Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Copal 0 Shutter Repair

I purchased a Nagaoka wooden field camera and it came with a Nikkor lens and Copal 0 shutter assembly. The shutter made a rattle sound and did not close all the away. The lens had a very slight fungus in it, nothing that would impact image quality. I figured with all of that it was a write off so I decided to take it apart and see if I could fix it.

So I started to disassemble it, here is the shutter that will not close. Turns out after taking it apart one of the speed escapement screws had come out and wedged itself in the shutter blade grooves.
Shutter is stuck open, it will not close

Here are the shutter blades, they just fell out when I turned it over
Shutter blades

Shutter blades removed
Shutter Blades removed

Here it is pretty much taken apart
All apart

Here is the speed escapement, another problem I found after a couple of weeks of head scratching was the small spring wrapped around the small brass post had come undone. That basically caused the shutter to operate at one of the middle speeds all the time. After I figured out how the escapement mechanism worked I deduced it had a spring problem and removed the whole assembly and saw the loose spring.
Speed escapement spring had come off, this took me some time to figure out. Here it is shown back in place wrapped around the small brass post, before it was spinning around loose

Here is a close up of the speed escapement assembly
Speed escapement

This shows the assembly with the speed escapement removed
Case withe the speed escapement removed

This shows the assembly with the speed escapement and shutter blades installed
Speed escapement installed an shutter blades installed

Time to put it all back together again, here is the speed cam installed. Best to line up the 1/15 first, turn to T and then with a small screwdriver pull out the blade stop lever pin to line it up in the speed cam
Speed cam ring installed. Start at 1/15, turn to T and then with small tweezers or screwdriver pull out the blade stop lever  pin which is just above my thumb and next to the lens threads

Final ring assemblies installed
Speed cam ring installed

Completed lens assembly done and ready to use, speeds all sound good but I have no way to test
All back together again, can't wait to try it out!

****Update 07-30-2014****
Was finally able to get out and use the repaired shutter. The Goat Canyon Trestle in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Arista EDU ISO 100, Nikkor 135mm, f/64, 1/4, Y48 Filter
Seems to work great

Goat Canyon Trestle in Carrizo Gorge. Photo was taken with a Nagaoka 4x5 wooden field camera and a Nikkor 135mm lens, f/64, 1/4, ISO 100 Arista EDU film, Nikkor Y48 Yellow filter

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bighorn Sheep Count 2014

The Bighorn Sheep Count for 2014 was successful and no dead sheep like last year. With my back problems I had to go serious with ultra light backpacking. I needed to pack 4 days worth of stuff in my Mountain Smith TLS fanny pack. We had water cached at the count site already so all I needed to carry was 4 liters to get me up to Rattlesnake Spring in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. We left the parking areas as usual around 4:30pm so that we would catch mostly shade in the canyon on the way up. It is about a 3,000' ascent over 5 miles with some stretches of boulder hopping and climbing. We always take the route up with the dry fall which we ascend without a rope but haul the packs up with a light rope we carry along. It usually will take us about 6 hours to get to the spring so we arrive around 11pm. On our way out 3 days later we do the same thing, we leave in the evening to catch the shadows in the canyon and get to the vehicles just about dark at 8pm.

On my drive out to the desert I saw the Banner fire begin with just a small puff as I drove towards Dudleys Bakery, by the time I got to Ranchita it had turned into a big fire
Banner fire from Ranchita

Here is Gary & Randy at our count site. The spring is way down in the green brush. The sheep come in from all directions to drink, we just have to count, determine gender and type ie: Ram, Ewe, Lamb, Yearling. They can get mixed up pretty quick when there are 30 of them all down there so we also have to determine identifying features like scars, broken horns, etc. If we don't do that we will end up re-counting them again so it can get pretty tricky sometimes
Our count site

Here are some sheep going down to the spring
Bighorn Sheep going down to the spring

Here they are drinking from the water hole
Bighorn Sheep drinking at the spring

Here is what our count site looks like to the sheep
Looking up at our count site from the spring

My entire setup for the trip
All my gear used for 4 days

We managed to count 70 unique sheep over the 3 days we counted, that is a good number.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to carry water to our count location, we could not do this without your help!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Borrego Palm Canyon "Fannypack" trip

After our Bighorn Sheep Count orientation meeting we headed up to the 4th grove to see how the canyon was doing water wise. The droughts suggested the sheep would have another very dry summer. I am going on 8 months now of L5/S1 sciatic nerve impingement and my left leg is impaired with about 30% loss of strength and numbness but improving each day. With a Mountainsmith Day TLS fanny pack I can get out and do things now, like a single overnight "fannypack" trip. No backpack trips in sight for some time.

I drove out the night before the orientation and slept out on the ground on a bluff at Fonts Point. Camera gear was a 1916 Kodak Junior No. 1 Autographic I picked up on craigslist last week and my Canon S100 point-n-shoot. Wind was just way, way too much...sand blowing all night and my bivy was filled with sand thru the no-see-em mesh.

Foints Point at sundown
Fonts Point at sundown

Fire Moonrise
Red moonrise

Fonts Point Wash and Toro Peak off in the distance. One shot from the 1916 camera and one from the S100

Kodak Jr
Fonts Point Wash looking at Toro Peak in the distance

Toro Peak in the distance

Fonts Point long exposure with a full moon. A bit under exposed
Fonts Point at night with full moon

I had 2 rolls of 120 film to shoot so I stopped to take some photos of the Sky Art with the old camera. I used some filters and Series VI adapters that got on Ebay from Caroles314, you won't find a better seller on ebay than her.

The 1916 Kodak Jr No. 1 Autographic
1916 Kodak Junior 1 Autographic

Sky Art

Sky Art

Sky Art

Over at the Visitor Center I put a roll of Redscale film in the old camera. With Redscale film you can over expose quite a bit, the film was 400 ISO and I exposed it at 25 ISO.

The VC and Indianhead
Visitor Centor in ABDSP with Indianhead Mtn in the background

Indianhead from the VC
Indianhead Mtn

Our trek up into the canyon was uneventful but enjoyable. There were no other hikers past the first grove (in 100+ temps mind you) so we had the whole canyon to ourselves. Plenty of water was flowing for the sheep, birds, bugs and humans.

Some gorgeous scat on the trail

Check out the detail of the red seeds or whatever they are

Coming up to the 1'st grove we can see plenty of water flowing, no huge punchbowls like in years past but enough for wildlife to drink
1'st Grove

1'st Grove
1'st grove

More water flowing up near 3rd grove
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While we were making camp around 7pm we heard some rocks falling on one of the hillsides and started looking around, after about 15 minutes we spotted the bighorn sheep. There were 9 of them, 3 older rams, 3 ewes and 3 lambs. They were quite happy to frolic around while we watched and as the sun went down they sauntered off past our camp.
8 sheep, can you seen them? 3 rams, 2 ewes, 3 lambs

Ewe and her lamb

As the sun set they made great silhouettes as they climbed the ridge
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Lots of wildlife, insects and other living creatures in and near the water. I probably spent an hour photographing stuff in the water while the rest of our gang went hiking around.
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Some kind of spider

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1'st grove wasp

1'st Grove Tadpole


The reflections from the Palm Grove on the water surface were really cool
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Lots of really cool looking rock surfaces all thru the canyon
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A really big "Moss Blanket"
Moss Blanket

On the way out we found a dead lamb, probably from disease or injury

Palm Canyon was a great overnight trip, recommended for anyone but watch out for high temperatures during the summer.

Here is a video of the sheep frolicking around on a boulder, they did this for 10-15 minutes, chasing each other around like "catch me if you can"

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On my way home I still had some film left to burn so here are a few more photos from the old 1916 Kodak folder

View Point going up Montezuma Grade
View of Borrego Springs from the view point on Montezuma grade

ABDSP sign in Ranchita Ca

The now restored Butterfield Stage Shop. It is open for tours, be sure to stop by and check it out.
Butterfield Stage Shop

Butterfield Stage Shop

Total mylar ballons this trip - 2 (no photos but they were fresh ones)