View Full Version : OH MY GAWD!

Calamity Jane
13-Jul-2005, 12:44
My 8x10 just arrived at the office and all I can say is "OH MY GAWD!" It's HUGE! I have seen smaller dog houses!

(eBay item # 7520672147)

There's no name on it anywhere but the lens is "O.H. Peck Co. Photographic Supplies" in a Wollensak penumatiuc shutter. Glass and bellows are in good shape and the shutter sounds to be ballpark close. The general style of the camera looks very familiar, but I can't put my finger on a maker.

This is gonna be FUN! I already have a few 8x10 holders and the camera seller threw in some film. I'm also going to try some 8x10 tintypes.

13-Jul-2005, 12:49
Congratulations! But don't start getting grandiose -- tintypes should never be larger than 4x5.

13-Jul-2005, 12:55
Congrats CJ!!!

I remember that look, same one I had when I opened the box to my first 8x10 B&J Commercial View and found out that it's _not_ just twice the size of a 4x5 ;-)

Enjoy it and let us know how the 8x10 tintypes works out!

John Kasaian
13-Jul-2005, 13:02
Yeah, 8x10 Rocks! Its sort of like a .45-120 Sharps compared to a "pepperbox." ;-) Congratulations!

Jim Galli
13-Jul-2005, 13:35
Welcome to the world of "real" cameras. There's only one way to make an 8X10 seem smallish and ordinary. It's called an 11X14 camera. I'm sticking with my first guess that it's a Seneca before they went all black.

Brian Ellis
13-Jul-2005, 13:38
Before he got pickled the Peck was picked by Peter Piper as his favorite lens.

Armin Seeholzer
13-Jul-2005, 13:58
Hi Cala

Now and forever you rreally can take pictures not just postcards;-))

Good light!

Eirik Berger
13-Jul-2005, 14:52
The camera looks very nice, if you got the Velvia along it was a very good deal. 8x10" Velvia is the next best thing to porn.
I received my Calumet C 8x10 (Black beast) some months ago and my (photographic) life will not be the same again. It looks so good with my Nikkor W 360 mm lens in front...

I have recently developed my first 8x10 Fuji Acros negatives, and they turned out very well.
I cant see myself behind my Toyo G 4x5 anymore, now as it is "small format".

Jon Wilson
13-Jul-2005, 16:09
CJ, let me know if you decide you need a bigger 8x10! I have an old O. Siechel 8x10 studio plate camera w/ a Taylor Hobson barrel lens. It is just aching to break one's back to move it or get donated to the local historical society. I don't have room for it! Besides, it is not an easy folder like your Kodak! You REALLY need to make 8x10 Glass Plate Negatives with it! I thought I heard it this morn' calling your name! "CJ! Take me out of here!"

John Cook
13-Jul-2005, 19:03
Aren't really big cameras really neat?

I have a friend who justified an 11x14 Deardorff to his wife with the excuse that when the time came he could be buried in it, eliminating the cost of a coffin.

Thinking of using that one myself.

Happy shooting!

David Luttmann
13-Jul-2005, 19:10
Way to go CJ. My stepfather used to shoot a lot with 8x10 out in the bush. He always justified it as a safety measure and used to joke that if a bear approached, he'd just crawl into the bellows and hide ;-)

Calamity Jane
13-Jul-2005, 20:15
I noticed that Dave! While checking the bellows for light leaks, I was able to stick my head INSIDE the bellows!

Joe Smigiel
13-Jul-2005, 21:25

Me thinks you have a Rochester Optical Company Improved Empire State model:


I have its big brother 11x14. Should you decide that you may wish to reunite these siblings let me know and I'll make you a deal.

Frank Bagbey
13-Jul-2005, 21:27
CJ, wait until you see your first 8x10 contact prints! I still marvel at my own work, which is a great feeling. This summer I have been shooting 5x7, a detour of sorts, after obtaining a 5x7 back for my 4x5. I also rounded up a 5x7 back for the 8x10, just in case I need it! So, I have made things very versatile, but also have to pack around even more gear in the van.

Let us know when you get your first results!

Christian Olivet
13-Jul-2005, 21:48
I would love to see large tintypes. I think that it would be wonderful to marry an old process such as that one with modern optics.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
13-Jul-2005, 21:54
"8x10" Velvia is the next best thing to porn."

All this time and I had no idea :o

Congrats Jane! I'll bet you're really going to enjoy that camera!

John Berry ( Roadkill )
13-Jul-2005, 23:15
Congrats CJ I've had my V8 for about 6 mo and already I've burned over 100 sheets. May not be a lot for some here, but remember I am also shooting the 4X5. Love to see some of the tintypes.

ronald moravec
14-Jul-2005, 07:20
You guys are gonna make me sell my Zone 6 4x5 that is already too big to move around.

And too expensive to feed also.

Calamity Jane
14-Jul-2005, 08:21
Joe: That sure looks awful close! There's a slight difference in the front rise/fall, but very minor and mine has more bellows extension than the one in the pictures. I am really surprised that somebody would make a camera and not put their name on it. The only marking is the number "26" embossed into the wood on the bottom of the bed. There is NO indication that there was ever a nameplate or any other identification unless it was on an adhesive label that has long since fallen off (without even leaving any residue).

I was going thru the stuff that came in the case with the camera and discovered that the three wooden holders included in the deal are PLATE HOLDERS! I guess I will HAVE to try glass plates later :-) One holder still had a sheet of glass in it (though I'd bet the emulsion is no good).

That left me wondering what kind of process used a DRY glass plate??? From the condition of the holders, they had never seen a WET plate but, with one plate still in a holder, they had obviously been used for a dry glass plate process. ??????

I ordered some Delta 100 to be shipped in by air so I can take it "on assignment" at the end of next week. I'll try some 8x10 POP prints while I am at the Thresherman's Reunion flogging 4x5 tintypes (July 27-30). When I get my stock of 4x5 tintype plates made up, if I have any Ag-Plus left over, I'll coat some 8x10 plates (which I just HAPPEN to have cut and painted already). I think I'll tape a 4x5 plate on one side of the 8x10 holder for a test plate and put a 8x10 plate in the other. I just don't have the nerve to shoot an 8x10 tintype without a test exposure :-0

I need to adapt my home made tripod for a standard 1/4"-20 but everything else is coming together. The tent is here, the poles will all be painted by tomorrow, I have the lights together, the portable darkroom is all tested and ready to go so, after all the construction work, I'll be able to shift back to the photography this weekend. I need to coat a bunch of 4x5 plates, test the shutters on the two new cameras, and do a "test run" in the back yard with my "travelling road show" to make sure I have covered all the bases and everything will work right when I am away from the resources of home base.

The 8x10 is sitting on a table in the living room and everytime I walk by it, I look at it again and mutter "Holy sh!#" ;-)

Brian C. Miller
14-Jul-2005, 08:45
I have an old wooden holder with a couple of glass plates in it. The dry plates were George Eastman's success story of Kodak! He had read about someone in England using gelatin to produce a dry plate, so he decided that he could do it, too. Take a look at the history pages on Kodak's web site. It is interesting!

Ole Tjugen
14-Jul-2005, 11:21

"Dry plates" were the standard until film became common. Same emulsion, but on glass instead of flimsy plastic. It's still made, I have bought Slavich negative plates in 9x12cm and recently got two packs of Kodak TMY 13x18cm glass plates off German ebay.

Incidentally my '8x10"' camera isn't - it's a 18x24cm plate camera. I have used glass to keep the film in place: Load film, then glass, then close holder. Works just great. But the same time as I found the 13x18cm plates I also found a set of 18x24cm film sheaths for plate camera, so I can reassemble my picture frames now :)

Film sheaths are available, occasionally. But glass plates work just fine. And since you'll be using metal plates, it shouldn't be a problem for you?

14-Jul-2005, 13:35

You will discover, if you haven't already, that the glass plates "register" on either the front or back surface, to preserve the focusing dimension between the ground glass and emulsion surface. I have a few 4x5 plate holders (like yours, some with real plates in them!) but I can't tell you, offhand, which is the register side, front or back. It may well make a difference if you put a thin metal plate where a (relatively) thick glass one was meant to go. Taping a thin plate to the front of an installed glass plate should be fine, if the dark slide clears and you have enough film-plane depth of field.

Good luck!

14-Jul-2005, 14:07
So you got another tent. Maybe I just missed that thread. What'ca get this time? Hope it's more stormproof than the last one.

Ole Tjugen
14-Jul-2005, 15:07
All the plate holders I have seen so far (about 10 different types and makes) use springs to push the plates forward, so the register is always front. For the same reason putting a sheet of glass or similar behind the film ensures good register. Incidentally there were a few cameras made with a special lever to compensate for the different register of plates and film in sheaths.

Again: Using metal plates instead of glass will require no modifications or adjustments at all.

14-Jul-2005, 15:31

Thanks for the input. I've often wondered if the little "lip" on the front edge of the film septa that I have would affect focus. Apparently not...

Calamity Jane
14-Jul-2005, 16:16
Bill: I replaced the cheap plastic 10x20 "party tent" with a 16x16 foot marquis tent made with 10 Oz. canvas. It's quite substantial - the covering alone is all I can lift (and I am strong for my gender). The poles are not 1" thin walled steel tube (as the cheap tent) but 2x3 lumber (which I have spent the last 4 days painting with bands of BRIGHT primary colours) :-)

I have a number of conventional 8x10 film holders, 5 I think, as well as the 3 plate holders, so I'll use the normal film holders for film and tintype since I sized my tintype plates to finish the same thickness as film.

The plate holders I have are equipped with springs around 3 edges of the plate to hold it. The springs along the sides have a little tiny lip to hold the plate against the back. The glass plate that I have appears to be exactly 1/8" thick.

Ernest Purdum
14-Jul-2005, 16:42

For historical background. Experiments with the aim of producing dry plates were being undertaken in the 1860's and 1870's. By 1878, a satisfactory result had been achieved. So many people were enthusiastic about this development (no pun intended) that dry plate use was very well established only two years later. They were in common use for general purpose photography even into the 1930's, and for scientific use, particularly astronomy, long after.

The coming of dry plates, and a little later, film. caused many changes. Hand-held photography became feasible. Amateurs found photography within reach. Shutters became very useful if not essential. Photography of moving subjects became more successful.

16-Jul-2005, 14:26

Well, your new camera's cute and all, but get back to us when you get a REAL camera (ie 11x14 or larger). :-)

As far as tintypes not being larger than 4x5 - bah! I'm making them up to 11x14 now and the modern master of the process John Coffer makes them up to 20x24, as do a few other folks. They are truly stunning!

John Kasaian
16-Jul-2005, 14:31
WOW! 20x24 tintypes? I think I'm gonna havta pry some of that galvanized stuff offun the roof of the barn and try my hand! ;-)

Brian C. Miller
16-Jul-2005, 18:48
Gee, I could make myself a 20x24 box camera, and then use a pinhole lens for my tintype camera!

"'Scuse the clamps, sir, but I need you to stay in that position for an hour. Yes, you may blink. No, you may not go to the bathroom or scratch your nose. Thank you."

Paul Coppin
16-Jul-2005, 19:17
Big ol' cameras are great fun. Here is my 1900 (ca1899-1903) Anthony Normandie, mostly original, although the lens is "modern", and at one point the "Russian red leather" bellows was cut down a little, probably to clean up a bad split. Its a plate camera, of course. Have never found a frame that fits it. The short dimension is about 1/4 narrower than a standard 8x10 holder, but the long dimension fits perfectly. I've been able to successfully shoot 8x10 film in it by using an old standard wood framed holder with a 1/8" bit shaved off each long side so it'll go into the back. Springs of the back are now a bit soft, so a couple of clothespins hold the holder in tight when in use...:). If I can find the time I want to do a series with it of various eclectica that would have a target for it at the turn of the century.


Calamity Jane
17-Jul-2005, 06:00
That's a right purdy camera Paul!

As much as I like my 4x5 hard Maple camera, the 8x10 more resembles a piece of furniture than a photographic instrument ! :-)

I still have not found any markings but I did notice one thing unusual: The extension bed (which I don't have) attaches to the REAR of the main bed. There is a retractable pin at the back of the main bed on the end of a lever that is pulled down out of the way when the extension is attached. The pin prevents the read standard from being rolled off the back of the bed when the extension is not in use.

Most of the camera pictures I have seen on the Net look like the extension attaches to the front of the main bed, unlike this one. So this might be a clue to the maker.

I pick up a package of Delta 100 tomorrow and the Schenider lens/Compure electric shutter should be in by Wednesday so I might have a chance to do 1 exposure before I hit the road. Oh yea, I also need to make an 8x10 contact frame so I can do POP prints with this one!

Calamity Jane
20-Jul-2005, 05:55
Got the Delta 100 and loaded up some 8x10 holders yesterday. After working with 4x5 for a year and a bit, loading 8x10 feels more like loading sheets of plywood into a pickup truck!

I realized I didn't have any film developer so I had to run back into the city (2 hours) for some ID-11. (Life would be smoother if I could be organized enough to KNOW I am out of something while I'm out shopping!)

Also made an 8x10 contact frame to do some P.O.P. prints and made a couple of 8x10 tintype plates while I was doing 4x5s last night. Coating 8x10 tintypes reminds me of painting the barn door ;-)

Was hoping to do a couple of 8x10 exposures yesterday but my new Schenider convertable with the Compur #3 electronic shutter - which had a "guarenteed delivery date" of yesterday - is still sitting in Toronto - Canada Post strikes again! The Wollensak on the 8x10 is a little too erratic for $4.00 a sheet film, though it is probably stable enough for tintypes. So, no "test run" for the 8x10. I just hope Canada Post can find my lens and get it here by tomorrow, so I'll have time to mount it before I pull out Friday morning.

"Calamity Jane's Old Time Photography" is just about ready to hit the road. The new tent is ready (though I didn't have time for a test run with it either), the poles are ready, the tintype cart is done, I spent yesterday mixing fresh chemicals for everything (tintype, POP prints, film developing) and started building a pile of stuff to go. Got 35 tintype plates coated yersterday - will do the same number today - got lots of POP paper. Just have to pick up my signs and banner (which are supposed to be done today), pick up a few bits and ends at the lumber yard, and make a raid on the general store.

You know, the thing I don't like about a "vacation" is that by the time it's over, you need a vacation from the vacation!

I'll take some digi-pix for you folks of my setup and, when I get back to the office August 2, I'll scan some of the tintypes and POP prints for your knowledgable critique :-)