Monday, July 27, 2015

Vintage Lens - Rapid Aplanat f/8-f/64

The vintage 13x18 (cm) camera, I recently bought of ebay seemed to have suffered from moisture a lot.
While the camera is still ok, the plate holder is really warped.
The lens (Rapid Aplanat) was also suffering from the moisture too, having developed severe fungus. Have a look:
front view

rear view
The lens can be taken apart, in the same way as many other larger format lenses: the front and rear groups can be screwed of the lens barrel.
the lens taken apart

one of the groups
The barrel still retains the iris. In my case, the iris was really stiff. Cleansing with several passes of lighter fluid, followed by some petroleum jelly and more lighter fluid, seen to have loosen up the iris sufficiently.
the diaphragm at f/64
Pictures of clean lenses are boring, hence, I decided to not show any.
I wiped down the front and rear surfaces of the front and rear groups with alcohol using fresh a q-tip for each of the surfaces. Said wiping down is to be performed in a meandering fashion, starting from the middle of the lens.

My Rapid Aplanat is now as clean as clean can be. There are no visible traces of the fungus left.

Next step: make a plate (film/paper) holder.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

eBay Bug Bit Again

Yep, I have been staying away from eBay for some time. However, the temptation to check it our was too great, so, I gave it another look.

Since a long time, I have been into alternative methods of photography. It might not be that obvious from this blog, other than me writing about paper negatives.

Today, in eBay, I took yet another step towards old skool picture taking. I won an auction on an old wooden LF camera with a lens, a film holder and a few copying frames. I spent about €220 including shipment... Can't wait to hold the camera in my hands.
I am sure that I will have to do some work on the stuff, the bellows looked pretty dirty (mold?). I figure the wood to get some TLC too. I hope the lens is clear, although, I am prepared to take it apart and refurbish it myself.

This could be my first serious step into the direction of wet plate and tin types.