Getting the Burke and James 8x10 up and running was more of a disassembling process than a true restore. The aperture blades on the shutter started falling out when I decided to just go whole hog and yank out the aperture controls entirely, and shoot wide open with that huge piece of glass. While it has its disadvantages, it's still an amazing process. More info and some future plans after the break.

The process of shooting with this camera right now is somewhat involved. After loading the film (in a darkroom), the lights are set, the studio is blacked out, darkslide pulled, lights popped, darkslide replaced, and then lights on to reset for another shot. It can take upwards of 5 minutes to take a shot between composing and focusing, shutting all the modeling lights off on the strobes, and struggling in the darkness to find everything.

And then, because I'm like that, theres the developing process. No tidy tanks and reels like 35mm, or even medium format. Open trays of chemicals in a cramped bathroom pulling double duty as a darkroom (though thankfully ventilated). 13 minutes in darkness, constantly agitating trays sounds more like an OCD activity instead of a relaxing hobby.

Next up is doing contact prints and developing those in the same setup. First is doing a test strip on an ad-hoc setup. A softbox put right up against the paper, negative and a sheet of glass with cardboards to isolate areas while I check what power levels give what exposures. Barring a disaster in the developing, I should have a fairly reliable way to make prints without buying an expensive enlarger for 8x10's.