What is needed to be shoot rock climbing and contemporary landscapes with an antique ultra large format camera.
The simple answer is 2 rucksacks of equipment. Plus a tripod which weighs in around 13lbs. and is carried by hand.
Pack 1 - weight approx 45 lbs.
’The Camera’ - An Underwood Instanto, manufactured by E & T Underwood at their Brunswick Works, 130 - 2 Granville Street, Birmingham from 1886 to 1905. They were a popular model at the time, and constructed of seasoned mahogany, brass fittings and red or black leather bellows, and originally sold in three options for lens / shutter combinations. Lenses were either meniscus or rectilinear and could be sold with an optional patent roller blind shutter mounted behind the lens.
The camera used by the Abraham brothers didn’t use a shutter.
Ross of London Lens and aperture. The markings on the lens state it is a No 2 No22923 18in.
Ross was a British company, founded in 1830. It is well known for its camera lenses and binoculars. Ross had an early close association with Carl Zeiss in Jena, Zeiss licensed some Ross patent designs particularly for EWA lenses and in turn Ross had a license for the British Empire to make some Carl Zeiss lens types. Zeiss built a factory in London, mainly to produce binoculars, but some camera lenses appear to have been produced. The factory was taken over by Ross during the First World War. Ross also made some cameras, from about 1855 to the 1910s. In 1948 or 1949, Ross was merged into Barnet Ensign to form Barnet Ensign Ross Ltd., which became Ross Ensign Ltd. in 1954. The new company continued the production of the Ensign cameras and of the Ross lenses; the production of cameras was dropped in 1961 but the company continued for some time to sell Ross optical devices such as binoculars or enlarging lenses.
Light meter for making reference notes.
Schneider 4x loop for checking accurate focus on the cameras ground glass screen.
Dark sheets to go over the whole camera as the below leak light, and to use while composing focusing on the ground glass screen. Plus two clothes pegs to keep things in place.
Camera 'table' - The camera is obviously designed to be used on an old tripod, therefore this table was made of the camera to sit on, held in place by the brass bars. The table is then attached to a Manfrotto 475 tripod via a Manfrotto 405 geared head which helps accurate composition.
Spirit level to make sure the camera is horizontal.
Straps for holding dark sheets in place.
Source hydration bladder.
First aid kit and foil blanket.
Spare clothes and wind proof.
Bubble wrap for around the camera inside the backpack.
Fstop Shinn rucksack.
Pack 2 - weight approx 22 lbs.
Fstop Satori rucksack
Three wooden dark slides. Originally designed for glass plates, now containing custom made to 10x12 inches black and white sheet film.
Monopod for additional bracing of the camera table.
Relevant maps / guide books.
Walkie talkies for liaising with climbers.
14 October 2016 by Henry Iddon
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