|The Bentzin Primar at the Velvet Cafe - (picture from the Olympus mju on Fuji 200 film)|
I found a few overlooked pinholes in all five cameras. To my surprise, when I fully extended the bellows of my Benzin Primar I found a torn front corner causing a hole that I could poke a finger into. I removed the lens and shutter assembly to free up the front end of the bellows, and a little super glue closed up the hole nicely. I loaded a roll of Tri-X in the camera and took it out for a test drive.
|On a bright Spring morning Aspen shadows dance at my window.|
Back to the Plaza Vieja for the little Friday car show.
|BelAir (Tessar lens - f11 at 1/250)|
|100% enlargement at 1200dpi|
I've gotten good results in the past with the combination of Tri-X film and Rodinal developer, but I was not real pleased with it on this occasion. I'm willing to chalk this up to operator confusion, but I still have a complaint against Kodak. The frame counting numerals have been made so dim on the paper backing that it is just about impossible to see them through the ruby window of a folding camera. That would not be a problem with a camera like the YashiaMat which has auto-frame-spacing, but I'm going to need to find some other option for any of my folders.
This is my essential tool set for getting my folding cameras up to speed. Tiny pinholes in the bellows can be very difficult to track down. I have tried several lighting methods in this quest, but the best so far has been a very small flashlight with exposed LED bulbs. The little "BE VISIBLE" bike light lets me press the bulbs right into the bellows creases. Once found, the pinholes are painted over with Tulip ebony fabric paint. The fabric paint stays a little tacky even after drying, so it is best applied judiciously. I have tried other products, but the Tulip paint stores better than anything else, and I've had this bottle for years. The needle nose pliers with the tips filed down are especially useful for loosening the retaining ring that couples the bellow to the shutter and lens assembly while the bellows is partially extended. If the job is attempted with the bellows fully collapsed there is a danger of damaging the fabric with the rotating tool.