DESCRIPTION OF THE MODE OF WORKING THE REGISTERED FOLDING CAMERA.
1., In the first place, fix the Camera on the Tripod Stand, with the thumbscrew underneath.
2., Let down the back of the Camera, and take out the glass box; unfold the back and top, and fasten the latter with the brass catches.
3., Pull out the hinged grooved side pieces, and fasten them by passing the hinged catches over the ends. This keeps them down firmly in contact with the bottom.
4., Remove the wooden salt bath to the bag behind, the lid opening to the left, then take out the glass bath, placing it also in the bag, behind the salt bath, the lid opening back,
5., Take out the lens, and screw it on to the flange of the sliding front.
6., Throw back the outer lid of yellow glass, and spring the sleeves over the edges of the Camera, then spring the black curtain round the back of the Camera, and turn it up so as to get at the back.
7., Take the focussing glass from the box, and place it, ground side facing the lens, into the groove of the sliding bar, which grooved part is divided and hinged so as to give three heights, to meet the different sized glasses that may be is use, and to place the largest glass plate either in an upright or horizontal position. The bar from the top of the frame is pressed down upon the left-hand upper corner of the glass, which latter is caught, and kept in its place, by a groove in the under side of the bar.
8., Move the sliding bar backwards and forwards to adjust the focus; when this is obtained, push the sliding key up against the back of the frame, fixing it firmly by pressing the lever underneath. The sliding frame can now be pushed forward in the Camera out of the way, and the ground glass removed to its place at the side of the Camera.
9., Take the collodion bottle from its place, and a sheet of glass from the box. Put the left hand through the sleeve, and hold the glass by the further left-hand corner, just inside the Camera, the back door being open. Take the collodion bottle in the right hand, and pour from it on to the glass, beginning near the further right-hand corner, in the usual way.
10., When the film on the glass has set, immerse it either on the glass dipper, or without it, if long enough, into the silver bath. During this operation the black curtain should be thrown slightly over the back opening of the Camera to prevent light striking down into the bath. Now close the back door.
11., Whilst the plate is iodizing, put into the glass cup sufficient developing solution, and place it ready for use at the further right-hand corner of the Camera. This can be done with the left hand through the sleeve, and looking in at the eye-opening.
12., When the plate is ready for exposure, place the face against the eye-opening, covering it with the black curtain. This curtain need not be thrown entirely over the head, but pressed up into a band, to pass round the face, forming, in fact, a kind of mask to prevent light penetrating ; next insert the left-hand well through the sleeve, then the right hand, assisting the insertion of the right hand with the left; open the yellow light from the inside sufficient to see distinctly.
13., Now draw out the glass from the bath, draining it for a few seconds, and place it in the groove of the sliding bar, with film side facing the lens. Push back the sliding bar to the stop, shut the lid over the eye-opening, and remove the hands from the sleeves; take the cap off the lens, and expose the proper time.
14., After closing the lens, place the face against the eye-opening, and cover it with the black curtain; insert the hands through the sleeves, as previously described, and admit sufficient yellow light to see the operations distinctly.
15., Remove the plate from the sliding frame, pushing the latter forward out of the way, and hold it in a horizontal position in the left hand by the further left-hand corner, and pour from the cup the developing solution, commencing at the nearest left-hand corner. When the plate is covered, it should be held steadily for a short time, and can be further supported with the cup underneath. After the image has begun to appear, the liquid should be poured on and off until it is nearly drained from the surface into the cup. At this point more yellow light may be admitted, and the plate held up to the light to examine the progress of the development. When it is considered that the picture is fully brought out, the plate is placed, film side upwards, on the wooden dipper, and plunged into the salt water bath. The hands can now be withdrawn from the sleeves, and the back door of the Camera let down.
16., Withdraw the plate from the fixing bath, draining it slightly, and place it in the glass box. This immersion in the salt and water fixes the picture, consequently it can be examined, if necessary, to judge of the result. Thus you have an opportunity of seeing whether your manipulation has produced a perfect picture, or whether it will be necessary in the next trial to vary the manipulation. The solution of salt is made very weak, not more than 6 grs. to 10 oz. of water.
No hyposulphite of soda solution is used for fixing in this Camera ; the removal of the iodide of silver is another operation, and must be done at home, or at least outside the Camera, after the temporary fixing with salt water. The same solution of salt water will serve the whole day, with out causing any injury to the most delicate film. After developing a picture, the liquid in the cup is thrown away. A cloth should be taken to clean out the cup previous to commencing another picture.
This concludes the whole of the operations necessary to produce a picture, from the coating of the glass to the fixing of the image.
Each operation has its proper time, and is continued in regular succession. Although the operator is limited in regard to room, and will at first find it difficult to keep to the narrow path laid down, still, after a few trials, combined with strict attention to the description given above, the advantages of this method of operating will soon present themselves to his consideration.
The ground glass serves also to obtain the focus for the paper frame, which latter fits into the sliding bar in the same place as the prepared plate. Also, a dark frame can be provided to carry the prepared plate in, to, and from the Camera, the plate being excited, and the development carried on in a darkened room, when the operations are conducted at home. In the description given above, the plate is removed from the bath, and exposed to light in the frame.
This mode of operating is the best, when the impression can be obtained with sufficient rapidity; that is, if the exposure required is not longer than ten minutes; but if from deficiency of light, or other causes, a longer time is necessary, it is better done whilst the plate is in the bath. It is thus kept moist, and the silver solution is not drained away from the surface. Besides this, the plate may be exposed to light directly it is plunged into the bath; whereas, by the first method, two or three minutes must elapse before the plate can be removed, to be exposed in the frame.
I do not exclusively recommend either the one or the other mode, but must leave it to the judgment of the operator to decide which method of proceeding is the best to act upon. If the plate is to be exposed in the bath, the latter can be placed in the sliding frame, and fixed upright in the proper place by pressing the bar from the top down upon the upper edge of the bath. The focus for the plate in the bath is the same as when it is exposed out of the bath. The front glass of the bath should be kept perfectly clean. In other respects, the manipulation is the same. A small extra stock of chemicals should be taken in case of accident. Ether particularly should be provided, as in warm weather the evaporation may be rapid, and the collodion become too thick to work freely.
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