An exciting find at a local general auction as added a new dimension to the images I can make with my 1900s New Countess 10×8 field camera.
The lens seems to be an ex-aerial photography lens made by Dallmeyer – F2.9 to 11 8″ focus length.
I love the 3-d like depth this lens creates in images. My only challenge with it is that since it lets in so much light I will need a shutter with it as exposure times are less than a second in daylight even with photo paper negatives at ISO 6!
Tempted by the low price I have some 10-year-old Kodabrome photographic paper to try as paper negative in my large format 10×8 1900s field camera.
I bought some IlFord Bromophen developer (as powder makes 5 litres diluting 1:3 for use) to process it.
Initial results show that is “fast” as its technical description says – at least ISO12 as compared to 6 for ilford multigrade RC paper. (nb ISO values vary with the type of light and, outdoors, with the amount of UV light – which varies by cloudiness, pollution and season! On a bright summer day the effective ISO can be 25)
The initial images show a much softer tonal gradation compared to the ilford paper and no pre-flashing is needed. Whether this is because if the age of the paper or its chemistry I don’t know – but I love it!
I have only tried the paper in the studio under studio fluorescent lights. It will be interesting to see how it behaves in natural light and natural light outdoors.
With some decent weather I have been able to take the “New Countess” into the garden and make some more trial images, testing out the lens and the exposure time variation with extending the bellows.
I am pleased to find that the combination of light metering with the I-phone app “Light & Exposure Meter” and adjusting for the bellows extension using measurements from “QuickDisc” (www.salzgeber.at/disc/)I was pretty successful with the images I made today. As always I like to push to the extremes – so after the pears image, some extreme contrasts with bright white table and chairs and then deep shadow for the surround of the bust.
I clearly have some work to do on managing the higher contrasts. I think I might have to expose for less and develop for more time. Anyway I am so pleases with the look and feel of these images from this camera. The Pears were shot at f11 and the table & chairs at f22. The bust was also f22 as I wanted to have a greater depth of field, but this wasn’t as deep as I had hoped – so will try again with f64.
NB – The images displayed here were made as paper negatives then digitised and made positives in Photoshop. The glossy Ilford paper was treated ISO6 and pre-flashed with an enlarger to reduce contrast.