Wednesday, 27 February 2019

127 Day January 2019

Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520/18 with Ilford HP5 Plus
Last month's 127 Day was necessarily curtailed by the fact that I spent it working on a funding application all day. Nevertheless, I did take a number of photographs with the Baby Ikonta, on Ilford HP5 Plus, mostly at home (these circumstances meant a delay in developing, as I wasn't as keen as I might be to see the results). A brief excursion to the corner shop happened just as it was getting dark, still relatively early in the afternoon towards the end of January: one photograph taken outside was made balancing the camera on a bollard for a long exposure; the vertical image below this was handheld and a little underexposed as a result, wanting to avoid camera shake.

Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520/18 with Ilford HP5 Plus
Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520/18 with Ilford HP5 Plus
Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520/18 with Ilford HP5 Plus
Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520/18 with Ilford HP5 Plus
Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520/18 with Ilford HP5 Plus

Sunday, 24 February 2019

#FP4Party February 2019

With February being announced as 2019's second #FP4Party, after shooting with the Cameo in January, it felt logical that I should use my other quarterplate-sized folding camera - the Ensign Folding Klito de Luxe No.9. Last month, I had set myself the task of simply photographing with two sheets of forty-year old Ilford FP4 each day during the 'shoot week', and so I did the same for February. The Ensign Folding Klito is a superior camera when compared to the Cameo; the most immediate difference in use is the rack and pinion focus on the Klito, rather easier to finely adjust against the Cameo's spring clamp. The Klito has its original ground glass focus screen with a hood; using the Klito with faster lenses than the Cameo also made accurate focus easier to achieve. Like the Cameo, it has front rise and cross movements, the rise controlled by beautiful circular gearing around the lens and shutter assembly.  Finally, the Ensign Folding Klito also has double extension bellows, allowing for close focus, without the need for a close-up lens attachment, as I used with the Cameo.

Over the first three days of the shoot week, I used the Klito with a 12cm Ica Dominar lens; the original lens is a No.2 Aldis Plano Anastigmat; I had replaced this with the Dominar lens while using the Klito to take night photographs on glass plates, being f4.5 against the f6.8 Plano: having a faster lens makes for a brighter image on the ground glass when composing and focussing, especially advantageous when working at night. However, wanting to use the Klito with this original lens, I reinstated the Aldis Plano, and shot with this for the remainder of the week. The Aldis Plano is a classic triplet design; while cleaning the thread on its retaining ring, I removed the rear element - and realised that it, a positive meniscus, formed an image on its own. The results (Thursday's image, with a diagram of the Plano shot for Friday) are very much as one would expect from a meniscus lens - it would appear that the front elements, a doublet, correct all the classic distortions present in the meniscus; the rear element on its own provides a wider angle - which I hadn't expected.

All the shots on this post were taken with a tripod. As in January, low light was a factor, but as much as the weather, being otherwise busy meant that a number of the shots were taken at home in the evening. Tuesday's photograph was taken on Fulbourne Road in Walthamstow, North London - the site of Houghton's factory - where the Ensign Folding Klito de Luxe No.9 was almost certainly made, a little over a century ago.


Thursday, 14 February 2019

28th of February is 'Take Your Box Camera To Work Day'

A camera-related day that I've often taken part in in the past, Thursday 28th February is 'Take Your Box Camera To Work Day 2019'. Like the related 'Take Your Box Camera To Play Day', this is simply an excuse to get people using box cameras - and in an environment that one might not necessarily take such a camera. Many box cameras are still eminently usable, taking 120 medium format film, or with a little consideration, 620 film, and modern, faster emulsions make the situations one might use a box camera in more diverse than once was the case - although, in the past, I've often used long exposures on such days, for interiors, rather than instantaneous 'snapshots', easier to do in daylight, outside - obviously this very much depends on the working environment. I did miss it last year, but I'm keen to shoot on the day and promote it once again in 2019.
Box cameras above, from left to right: Baby Box Tengor; Lumiere Scout Box; Kodak No.2 Brownie; Kodak No.2A Brownie; The Midg Falling Plate Camera