Sliding Box Camera

Sliding box camera

Few days back, Tony Richards had asked me to do a pickup for a sliding box camera which is just 10 minutes away from where I live. Darn, how does he find these stuff from the online radar?

It is a good gamble for him, something which one would consider getting as I think in my opinion, the lens could be salvaged with a bit of clean up as the rack & pinion and some portion of it jammed due to rust and age. Plus the camera box severely needs work to restore.

Located in Saltash, which gave me an excuse to go there as I haven’t been there for a while. I met with Graham and Rob, which both of them runs a local antique furniture restoration and I just love the organised chaotic mess the place were.

Graham and Rob, local cabinet makers in Saltash with the sliding box camera which Tony had asked me to pickup for him.

I had a good small chat with them, and they piqued my interest in few antique articles (old clocks mostly) which I dare not commit as I had enough projects piled up at home. On another note, they mentioned they had a boxful of plates which were from the time of World War 1; images of soldiers, battleships etc., which I told them to get in touch with Tony whenever they manage to find them, I am sure those would be a considerable interest for the visual history collectors.

Returning home, I could see the camera needed a whole lot of work. But I measured the lens were a good F/4 ish, without any significant scratches from my brief observation.

The Sliding box camera’s lens, need a bit of clean up but still a good lens to work with

Focal length seems to be somewhere 180-190mm

I could not resist but to ask Tony if I could make an image of his camera, which he gave his blessing and right away I began composing the image I had in mind since driving back from Saltash.

Setting up the composition.

With today’s bleak cloudy and rain, typical October rain (EV 6-7 ish), I knew the shot is going to be minutes, which I had much fun to try out painting the shadow area with a small UV torch I bought sometime ago.

UV torch for painting the scene

It’s been awhile since my student heydays I painted a scene to reveal areas which normal exposures could not reach. Of course the first few tries was meh… I wished I had a Falcon Eyes lighting to work with, which saves me the trouble waving around the room like an idiot (I think I saw a granny walking pass by my window with quicker pace when she saw me waving around the room with the UV torch). But it will do for now.

But as usual, when I began to run out of developer, the last plate was acceptable.

There’s details in the shadows which I am happy to settle with (especially when the creases of the bellows showed up in the image, and the walls were lit as well from various torch waving manoeuvre). Of course the scan is such a dork as it is a cheap Samsung scanner, and it does not measure to the actual shadow and mid tone details of the plate.


Table study – Tony Richards’ sliding box camera




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