Asymmetrical Movements

When I first got into large format photography back in November 2011, I had an abiding memory of my old man using Granddad’s mahogany and brass view camera complete with half-plate glass negatives.

The shutter was buggered and used to be a wind up cloth thing that clamped on the front of the lens so the old man used to stop down and just us a lens cap to control the speed.

I never forgot the wonderment I experienced when that came out of the loft to get used. It had a bespoke wooden tripod but that went awol in a house move and the camera must have been thrown away as I never saw it when he pooped his clogs and the house was cleared.

My first 5×4 was bought from the ex-lead guitarist for Shakin Stevens 1972-74. What a lineage? I then went on to acquire a metal field camera and have made some outstanding images on both. However, during my formative years at university the camera to aspire to was and is an Ebony complete with asymmetric rear movements.

This is an interesting concept in that purists for landscape work tend to make all movements on the from standard but as I have discovered, those movements do make the image circle an ellipse whereas an asymmetric rear standard retains the circle but alters perspective.

Well, I fell for it and got hold of an Ebony and this is the first image from the camera in my hands. The old boy making these in Japan ceased production last June as he was getting a tad tired. Who can blame him as he QC’d every camera himself!

Tidal mud, razor wire, traffic cone and boats

Using the rear asymmetric adjustments does make for quicker focusing from front to back.

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