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Film Photography
Burke & James 4x5 speed press
Jun 7, 2021 13:57:14   #
kcooke Loc: Alabama
 
I am wanting to get back into Black and White film photography which I did in the 70-80s. A member of the camera club I belong to is giving me a Burke & James 4x5 speed press camera. Supposedly in really good working condition and an unknown model Zeiss lens. I’ll get it later this week. There’s not a lot of info on this camera on the web but I’ve found out it has a good bit of up and down and side to side movement available in the front standard for changing perspective. More so than most press cameras. It also has a viewfinder and rangefinder on it in addition to the ground glass.

I’ve got to practice loading unloading film holders in a bag first. Never done that in a bag just a dark room with 8x10 sheet film. I’m going to use a stearman 445 tank to develop negatives. Hopefully this is going to be a lot of fun as I’m retired and have time to relearn skills from the past. I just joined this section today. I may be asking you all some questions 😎

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Jun 7, 2021 14:39:09   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
Hi, Kevin. Good for you. I'm a large format photographer, as well. You should have a lot of fun.
--Bob
kcooke wrote:
I am wanting to get back into Black and White film photography which I did in the 70-80s. A member of the camera club I belong to is giving me a Burke & James 4x5 speed press camera. Supposedly in really good working condition and an unknown model Zeiss lens. I’ll get it later this week. There’s not a lot of info on this camera on the web but I’ve found out it has a good bit of up and down and side to side movement available in the front standard for changing perspective. More so than most press cameras. It also has a viewfinder and rangefinder on it in addition to the ground glass.

I’ve got to practice loading unloading film holders in a bag first. Never done that in a bag just a dark room with 8x10 sheet film. I’m going to use a stearman 445 tank to develop negatives. Hopefully this is going to be a lot of fun as I’m retired and have time to relearn skills from the past. I just joined this section today. I may be asking you all some questions 😎
I am wanting to get back into Black and White film... (show quote)

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Jun 7, 2021 15:32:20   #
kcooke Loc: Alabama
 
rmalarz wrote:
Hi, Kevin. Good for you. I'm a large format photographer, as well. You should have a lot of fun.
--Bob


Hey Bob yes I knew that you were. I’ve admired you work on UHH. I’m hoping this camera will be serviceable and do what I want it to do at least to get me started. I intend on on having some fun with it for sure!

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Jun 7, 2021 15:52:14   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
Thank you, Kevin.

Years ago, I started with a Speed Graphic 4x5 as my first large format camera. That was a good start. However, shortly afterwards I purchased a Graphic View II. I used that camera from 1969 through about 2 years ago. I then switched to using an Arca-Swiss 4x5. However, I had the front standard modified to accept the Graphic View II lens boards. That makes my lenses completely compatible between both cameras.

I'm looking forward to seeing your posts from your Burke & James.
--Bob
kcooke wrote:
Hey Bob yes I knew that you were. I’ve admired you work on UHH. I’m hoping this camera will be serviceable and do what I want it to do at least to get me started. I intend on on having some fun with it for sure!

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Jun 7, 2021 18:04:28   #
Darkroom317 Loc: Bloomington, IN
 
Cool. That was my first 4x5 camera. They are not as polished as the Speed Graphics but have a rotatable back which is quite useful.

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Jun 7, 2021 18:25:22   #
kcooke Loc: Alabama
 
Darkroom317 wrote:
Cool. That was my first 4x5 camera. They are not as polished as the Speed Graphics but have a rotatable back which is quite useful.


Thanks and yes this one has the rotatable back which will be great for portrait orientation!

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Jun 8, 2021 16:29:33   #
RodeoMan Loc: St Joseph, Missouri
 
Kevin, you might want to google "Pbase" "camera data base" Then go down to "Burke James" If you click on that, there are some examples of images made with a Burke James 4x5 press camera.

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Jun 8, 2021 16:40:05   #
kcooke Loc: Alabama
 
RodeoMan wrote:
Kevin, you might want to google "Pbase" "camera data base" Then go down to "Burke James" If you click on that, there are some examples of images made with a Burke James 4x5 press camera.


thanks very much! ill check it out to see what I can expect

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Jun 10, 2021 15:13:09   #
kcooke Loc: Alabama
 
Well I got the camera yesterday. It all appears to be there. Shutter is sticky below 1/25 second but B and T seem to work. I’ve got more checking to do. For normal bellows length it accordions well but if you’re extending beyond the infinity stop for close ups that last part of the bellows appears to be stuck together. I don’t think it was ever used in that mode. Going to check the bellows fir any light leaks. It will be a fun process. Here’s a couple of quick phone picks


(Download)


(Download)

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Jun 10, 2021 18:41:28   #
RodeoMan Loc: St Joseph, Missouri
 
kcooke wrote:
Well I got the camera yesterday. It all appears to be there. Shutter is sticky below 1/25 second but B and T seem to work. I’ve got more checking to do. For normal bellows length it accordions well but if you’re extending beyond the infinity stop for close ups that last part of the bellows appears to be stuck together. I don’t think it was ever used in that mode. Going to check the bellows fir any light leaks. It will be a fun process. Here’s a couple of quick phone picks


Well it looks good. I'll be looking for a submission in the film category (or large format category if that is the case) sometime in the future. We discuss gear alot in this forum, but "stuff" is fun.

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Jun 10, 2021 22:26:10   #
kcooke Loc: Alabama
 
I will submit. I think I can use it above 1/25 second until I figure out the shutter issue. Getting ready to order film chemicals a changing bag and a developing tank. Anyone have a recommendation for film to start with and related chemistry? I haven’t done this since the 70s. Thanks!

RodeoMan wrote:
Well it looks good. I'll be looking for a submission in the film category (or large format category if that is the case) sometime in the KD future. We discuss gear alot in this forum, but "stuff" is fun.

Reply
 
 
Jun 10, 2021 23:02:06   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
Kevin, I've been using Ilford FP4+ for over 10 years now. I develop it using Ilfotec DD-X and Kodak Fixer. Again, this combination has been my go-to for over 10 years now, probably longer.

A good source for film is The View Camera Store.
https://viewcamerastore.com

Fred Newman is a good friend of mine and a wonderfully supportive source for large format stuff. Feel free to mention my name if you contact him.
--Bob
kcooke wrote:
I will submit. I think I can use it above 1/25 second until I figure out the shutter issue. Getting ready to order film chemicals a changing bag and a developing tank. Anyone have a recommendation for film to start with and related chemistry? I haven’t done this since the 70s. Thanks!

Reply
Jun 10, 2021 23:36:42   #
kcooke Loc: Alabama
 
Bob thanks a lot for the recommendation on the film and chemistry. I’ll contact your friend. The FP4+ looks to be reasonably priced and it can be pushed or pulled a stop which is always good! Hopefully I’ll have some results to post in the not to distant future

rmalarz wrote:
Kevin, I've been using Ilford FP4+ for over 10 year’s now. I develop it using Ilfotec DD-X and Kodak Fixer. Again, this combination has been my go-to for over 10 years now, probably longer.

A good source for film is The View Camera Store.
https://viewcamerastore.com

Fred Newman is a good friend of mine and a wonderfully supportive source for large format stuff. Feel free to mention my name if you contact him.
--Bob

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