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Nagel, Fornidar 30, 9 X 12cm plate view camera, Results

Grandad's Old Tools

The first test plate through the Fornidar depicts Grandad's tools. They hang unused in the shed, ivy and the neighbours flowers invading the shed through gaps in the old leaded window.

The camera has performed well enough, this image was better in colour, the rusty tools contrasting well against the blue flowers and vibrant young ivy growth. It has given the camera a clean bill of health though, and no leaks in the two surviving plate carriers.

The plates are developed in a period tin tank, originally intended for quarter plate, these 9 x 12 cm sheets were cajoled in with a bit of flexing.

Grandad's Old Plane

This beautiful recreation is based around the original aircraft's control column, rudder bar and magneto and taken in August 2022 at Old Warden, Bedfordshire, UK. By the time the Nagel Fornidar was made this Bristol Scout would already have been a museum piece, dating from 1914. The image was made hand held using the distance scale for focus and waist level finder for composition.

This was shot on some strange sheet film I found, rated at 200ASA. There were no processing notes, so I gave it my usual time but it was a bit over processed and gave a very dense negative. I'll shave a minute off next time.

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast, completed in 1938 but now permanently moored on the River Thames in London, opposite The Tower of London. Displayed here as she finished service in the 1960s. This image was taken in December 2022 when I visited the ship on a whim. All told it was a bit frustrating, I took a period 1930s tripod, but lacking rubber feet, a tilt head or fixed spread legs, its skidded all over the metal deck plates giving a passable impression of a giraffe on ice. For this image I took it right down to deck level to cut out as many modern buildings as possible from the skyline, but had to wait 40 minutes before the scene was tolerably clear of tourists and the light was giving some modelling to the various facets. Several times I withdrew the slide in preparation... only to be thwarted at the last second. losing my favourite hat in the process as it blew off my head, bounced down the anchor chain and rolled over beneath the waves. Hurumph. So having cost me so much angst, this picture is being published no matter what. The film was Wephoto 200ASA, I'm not a fan, but it's all I could get in this size. 1/5th sec. at f/22.

HMS Belfast Forward shell store

Things didn't get easier below deck, here in the forward shell store below the forward main turret. Metal plates and skidding tripod legs. It was pretty dim down here and it was a struggle to get the focus screen in and out without the tripod playing giraffe again. The focus point was supposedly centred on the 5th shell from the left, but clearly that didn't quite work out. I took a wild guess at the exposure, giving it 1/4 at f/4.5. The result suggests that it was considerably lighter than it was.

Grandad's Old Tools

I recently found and overhauled a plate carrier that fitted, so now have the grand total of three serviceable plate carriers for the Fornidar. Continuing the theme of awkwardness I looked for a position along the river I might get a view of Tower Bridge and the ship as the weak evening sunlight decayed. I just about squeezed myself into a gap between a wooden shelter and the railings and again struggled as the tripod wasn't keen on smooth concrete slabs either. Now in fading light and unable to see the front of the shutter I rushed things and instead of getting the 1/5th I wanted managed to get the full 1 second setting, which runs a bit slow, which I realized as the shutter lazily whirred away... at least six times the required exposure, Initially I thought I'd just bin it, but then resolved to process this one plate separately, electing to whip it out of the tank after one third of my usual time for this film. After all the pain, it's getting published too. I had hoped the mist would come down a bit and give me a bit more atmospheric spatial perspective, alas it stayed perfectly clear.

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