Bonneville Dam at Sunset, October 2012


This is from my new (very old) 5×7 Camera City View (by the Seneca Camera Co. of Rochester NY). The camera was made around 1906, but is on remarkably good shape. I will post a picture of the camera soon.

The film is 100.
The lens was a 180mm Caltar II.

The negative was stand developed in Agfa Rodinal 1:100 for 1 hour.

I took this picture on a Columbia Gorge trip with Gaia.  We had stopped at a few of the waterfalls, and ended our trip as the sun was setting at exit 41, just beyond the Bonneville Dam.  I had made an adapter lens board for the camera, and I wanted to see how light tight it was, so shooting directly into the sunset seemed like a good test.  One negative had a little flare on it, but I can’t yet attribute it to the lens board.  This negative turned out just fine.

The wind was blowing so hard that I had to pile equipment up around the tripod to keep it stable. I was left with the choice of whether to keep my shutter speed up, and accept some unwanted bokeh, or to attempt to get the entire image sharp, and add the risk of an entirely blurred negative. I split the difference. I opted for a little motion blur, and a little less Bokeh.


The 760mm SK Grimes Lens


The SK Grimes lens is the one on the upper right. It doesn’t look like much, but the focal length is 760mm. On an 8×10 camera it requires almost a yard of bellows draw. I refer to it as “SK Grimes” because they built the lens, possibly out of an old Nikkor copy lens. SK Grimes is a machine shop in Woonsocket, RI. They specialize in placing old optics in new lenses (barrels). Since their logo is on it, they get the credit.

St. Johns Bridge, Spring 2012

Shot with the 760mm SK Grimes lens.

It’s a slow lens. The widest aperture is f14. It’s razor sharp, though. It’s also uncoated, which means that it needs a lens shade, and has lower contrast, which can be a plus with modern, high contrast films. It covers 8×10 with room to spare, so camera movements, such as tilt and swing, are possible.

Potsdam, New York


Racquette River, Potsdam, NY

Traveling with large format cameras is a challenge these days. All the scanners, X-ray machines, and TSA employees scratching their heads, and asking, “What is this?” repeatedly while dismantling my carefully packed camera bag. I had to mail my film ahead of my arrival, and plead with the Post Office to not X-ray it. Careful planning pays off, though. None of my film was fogged, and I got plenty of good images. My main trouble was with dust on my negatives because I didn’t have access to an air compressor, or a dust-free room when I loaded my film.

Sometime in during the next 10 years, I will be retiring to Potsdam, NY (Gaia’s hometown). The landscape photographic possibilities of the area are limited when compared to Oregon. Although, the architecture and history of the area should be fascinating. I will also finally get a chance to photograph in the upper Northeast, and NYC.

This is another image from my East Coast trip back in June. A storm was brewing, the wind was picking up, and the light was fading. I had to keep the shutter speed above 1/125th even on the tripod.

Camera: Super Speed Graphic 4×5.
Lens: 135mm Wollensak Optar.
Film: Fuji Acros 100 Quickload developed in Kodak HC-110.

Note 4/8/18:  Uploaded much better version.