35 to 4×5 Relics

Thought I’d upload a picture of some of the “dust collectors” . . . Relics sitting on my shelf.  Some Old, some I have shot with and just cool old things . . .

From 35mm to 4"x5" cameras

From 35mm to 4×5 cameras

I come by old cameras now and then, and even buy a few . . like the Gowland 4×5 pocket view.  I was wanting a camera that was both light and capable of using 4×5 as well as the roll film backs I had for my big Studio 4×5 camera and searched about the internet and stumbled upon the Gowland in a 4×5 camera chat group for sale. It sounded good so a quick scan of the net brought me to Peter Gowlands website (The man who invented Glamor Photography in Hollywood), Sadly he passed away ” April 3, 1916 – March 17, 2010″.  After reading the specs I bought the camera and waited for it to arrive.  This Gowland camera design is about as primitive as it gets with a 4×5 camera, general adjustment require an Allen wrench, and fine adjustments are by the knob on the front and crude thumb screws allowing for swing/tilt of the rear and swing/tilt/shift and rise of the front . . what more could a Landscape photographer want.  The Pocket view was made in various iterations and each lot that departed the Gowland studios was unique, this one was no exception.
Shooting with this camera can be challenging to say the least, but you have to admire its simplicity.  I love to shoot 6cm x 12cm which is considered the bottom end of Panoramic formats for 120 size film. Today you can get a Holga in 612 format and shoot 120 film, but I like the details you see on a single image (Velvia 50 was the choice for film) under the loupe when viewing on the lightbox.  6 x 12cm is half of a 4 x 5 inch negative by the way.  Oh did I mention, it has interchangeable lenses, hand held light meter, interchangeable Film backs, multi-format 6×6, 6×7,6×8,6×9, 70cm square, 6×12 and if you can get or make it a 6×17 back adapter, and if so inclined carry a multitude of filters and other supporting gear. If that is not floatin yer boat! you can get an adapter for a Medium format Digital back and shoot it digital, which I have done as well.   Sounds like fun huh, well film has just about gone the way of the Dodo bird . . and costs for lab processing (if you can find it) has gone up as well . . Sounds like a DIY for B&W processing at home Time to learn . . . it’s easy also, you can still get Film and processing Supplies from Freestyle and books and cameras and learn how to do it the old Analog Way!
The two pocket cameras or “Folders” are in film formats no longer made.  In order to shoot with these you have to “Roll your own” in order to use them. 620 film just had a smaller spool then 120, you can re-roll it from 120 film, the spools are available online if you do not have any, oh re-roll your film in the total dark please, else you’ll have fogged film and that’s totally no good. Other size films are just not available, there are places that custom load old film formats and will process it ($$$) can we say Ka-Ching!  Re-spooling Black&White film and processing your own is the best and cheapest bet for fun. So there ya have it, a few bits about some of the more seasoned hardware that graces my shelves amongst the books and other stuff.
Well until later taters . . . I am in the camera room playin with my toys.  If you liked this post or if you have questions please comment, I will be glad to do my best to answer a question or two, if it’s something you can google then do it . . will probably be more accurate anyway. You do believe everything on that’s on the internet dontcha!

Tim here over and out.


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