Une nouvelle vie

Asha

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This thread is pretty much due to the request of @ChrisR who basically asked for a commentary on the rebuild of this french 13x18cm Tailboard bellows camera that i was recently given.

( Original details here: OFFICIAL I HAVE A NEW (FILM RELATED) TOY THREAD!! | Page 276 | Talk Photography

I'm not really very good at this type of thread so forgive me for the unproffesionalism and the fact that I'm starting with the almost finished result before posting the earlier stages. ( I never did conform to the norm! :p)

In brief , the outfit is already very close to being usable. :)

It remains fragile even with the minor repairs that i have made and without doubt obtaining photographs from it will prove to be a challenge, however it will only be used occasionally , the rest of the time I'll have it on display ( hopefully sat on its original tripod if it is ever located )

So here is what it looks like as of this afternoon.

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Nod

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20 or so years ago, I could have given you a 6' tall Gandolfi tripod that would have suited that camera quite well. Dad used to use it under a full plate camera (sorry, can't tell you exactly what) and there is (somewhere - probably landfill since my delightful sister got rid of everything I would have liked...) a shot of me sitting on top of the tripod aged 4 or 5 years!
 
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Asha

Asha

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So starting with the the base of the camera.

The focusing mechanism is intact albiet that if racked out too quickly the teeth of the rails do ride over each over .
Not a big problem..... just needs a slow steady approach.


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Attached to the underside of the baseboard is a section that houses the tripod mount.
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When the camera is opened up, this piece actually slides forward and interlocks with the front standard. In doing so it supports the front standard perfectly perpendicular to the baseboard.
This particular section was completely split in two and was the first piece to be glued. 53560772-476F-4F67-9003-E38A9FBC786A.jpeg 3709DE59-7E09-4FFB-8B57-C3D11DA9AF98.jpeg

The baseboard itself had , through mal use I suspect, succombed to several splits which necessitated repair.

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The front standard also had succumbed to damage, notably a split to the top corner

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Reattached to the base board and with the tripod support section slid forward , the front standard holds firmly upright as is necessary.
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StephenM

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Looking good. How much extension is there on the bellows?
 
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Asha

Asha

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Looking good. How much extension is there on the bellows?
I didn’t measure exactly but somewhere close to 480mm so potentially 1:1 reproduction possible with its 210mm lens or the replacement 210 lens that I have if the original proves unusable. :)
 
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ChrisR

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Fantastic, Asha, thanks!
 
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With the baseboard in now usable condition and the front standard re-attached, it was time to situate the rear standard on the tailboard to ensure that all lined up square/ perpendicular.

Unbelievably both feet belonging to the rear standard were detached with no sign of their original screws.
Perhaps they had been used for another project as there was no evidence that the feet had been ripped out of the wood of the standard.

Anyway, I located enough suitable brass screws that I had lying around from a refurbishment of an old Lancaster Instagraph half plate camera back in 2010 .

Firmly screwed onto the base of the standard, the feet ( four screws for each ), locate in the holes of the baseboard at whichever chosen distance from the front standard, then the rear standard is shifted sideways slightly to 'lock' the feet in place.

2.jpg

3.jpg
 
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Next up was remounting the orientation mechanism.
Unlike most LF cameras where the groundglass section of the rear standard is rotated to change between portrait and landscape, this outfit involves tbe whole of the rear standard which in turn rotates the bellows.
The rear standard then reseats onto the baseboard with the it’s additional two feet located on it’s edge.
For the bellows to turn there is a simple wooden mechanism consisting of a ring that sits on the front of the front standard but behind the lensboard.
This wooden ring is fixed with screws to a wooden panel to which the bellows are attached.
 
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Asha

Asha

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Lens now mounted and new made to measure groundglass installed

The brass screw fitting to lock the shift movement of the lensboard is missing but it’s not detrimental. The vertical movement which is more important is funtional and if the lens is shifted left or right it stays put anyway.
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Asha

Asha

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Film holder is typically European , well it would be wouldn’t it lol, with a curtain type darkslides made of pleats of wood.

The interns of the holder specifically designed for glass plates so to test for light tightness with paper or film, Ive inserted card to allow for the difference in thickness.

All that remains now is to cut and load a sheet offarkroom print paper then expose in camera.
It will be interesting to see how the lens performs with its balsam separation.
The image on the groundglass does ant appear too bad so it may not pose such a big problem.
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