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Removing Fungus From A Pentax 50mm f/2

Removing Fungus From A Pentax 50mm f/2

By Steve Boylin. Picture the scene: you just found a bargain at a car boot sale or charity shop. A Pentax SLR with 50mm lens...

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The World's Shiniest Kine Exakta - Daniel Walsh // Staff Picks

The World's Shiniest Kine Exakta - Daniel Walsh // Staff Picks

Today, we’re talking about Dan’s (extremely shiny) Kine Exacta/Exakta Version 1.2.3. This camera is a later model of one of Ihagee Kamerwerks first production 35mm SLR cameras, and just so happens to have been doused with a gallon of Brasso. 

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The Adam's and Co. Half Plate w/ the Dallmeyer Pentac - Adam French // Staff Picks

The Adam's and Co. Half Plate w/ the Dallmeyer Pentac - Adam French // Staff Picks

In this staff pick, we are discussing the 'Adam's and Co.' Half Plate camera with the 8" f/2.9 Dallmeyer Pentac lens. Read how a unique soft and pictorial look adds a distinctive touch to Adam's photographic endeavours.

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The Adam's and Co. Half Plate w/ the Dallmeyer Pentac - Adam French // Staff Picks

By Ethan Delgado & Howard Parker


Adam's favourite item that has recently made it's way into our shop is this Adam's and Co. Half Plate camera from the early 20th century - with a large and fast 8" f/2.9 Dallmeyer Pentac lens.

Adam, being an Adam himself, was naturally drawn to a camera with his namesake. However, there are more reasons that make this camera an interesting choice.

A man with an afro holding The Adam's and Co. Half Plate camera with the 8" f/2.9 Dallmeyer Pentac.

YAY

This particular Adam & Co came to us fitted with the venerable Dallmeyer Pentac. It's not uncommon to see these unusual, oversized lenses hastily attached to a camera with copious amounts of electrical tape (certainly in Adam's experience) but here a previous owner has taken the time to make a lens board to mount the big lens properly. It sits snugly on the front standard. No light leaks, no wobbling.

This camera is all about that big chunk of fast glass.The Pentac was designed as a aerial recon lens. The barrel is crafted from lightweight aluminium, providing a notable weight reduction compared to brass lenses of similar speed. It's soft and pictorial look, achieved through a lack of coating and the use of five glass elements in a Heliar design.

Of course, it would be unfair to say the body itself is without charm. Lightweight and easily foldable, it is a versatile field camera which has survived well. The mahogany wood and brass fittings have worn into a lovely patina over the last 100 years. 

The Adam's and Co. Half Plate camera with the 8" f/2.9 Dallmeyer Pentac.

NAY

It's not without drawbacks though. The same model field cameras of this era often came in various format sizes. This particular one is half-plate, which is slightly smaller than today's more commonly found 5x7 format. To use the camera requires some way of cutting down film or paper to fit the film holders - or buying difficult to find half-plate sheet film. Nevertheless, by adding a piece of glass or card behind it in the holder, this minor inconvenience can be easily overcome.

One rather...major disadvantage is that this camera lacks any form of shutter. This means very slow film or paper - and a tripod - are absolute requirements. Exposures must be made by physically blocking light from entering the lens with a hat or lens cap. If you want an analogue camera to slow you down...this might be the one.

Bellows (the expanding concertina bit in the middle) are often a problem on old cameras. After many years of opening and closing, they can start to exhibit wear at the corners and leak light, or just fall apart. New bellows have to be custom made, and are surprisingly expensive. Adam assures us that minor pinholes can be easily patched up with his signature black electrical tape, or book binding tape.

The 8" f/2.9 Dallmeyer Pentac lens.

ADAM²

While these cameras may require some patience and practice, they are ultimately simple in design, consisting of a light-tight box with glass on one end and film on the other. The process of using them is slow and deliberate, requiring a measured approach.

Adam actually already has and often uses a very similar camera to the one here - albeit a larger whole-plate. Considering the size of the negative it produces, the relative portability of a field camera when collapsed and folded down, is a huge advantage.

The back of the Adam's and Co. Half Plate camera.

For Adam, one of the main attractions to using a camera like this is that it lets you explore using old, relatively primitive lenses and the unique way they render images. They certainly add a distinctive touch to Adam's photographic endeavours.

Find more of Adam's work on his website or his Instagram

Albumen print from whole plate paper negative