Monday, May 05, 2014

You Never Know, Part II


Today, Monday morning, I had an opportunity to try out several test exposures with my eight-by-ten-inch tailboard camera fitted with the newly acquired 250mm meniscus lens, referenced in this blog's previous entry. As is my usual habit, I used Freestyle Photo's Arista brand grade 2 resin coated black & white print paper, pre-flashed to tame excess contrast. The top image used a 9mm aperture, with the box drawn out to 296mm focus, for an f/33 focal ratio, requiring a 7 second exposure.


This next image used a 17mm aperture and was focused to 333mm, making for an f/19.5 focal ratio, requiring about a 1.5 second exposure. Due to such a short exposure time, and the nature of using a hand-operated shutter, the resulting paper negative was exposed rather nicely. In this second image, it appears that I missed focusing sharply on the Royal typewriter's nameplate, instead focusing a bit short, at the front edge of the patio table. I should have used a smaller aperture, which would have both widened the depth-of-focus and lengthened the exposure time sufficiently for more accurate timing.

Meanwhile, in the first image, there's a bit of darkening in the upper right corner that's absent in the second image. I don't think the aperture stops are vignetting the image; most likely I got in the way of the picture, as I was standing to the camera's right during the exposure and could have inadvertently cut off the corner with the dark slide being held in my hand; this new lens is a bit wider in viewing angle than what I'm used to working with. But it's something worth keeping note of for future shots.

I've taken this massive box camera and heavy tripod out in the field on previous occasions, along with a backpack filled with heavy sheet film holders and accessories. It's a lot to carry, especially by one's self, with the bulky camera under one arm and the tripod over the other shoulder, leaving no free hand available with which to steady one's self should the footing become treacherous. Really, I should think more seriously about building a bellows version of this camera, which would hopefully be both more compact and lighter in weight. As it is, this tailboard camera is more fitting for studio portraits.

Update: I took the camera back to the workshop and recentered the lens bracket with the aperture stops, hopefully eliminating the off-center vignette. Another test image afterwards, that I'm particularly fond of.



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