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This was perhaps being overly optimistic, but it worked rather well in the end, I thought.

 

Thornton Pickard half plate camera, using Ilford Multigrade IV paper as a negative, 3 ISO, 4 second exposure whilst I was making all sorts of noises to keep the cattle looking at the camera without moving (a few failed the test, though, one having lost its head altogether) :D 

 

The lens on this camera is the original 8" f/8 Rapid Rectilinear brass item that isn't so rectilinear any longer - it has a very definite focus falloff on two diagonally  opposite corners so I'm guessing the elements have either lost their alignment through age and handling, or were never correct in the first place.

 

I have a 1950's Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 4,5/210 in the mail to me from an ebayer in Japan which I'll try to adapt to the camera to cure that problem as well as give me a substantially brighter ground glass image to focus on. This, therefore, might be the last 'authentic' Thornton-Pickard photo I have taken.

 

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Keeping cows still is quite an achievement, unless your objective is to move them!  On the small screen I’m currently looking on, the headless cow ( second from right in the main group) just looks like it is facing away and showing its backside.

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Considering the inherent difficulty of photographing moving subjects with four seconds of exposure, you have done remarkably well!

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Thanks, guys, I admit to being more lucky than skilful here, although driving this mob up to that end of the rape paddock without completely spooking the sheep so that I could get the old house ruin into the shot as well was almost as amusing as the repertoire of sounds I issued to keep most of the herd transfixed for the four seconds. Also, even on a big screen that one beast takes a good second look to figure that it is facing towards, rather than away from the camera. Lots of luck was involved here.

 

I really only shot this to test the lens for that focus falloff I had been noticing, and thought that rather than just waste the paper neg on some boring still-life I might at least try to get something a bit more unusual. Strong focus  falloff at bottom left and top right was confirmed, as well as a narrow run up the left side, hence the decision to blow another $40 US on the Zeiss lens, which was an unusually cheap bargain for what ebay has usually become these days. It looks to be in fine order as well, the drawbacks being no retaining ring or caps, the lens cap in particular may be problematic as that is my 'shutter' these days. Used ones for the rare ~61mm slip-on fit are more expensive than the lens itself was, and even if I can ever get the Thornton Pickard behind-lens roller blind shutter working again, this new lens will be far to large in diameter for it to fit.

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This shot looks like it could be album art for a prog rock band. Good job, Alan.

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