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Alan7140

Fergie Tractor

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Massey Ferguson 165 tractor, '60's or early '70's vintage, currently used as a mobile anchor for a traveller irrigator, in a field of rape being used as fodder for livestock.

 

Photographed with a circa 1908 Thornton Pickard "Imperial" Triple Extension camera with the original Thornton Pickard lens today, on the first still autumn day this year, finally enjoying some softening of the light after nearly six months of harsh Aussie summer sun. Exposures 15 secs @ f/64 and 6 secs a@ f/45 respectively.

 

84tzppU.jpg

 

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Paper negatives again, Ilfospeed Multigrade iV trimmed to half plate, digitised with a Sigma sd Quattro H camera using an adapted Hartblei shift adapter for P6 mount Carl Zeiss Jena 2,8/120 Biometar lens - 9 shots stitched for a 175 megapixel end result.

 

I've also cobbled up an adapter plate made from MDF with three openings to allow screws to pass through the 6 original tripod leg eyelet mounts into the MDF, and an Arca plate attached to a central 3/8-1/4" tripod socket adapter screw glued and screwed into the centre of the circular MDF plate. This has enabled the camera to solidly mount onto my Gitzo CF tripod without altering the actual camera in any way, thus preserving its originality and value. The camera still folds up nicely, although the lens must now be removed before doing so whereas previously it protruded through the large circular hole cut in the base of the camera inside the brass tripod mounting ring.

 

MylIdBi.jpg

 

An idea of what used to be the "tripod" attachment - three flimsy, separate wooden legs with short pins passing through the eyelets of a brass ring mounted to the base of the camera and held in place only by pressure from a metal spreader bar forcing the two parts of each leg apart.

7T5oWTP.jpg

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That look even makes pieces of junk look good.  The end of the harsh summer sun is going to make those exposures even longer - just imagine taking that setup out at dawn or dusk!

 

at the moment I'm struggling to make the time to grab shots with a modern camera - I'd love to have the time available to put that much effort into my picture taking.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, crowecg said:

That look even makes pieces of junk look good.  The end of the harsh summer sun is going to make those exposures even longer - just imagine taking that setup out at dawn or dusk!

 

at the moment I'm struggling to make the time to grab shots with a modern camera - I'd love to have the time available to put that much effort into my picture taking.

 

I'm still trying to fully retire, Chris (a few of my old clients refuse to let me complete the process), but after nearly 40 years of centring my business around old photographs, and more lately, after conventional photographic supplies became harder and more expensive to get as everyone got lazy, having switched to digital myself out of necessity rather than desire, now pleasing myself rather than nagging clients has become my main pursuit and I may finally have succumbed to the obvious realisation that in order to have one's photos look like late 19th Century/early 20th Century items (when arguably some of the best photographs ever were made), one has to use the same equipment, and duplicate the materials used as closely as possible in their behaviour, without getting stupid and more complicated than necessary by messing with the generally volatile and poisonous original processes themselves.

 

This is as close as I have now come to doing that, only conceding that any printing will have to be via inkjet, which is the only thing that lets the idea down a bit, although with the right paper and ink tone the result can be convincing at normal viewing distance.

 

The camera gear itself is extremely light given that it is just thin wood, leather, a small lens and a piece of ground glass; I only have two wooden double-dark slides so have to carry a changing bag and a couple of boxes for the paper negs, which is also no real weight penalty although as a whole it is all a bit bulky. The entire camera outfit only weighs about the same as the carbon fibre Gitzo tripod.

 

Between doing this and teaching young people the joys of silver-based photography (and demonstrating the above method to them gives a better idea of the whole process as total darkness is never required and all sensitive material handling takes place under amber safelight, so they can actually see what's happening), my time is pretty much spoken for.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Alan7140
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If the print size is a problem, you could build yourself a bigger camera!😎

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17 hours ago, crowecg said:

If the print size is a problem, you could build yourself a bigger camera!😎

 

It's not print size so much as the image degradation caused by the paper fibres when exposing through the paper negative in order to make the print. Even as a direct contact print the image degradation in both acutance and contrast is very apparent even at arm's length viewing.

 

Short of going back to mixing my own emulsion and coating glass plates with it to make glacially slow gelatin dry plates, or using faster collodion wet plates and all the hassles involved with them, there is no currently manufactured modern answer for the old blue/blue-green colour sensitivity of the original photographic emulsions as far as capture goes other than by using orange-safelight printing paper.

 

Over winter it will undoubtedly become more than obvious as to why so many of the 19th Century exterior shots were taken during the brighter months of summer, even with me using modern printing paper as negatives.

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