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Thornton Pickard Reflex Special, results gallery
Titchfield Abbey 2018

After allowing the rebuilt shutter curtain a chance to decay for a year, it was checked and found to be okay, still soft and pliable and light tight. Unfortunately, I only have two serviceable plate carriers - so taking pictures is a bit limited. During Autumn 2018 I took the camera out for a few hurried outings to see how it would perform.

For this image of Titchfield Abbey the camera was tripod mounted and image exposed well stopped down. The rudimentary lens rise was employed to keep the verticals parallel. The lighting was rather too flat to be that inspiring, but I just wanted to get some sort of image from the camera. Shutter speed 1/25th. Negative cropped top and bottom.

Titchfield Abbey 2018

A few minutes after the first image but a slight variation of exposure. So this first test confirms that the shutter is working, the slit remains parallel and the speed must be about right. A small light leak results from one of the plate carriers being a little slack. Negative cropped top and bottom.

Royal Victoria Country park

Royal Victoria Coutry Park 2018

The next two images were made with the camera tripod mounted again. The lighting was a little more harsh this time as the sun was fairly low on the horizon directly opposite. These images in portrait format test the speed of the shutter for its entire travel and it seems to remain sufficiently constant to prove this method of shutter rebuild as viable. Shutter speed was 1/75th. The sheet worked it's way out in the second exposure and jammed the dark slide half closed, this meant the camera had to be returned home with a half closed carrier in place. Amazingly, no fogging resulted, but there were a few scratches.

I subsequently realized that cut film was releasing from the top, and I have changed my loading technique for these carriers. Full area of negatives.

The building is all that survives of the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley in Hampshire.

Photo into sun at Calshot across the water

Bursledon Winmill

The next outing was to use the camera hand held using faster shutter speeds. I really wanted something moving, but failed to find something suitable, so elected to snap the sunset. I chose 1/200th for the shutter speed and a yellow/green filter. A bit awkward as the filter doesn't fit this camera and had to be held in place by hand. The result confirms that the slit is remaining constant and speed stable during its travel. In fairness to Thornton Pickard, the shutter is expressly designed to keep the two curtains locked together so the gap cannot vary.

The image was taken near the old Schneider racing hanger at the Calshot base. Full area of negative.

The right hand image is Bursledon Windmill, Hampshire UK, in May 2019. A dark yellow/green filter was fitted, open up the greens and enhance the clouds. The windmill itself is painted matt black and is mostly in shadow, a tricky subject.

Netley Abbey

Netley Abbey, handheld at 1/75th. Marred by leaky plate carrier. The low sun was shining directly down the dark slide slot which may have been the cause, the result is the unsightly milkiness in the shadows.

Netley Abbey Sun

Another full plate image taken at Netley Abbey, I just can't seem to bring back an unexposed plate carrier.

The Solent

Across the Solent towards Ryde on the Isle of Wight. It looked more impressive in real life than I have managed to convey here. What it needs is a sailing ship in full sail.

Close up of shell from Phu Quoc

This image was made to try out the close focus, it wasn't really capable of getting in this close, so a close up supplementary lens was used too. The shell is one I picked from a beach in Phu Quoc, Vietnam back in 2002. For some reason the ancient metal developing tank I use for quarter plates deposited some rust onto the negative, resulting in the white marks you see here.

Pickard Selfie

The Thornton Pickard has a built in selfie function or remote release, a piece of string is routed through a skewer in the ground and up to a hoop fitted to the shutter release, you can see the string in my hand.

This also confirms the longevity of the shutter cloth made for this camera and detailed in Project 6, this image exposed in July 2019, two years after the cloth was created, is showing no signs of deterioration.

The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne

The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, is a canal museum located next to the Grand Union Canal just south of the Blisworth Tunnel, near the village of Stoke Bruerne in Northamptonshire.

This scene is little changed from the days when this was an industrial waterway, these days it's only pleasure boats and narrow boats that use it.

Pickard Selfie

Avro Lancaster B2, at East Lirkby in Lincolnshire, October 2019. Full frame image, I resisted the temptation to remove the scratches from the darkslide visible in the sky, it's just one of those things you need to accept when using old cameras, occasionally... well usually in fact, they have to have a say in the finished article.

I scanned the negative, retaining all the defects of the original, but removed items that were objectionably modern. Security lights on the hanger, modern signs, two picnic tables a Ford Focus, safety rope and three guys in modern clothing!

I took the same image using a modern digital camera too. That image is better in every technical aspect, more detail in the shadows, crisper, no grain, and it took little time to compose and shoot. But the result is cold, lifeless almost callous in its perfection. If I lost it, I wouldn't care a jot.

In spite of its shortcomings, the plate is lovingly stored in a waxproof envelope, indexed and preserved. It's existence a triumph of hope and expectation over ancient mechanics and my own abysmal lack of skill. It's a precious thing.

Moggerhanger Park

Moggerhanger Park House in Bedfordshire, dating from the 1700s. This wonderfully quirky building is now a B&B, and I visited in October 2019 taking this image in the morning as I was leaving, but still tripod mounted as I have yet to get the hang of this thing hand held.

Old Kodak Cameras

I was curious to know what the Ruby would do under "Product Shot" conditions. I couldn't use flash of course and allowed only period equipment, including the tin developing tank again. Here we have two Kodaks, a No.3 Autographic Model G on the right and it's earlier sibling the No. 3 Folding Pocket Kodak model E-2. The Model G is also showing off a Kodak self timer.

The exposure was 2.5 seconds at f/22 in diffused daylight. I ought to have reflected more light onto the front of the subject but was rushing somewhat as it was taken outside and threatening to rain.

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