Discovering The Cycle Poco No. 5

This week I’ve been back working the dark room. For the last few months I’ve been working a lot with liquid emulsion. So to try something a little different, I decided to try my hand at some lith film again. This experiment wasn’t so much about the film as it was about the camera I was getting to test, the Poco Cycle No. 5.

So this past weekend I worked with my grandfather to get the camera up to par to do some test shots.

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Re-engineering in the shop.

The first part of that was re-engineering the camera to hold film and plates without having an actual plate holder.

Re-engineering camera back with metal plate.

Once that was complete I needed to test the holder to see if it would hold the film/plates in place and without any light leaks. All of these tests are ultimately in preparation of using this camera to work with collodion.

To do my test I set up a still life and did some light metering. IMG_4228The film has an ISO 10. To get a better focal point in the image I changed the aperture to F22. At these settings I ended up have a 16 minute exposure.

In the end, I got a really nice shot.

Still Life ©Emily Pate

It amazes me that a camera that was manufactured between 1895-1905 can still make beautiful images. The art and craftsmanship that people used to create things long ago is something that is truly awe-inspiring. I can’t believe that something over a hundred years old would still work as well as when it was first created. That is the beauty that I’m drawn to from the things of long ago.


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