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© 2017 John Kiely        john@purlieu.photography             Phone +447736849388

A nice new toy.

January 20, 2018

My favourite format by far is 10x8 (or 8x10 if you like), it has been since I saw my first transparency shot on one at college in 1980.  Studio work has never been a problem, but location has been very different.  I have a Cambo monorail, which is a great camera, but after a day carrying it around Snowdonia I spent two weeks wearing a back brace.  My wife bought me a self build Bulldog camera, which I adapted to take a Cambo front standard and a DeVere back, it was OK, but not great.  For the last few years I have been using my 10x12 Midland Camera Company with an adapter that I made to take the DeVere back, but after over 100 years the bellows desperately need replacing.


A few weeks ago I discovered a Kodak Model 2-D for sale in Germany on eBay.  It was rather scruffy, the seller said someone had painted a dark varnish across it, the bellows would probably need replacing and there was no back for it.  He did say that he would supply a Senecca back in the sale.  The best bit was the price, so I hit Buy it Now immediately.  


A few Days later it arrived.  I was pleasantly surprised, the bellows looked as it they would repair, so I ordered some ice hockey stick tape, and the camera was complete, including the rear extension which often goes missing.  I even considered leaving the camera as it was, but someone had painted varnish across most of the brass parts.



The camera came apart easily, I have dismantled a half plate Kodak in the past, I have three of them that I use for workshops.  After two days of sanding the parts were ready for varnishing, I decided on a clear satin, not wanting to make it look new, but still show signs of age.



I was considering getting some bellows made, but when I did an internet search I found a company in Japan that made them to fit.  This was a relief as the existing ones started to fall apart when I removed them from the camera.  The same day that I ordered the bellows I also ordered a Copal shutter from Folkestone.   They both arrived the same day, the Japanese company must have shipped them as soon as they received my order.  I was very happy with them, they even had the wooden frames fitted to the ends, which had pilot holes for the screws.  The only adjustment that I had to make was to sand the paint off the top and bottom edge of the rear frame to make them a perfect fit.



Three days later my new, international, baby was finished.  The Senecca back took about a day to adapt to fit with the aid of a Dremel and chisel.  Next step is to make some lens boards to take modern lenses, it currently has a Cooke Aviar  on it.  I am also itching to try some sensitised Japanese Washi paper that I bought recently.

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