. I have two of these cameras with identical designs to the one that Ian has illustrated and the baseless one you have shown. One of mine (12x15") was sold by Lizars of Scotland, the other 1/1 plate, has no-name but has absolutely identical brasswork. There are only minor differences in back locking devices.

Your problem is the lack of the rather complex base plates. I am an avid DIY but making a copy of the base sections and the mechanism for focussing is unlikely to be succesful. Finding a parts camera of the same size would be the way to go if you want to get a complete camera out of this. And plate holders, of course.

Here is a very poor photo (compared with Ian's!) of these two!

If I'd seen those two camera Steven and not had a name I'd have said they were both probably made by Lizars, their Glasgow factory was quite large, they were one of the larger UK manufacturers. The round lens board is one of their hallmark features not many manufacturers used them. I have a spare wooden circular lens board but I think it would be to small for your whole plate camera my guess is it's for a Half plate camera.

I agree that the OP might be better looking for a base or parts camera, it would be easier, they do appear every now and again on Ebay.

Ian

Steven Tribe
17-Jul-2016, 05:38
Billcliff in Manchester was the other maker who loved round lens boards. I suspect there was some kind of co-operation between Glasgow and Manchester.

I started off using ordinary film sheaths with plate book holders, but quickly found out that spring/retaining lever/hinged divider system suits a plain metal sheet much better than edged film sheaths. They are much easier to make than film sheaths - which need to be very precise. The metal plate can be a couple of mms undersize.

IanG
17-Jul-2016, 06:19
Thornton was one of the earliest user of Round lens boards with the Thornton Patent Tourist camera of 1887. this differed though as it could hold 2 or 3 lenses and rotated, of course made by Billcliff. I can't see any link between Billcliff and Lizars except that Lizars used Thornton Pickard shutters.

Ian

jamaeolus
17-Jul-2016, 11:48
Ian if you would be so kind as to photograph the base plate in a couple of positions I could make a more informed decision as to whether to fab or try to get original replacement parts. I have access to a CNC for the wood parts. As to the brass bits, a bit of search I found sources for brass racks that at first analysis look as though they might work.


My shots with the lens (on Sony A7ii) were better than I thought, but with a newer coated lens I am sure I can get fantastic images.

IanG
18-Jul-2016, 01:27
It'll be a couple of days before I can get around to photographing the base Plate.

In the post about an unknown camera which turns out to be an Underwood you comment about similarities. I just realised I have a quarter plate Underwood Instanto Tailboard camera sat awaiting restoration, now this does have similarities to the Underwood Tourograph despite being an entirely different design. The fittings etc are all quite different to the Baynton you have

Looking again at the images you posted I'm more inclined to think the CW Baynton camera was from a parts kit, so your is most likely as well.

Ian