October 20, 2012

A Step Up...

Music | Forget Me Nots by Patrice Rushen

Must be close to 25 years since I last used this camera. I remember purchasing it from one of the eminent photographers of the 50's thru the early 80's in NYC and Chicago. Dick Boyer was sharing a space with a photographer I was assisting and he was in his waning years of his profession. He was selling off some old equipment he had used over his career and I happened to get this Century 4A large format camera. I got it more as a vintage piece I could display, but used it to shoot some portraits with film and paper negatives. My biggest problem with the camera was a lack of a stand or tripod big enough to accommodate its large size. So the years stacked up as the camera sat on various shelves, showing off it's gorgeous dark hardwood body.

My friend Brandon I knew had an old camera stand, that would be able to support the Century and I was headed over there to help out. I asked if I could bring the camera by and shoot off a plate and he obliged. I really wanted to get off at least one exposure so as to see the characteristics of the Kodak 405 Portrait Lens and to see if there were any light leaks in the bellows. The stand was a perfect mate for a camera of this magnitude. As a matter of fact, the stand was made to hold even a larger camera than mine.

After taking care of Brandon's test shot, we got the Century mounted and I was able to get a test exposure off. I'm happy to say the camera was a dream to work with and worked flawlessly. All the movements worked smooth, no leaks and best of all, I really like the character of the lens. I'm really wanting to find a stand or tripod to hold the beast so I can start using it.

The 8x10 plate is 4 times the size of what I'm used to shooting. Prepping and holding the final product is an awe inspiring feeling. I'm a little concerned about the expense of shooting so large, but at this point, I know I will have to.

Century 4A w/ Kodak Portrait Lens 405mm f:4.5"

My first shot with the Century in close to 25 years.
8x10 aluminum plate of Brandon"

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