5×4 Camera: The first photographs
A few weeks ago now I was stopped in my tracks when I met Norah, the Newton New-Vue 5×4 Camera.
She’d had a hard life and hadn’t been well looked after & so I threw caution to the wind and bought my winter restoration project. Over the last few weeks, quite a lot of progress has been made. There’s been a lot of polishing to get the rails back into usable condition but I’m nearly there with that job now. I’ve also found a guy in Selby that will powder coat all of the metal parts into a nice, matt, camera black.
One of the finishing touches that really needed sorting out was all of the adjustment knobs. Whether it’s 70 years of grime, I don’t know, but all of the adjustments are really stiff and it can get a bit painful for my delicate hands. So, I’ve located a company on line that basically make & sell knobs (Let me tell you, that was a Google search I won’t be repeating!!!). Hopefully, I won’t be cutting my hands up on the 70 year old existing ones anymore. People in the 1940’s must have had tougher hands!
Before I started taking the camera apart to clean all of the parts and send them off to be repainted, I really wanted to shoot a few test photographs. I’d managed to pick up some film holders and film when I bought the camera, so I set off into the woods. The two lenses that I had both fared very differently. The first, a Schneider Angulon 90mm was perfect. Pin sharp and the shutter times seemed good. The second one, a much older Schneider Xenar 210, was nowhere near with the shutter times and seemed to be a bit soft.
Anyway, here’s the shots that I took. They were all shot on Ilford HP5+ film and developed and scanned, at home, by me.
I should also mention a revelation that I discovered through the Film Shooters Collective. The Stearman Processing Tank. It’s a kickstarter project that has created a developing tank for 5×4 camera film that makes the job so much simpler and more economic (Like anyone who shoots film cares about the economics of it…)