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Thread: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Format

  1. #1

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    Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Format

    Hi all. I recently joined the forum as I've put together some small pieces of large format kit over the years but haven't explored it as much as medium format.

    I'm hoping to consolidate this thread as a means of showing some progress as I dive into this world headfirst with a refurb project and also hopefully when I have many questions that maybe some of you more knowledgeably members can help me. This camera seems simple in it's construction so for a beginner, I'm hoping it turns out to be easier than others.

    This first post will be picture heavy as I wanted to show what I picked up and it's current condition and as time goes on, show my updates.

    I picked up this camera yesterday at an antique mall in SoCal and the price seemed okay for what was included. All in so far, I'm at ~$300.00 for what is shown here. I'm aware that value is all in the eye of the beholder so that's understood but I figured showing what I paid at least gives you an idea of whether this kit is worth refurbishing.

    Overall the condition seems okay which I think helps me in my mind want to progress with getting it back in full working order and ready to be taken out and used.

    So with that, I'll start posting images and captioning them and also asking questions. Thanks again and I look forward to adding to this community and also engaging with all of you!

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    There it all is. I guess the first question I have is, what size camera is this? The lens is a Wollensak 8x10 Rapid Symmetrical. I'm guessing the 8x10 indicates it can be used for 8x10 photography but that doesn't mean this camera is that. The film holders are somewhat varied. They had shims inside which accomodated 5x7 inserts but also came with sheathes marked "6.5x8.5". Here are those items:

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    With that, my first post is done for now as I can only attach four images. On to the next one!

  2. #2

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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    The lens, as mentioned previously is marked "Wollensak 8x10 Rapid Symmetrical." I can't find any more marks on it other than that. Both front and rear elements are included and the shutter is a Regno shutter and the faster speeds seem okay but the slower speeds are somewhat sticky. I may pay to have someone work on this as more complex mechanical items are beyond me. I have unsteady hands for minute things, lol.

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    The glass needs some cleaning but their doesn't appear to be any haze or etching from fungus which is good.

    Eventually, I guess I'll come around to the idea of using different lenses on this kit but for now I'll stick with what this is if it works well for this system. What do you all think about that?

    BTW, I like the entirely functional turned wooden cap!

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    Measure the size of the ground glass -- that will tell you the size. From your images, my guess is a full plate (6.5x8.5), with reducers for 5x7.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    Some of the more obvious problems are the broken leather strap which should be easy enough to remove and use as a template for a replacement (sans lettering unfortunately).

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    Also, the lens board is composite fiberboard material and is chipped, but I think a more solid replacement would be better. I'm guessing that a fixed metal threaded ring attached to a solid wooden plate board is better?

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    The ground glass is in good condition but is dirty with brown spotting (could this be fungus? it's also on the lens in small amounts).

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    What is the best way to clean this?

  5. #5

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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Measure the size of the ground glass -- that will tell you the size. From your images, my guess is a full plate (6.5x8.5), with reducers for 5x7.
    Thanks for that tip. Is 6.5x8.5 a common size for large format? In my admittedly small lack of research I don't remember seeing this measurement as a standard as often as others?

  6. #6
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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    In that day-and-age, yes. And your camera was designed for glass plates, not film. The sheaths allow film to be used in glass plate holders.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7

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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    The bellows are in rough shape being far too stiff. I think I may opt to replace them unless there is a way to fix that particular issue. That kind of leads into the next part as I plan on taking the whole thing apart as part of the refurbishment.

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    Considering that, the metal bits appear to plated brass as a magnet works with them.

    Once I have all the metal bits apart, I'm thinking I may just remove the plating as the corrosion is fairly obvious. Is there any downside to removing the plating other than aesthetics. I love brass and wood as a combo but I'd like it to look clean so I'm not opposed to changing this aesthetic look. I guess I'm just curious if removing the plating affects the durability of the material?

    Some of the more mechanical issues present are that the lower rails are cracked as seen below:

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    When it comes to wooden the bits after being reglued, I'm thinking of refinishing the whole frame and wooden parts. Does that happen often in refurb projects? I will say the patina right now looks good and maybe just needs some cleaning? How would you guys approach that? Once again, I know it boils down to what I like but hearing the experiences of others helps a bunch.

  8. #8

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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    In that day-and-age, yes. And your camera was designed for glass plates, not film. The sheaths allow film to be used in glass plate holders.
    Great! I'll definitely do more research on that format. Good to know about the glass plate too. I love the idea of eventually getting to that but for now I think I'll stick with film. At least it's a decent enough camera for that too I guess.

  9. #9
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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    The lensboard seems to suggest that the lens was not the original for the camera and that the original lensboard was modified to take the lens.

    You will find many threads here on camera restoration -- including sources of replacement parts...for the handle, for example.

    Remove the GG from the camera back and wash in warm soapy water.

    How are the bellows? Most likely will have pinholes at a minimum. Replacement bellows are available, tho some take the effort to make their own. Are you familiar with testing bellows? In a totally dark room, put a film/plate holder in the back, remove the lensboard, stretch the bellows out and stick a flashlight through the front and check for light leaking out the bellows (and other places in the camera.)
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10

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    Re: Eastman View No. 1 Acquired & Looking to Refurbish it but I'm A Newbie to Lg Form

    You can clean the ground glass with windex or such. You can find 5x7 film a little easier than wholeplate, which has to be special ordered. You basically put the film in the 5x7 sheath, then tilt that into the wooden "caddie". Then put the unit into the glass plate holder....doing all in the dark. Practice a few times with a piece of paper!

    The wood looks like someone already stripped it, perhaps. The Bellows look OK for slow film, or:

    Another way to try the camera is to make paper negatives. Look it up, you basically use some photo paper, RC type is cheap. Then you can scan the paper negative, and invert it to positive in Photoshop.

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