A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying

A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying
A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying the latest digital.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

DIY Film Holder for Developing 3x4 Sheet Film

This is the first true post I have made since converting this blog to focus on vintage cameras and photography.  I thought I would jump right in with a blog on something associated with vintage cameras.  Developing film from an old format.  Here goes.

I have never seem to do things the easy way.  Recently an Anniversary Speed Graphic fell into my lap.  I obtained the camera for free in a trade for some other camera items.  Sometime after bringing the camera home I sat down and gave it camera a look.  To my surprise, it was not a 4x5 Graphic, which I have owned in the past, but rather a smaller size.  I learned that Anniversary Speed Graphics were built in three different film sizes: 4x5 (So called even though the actual film size is slightly smaller.)  A small 2x3 (So called even though the actual film size is apparently 2 1/4"x 3 1/4".)  And 3x4 (Again so called even though I found out that the film sheet size is really 3 3/8"x 4 3/8".)  This is the size of my specimen.

This post is not about the camera itself.  But rather the challenges of develop this sheet film size.
 I tried to find existing equipment for developing "3x4" sheet film.  Seemed like I was the only one in the world that had the slightest interest in actually shooting with this camera.

I ended up having to modify an existing inversion tank to accept my new film size.  It involved modifying an AP Universal developing tank and a 35mm to 120 size spool to accommodate my sheet film.  The great part of this conversion is that you do not permanently change or damage the tank and one of the spools.  The only change to this equipment is to one of the spools which after the modification can never be used again to develop 35mm or 120 film.

Below are a few images of this effort.  For a full explanation of what I did, please visit this link to my website for the details.

A not very good image of the camera in question:

 The equipment I started with:

Modifications needed:

The end result, which works great!

I used my two sacrificial pieces of sheet film and went through several complete cycles of developing, while using only water, to test the durability of this setup.  I have now developed several sheets of this size film, and each time was successful.  This includes developing reversal film.  To this point I have only developed 2 sheets at a time.  I am sure I could develop at least 4 at the same time but I have yet to try this.    More to come..........

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Why I Am Changing Focus Of This Blog

Going forward this blog will focus on old cameras, with some other general photography thrown-in.

It has been a year and a half since I have posted to this blog.  Some personal things have changed and so have my interests.  The original purpose of the blog was typewriters, with a small amount of camera interest thrown-in. I hate to admit it, but I have burnt out my devotion to typewriters.

Instead,  going forward I am devoting my primary efforts back to photography and camera collecting.  This is my first love.  I never stopped the hobby of photography, I just satisfied my camera blogging interests with occasional entries made on my photography website (http://brucevarner.com/).  I find now that some of the writing I wish to do on film cameras and general photography are better suited to a blog.

Thank you to those who have followed this blog up to now.  I hope to keep typewriter collectors a little interested even with this change of direction.  At the same time to attract a new audience.  I believe that deep down those of us who collect items of the past have much in common.  An old film camera is like an old typewriter in many ways.  That is one of the reasons I have been attracted to both.

A change in look and feel will be coming to this blog shortly.................

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Remington Standard No. 7

About a month ago I acquired this typewriter because it looked different.  Saw it on Craig’s List, purchased it, brought it home and put it on the shelf without even looking at it as a lot was going on at the time.

Pulled it down off the shelf this morning for the first time since and snapped some images of it (Sorry about the quality of the images, used by iPhone & it does not produce the widest dynamic range…..)  For your consideration is a Remington Standard No. 7.  This is my first dealing with this old a Remington.

The http://typewriterdatabase.com/ lists this particular machine (#192249) as manufactured in 1898.

Have not fully checked for functionality although I can say that the  platen does  not move when the space bar is depressed.   Also, simple to see that the rollers and platen are in very poor shape.  I also assume there should be a paper rest behind the platen.  May decide that without the paper rest it would look to awkward and will start a refurbish?

Before I do anything, I want to obtain an operators manual, hopefully even a copy of a service manual, and a few images of one in serviceable shape for comparison.  Not sure I even know how everything is supposed to work on this machine.

The platen flips?  There are two images below that show the platen in the two positions.  Plus, there are some pulleys on the carrier that have nothing running through them, which I suppose is a problem.

Hope you enjoy the images.  Now to submit some questions on the Typewriter forum.  More to come……….


Remington Standard No. 7:
Remington began production of this model in 1896 and ran through 1914.  Apparently manufactured mainly for the British market.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wonderful 11” Platen IBM Selectric I

While I had many problems with the previous Selectric III, this Selectric is the one I have been waiting for.  Near perfect shape.  Black.  The personal size with 11” platen.

Where the previous typewriter started out with many problems, this example worked fine upon arrive except for some stickiness.  After cleaning, it handles wonderfully.  The only other quickly corrected issue was that the carriage hit on the right margin lever.  Apparently the red indicator had somehow lowered to the point where the carriage could not pass over the margin lever.  An adjustment of the indicator at the front of the carriage and all is well.

Though still heavy, this smaller model takes up less desk space then the larger Selectric's.  Even has an Italic type ball.  Wish I could determine when it was manufactured however.  Would be nice to know.

A nice change after the nightmare of the Selectric III.  More to come……….

IBM Selectric I:
Produced by IBM between c. 1961 and 1971.
11” Platen:
Selectric typewriters came in several widths to accommodate paper size.  This size just fits an 8 ½ x 11” piece of paper sideways.

Monday, August 25, 2014

IBM Selectric III Repairs (Part 3 Final)

I have given up on this Selectric III.  Too many issues that I could not reasonably expect to overcome.  It really has served its purpose however, and I will keep it around to experiment on.  After all it was donated to me for free.

The final blow came when the machine began to print the wrong characters.  I found the left end of the Tilt tape had come undone from the Tilt Bellcrank.  While attempting to follow the instructions on re-connecting the tape I determined that the tip of the Bellcrank that hold the spring in place had broken off.  This is apparently not correctable without a new Bellcrank and the work required on the carrier to replace.  At that point I made the somber decision to not proceed further in attempts to revive this typewriter.  It just turned out to have too many problems in total.

The good news is that I now know much more about the workings of the interposer, the carrier mechanism, and the margin bar/pitch lever.  Plus now have experience with installation of interposer return springs, key lever pawl spring combs, and tilt tapes.  I think I will also take the Operational Shaft out as time permits to have the experience in case the knowledge is required on some other typewriter.

The experience has already provided valuable knowledge which helped me with the cleaning and tweaking of the other Selectric III that I posses.  That machine is now successfully completed.

I believe the most valuable lesson learned was to not try any repairs until your Selectric is thoroughly cleaned.  Then cleaned again.  Only then can you reasonably expect to know what the Selectric needs to have fixed and what was fixed through the cleaning and lubrication.

My other older typewriters in need of refurbishing are just sitting while I have devoted my time to this Selectric.  Before I get back to them though, I still have a beautiful 11” platen Selectric I that I am in the process of cleaning up.  Hope to have that one to show in a post shortly.

More to come............

IBM Selectric III:
Flagship model produced by IBM between c.1980 and 1986.