Tag Archives: clevedon

Lens problems with The New Countess

Today was time to take the New Countess full plate camera to Clevedon and try some images of the wonderful Victorian Pier. Shame it was so breezy – not ideal for longish exposures with a huge camera like this one!

With two slides I had 4 exposures to make. It was a good opportunity to try the (supposedly) F384 lens too as it was a good focus length (12 inches – 300mm ) for the job.IMG_2026

Bringing the exposed paper negatives home for developing, I found that the lens I was using – Rapid Aplanat No.3 Ser.D.F.8 (R.O.J.A. vorm. Emil Busch, Rathenow) – was not operating at the indicated F stops – see the title image!

I had tested it in the garden on the pear tree using the widest aperture with no problem – but at the indicated f90 it way over-exposed the image (Paper negative). I tried a couple of other lenses at the same time successfully so thought I’d make some measurements of the diaphragm aperture with digital callipers and calculate the theoretical f-stop  (dividing the focal length by the aperture diameter)

As the F stop numbers increase the variance between the indicated F stop and the calculated one increases greatly. Column headings are Focul length, Diameter (of aperture) in 100ths of an inch, The F stop indicated and the F stop calculated.

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Using a more familiar lens at F45 for a 2 second exposure I achieved a reasonable if (wind) shaken exposure.

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At the fifth attempt – I’m happy

Finally, after five attempts, I’ve got a plate with;
enough etch to make a relief print,
a satisfying sky effect
enough detail in the ironwork (not etched away)

3.5 minutes in fresh, warm (hot tap) etching solution seems to be the effective recipe.

Using the edge of a feather to apply the oil has given a controlled application.

Using two-colour combination on the ink roller seems effective too. Now I have a plate that works I can experiment on the inking.

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Another step in my etching eduction

Having another go with my Clevedon Pier photograph. This time I used a thinner application of oil for the sky and less etching time. clevedon_pier-etch-4533.jpgThe sky has come out much better, but the shorter etch time wasn’t long enough to allow me to make a decent print. So, I’ll have another go, this time with a longer etch and a similar treatment for the sky.

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Latest etching – still learning …

Clevedon Pier – again from a photo – laserprint transferred onto aluminium with acetone then etched in copper sulfate and salt.

Raising the temperature in a water bath made the solution very active – slightly over etched this one – see the halo around the top of the pier.

I will have another go, etching for less time (2 instead of 3 minutes) with the oil resist for the clouds thinned out.

Clevedon Pier
Clevedon Pier aluminium etching

 

Walk on an overcast morning

Time to get some exercise – The tide was up at 9am in nearby Clevedon and at this time of year we get good flocks of waders overwintering. Today, no large flocks – the weather is very mild at the moment, but a small flock of the usual redshank roosting on the rocks above the level of the tide, and later a group of 5 goosander drifted by.

Sitting up on Wain’s hill and just watching the tide rapidly recede, The clouds parted and a shaft of sunlight illuminated the river mouth – nice!

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