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Film: 1931 Houghton Butchers, 6 x 9cm Ensign Cameo

Ivan Garcia

New member
Looking through my film catalogue, I found this little gem and I thought I'll share it with you guys.

Mask Carnival St Marks Square, Venice 2010.

Picture taken with a 1931 Houghton Butchers, 6 x 9cm Ensign Cameo
These two went like "Oh, la bella camara de la epoca... bellisima" and and proceeded to pose for me like crazy.
Home developed negative, scanned and enhanced in Photoshop Cs5
I totally love this camera , the old girl still has it's magic :)


Active member
Hi Ivan,

This is magical indeed. I am equally impressed by the photo as well as by your development/scanning/post processing skills, great job!

Thanks for sharing this. Before Asher asks, is there more? ;)

Ivan Garcia

New member
Hi Cem.
Thank you Re your kind comments.

I did not scan this, I developed the negatives at home and they were sent to the lab for professional scanning.

I have since invested on an Epson V750Pro but, I am yet to use it in anger.

Yes, there are more shots of the trip from this camera but, I have not worked on those images yet.

Below, a shot my son took on location while I was testing the camera.

PS the forum loads and operates very very slow today.

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
What an utterly georgous picture, not just the image but how it was processed with such great contrast and tonality, contrast that I'm actually suprised at given the age of the lens and tonality that has been preserved through what must have been quite a big contrast push. I can imagine that getting the focus right (it's perfect on that image!) is rather a challenge with that camera?

Ivan Garcia

New member
Hi Ben
Thank you for the kind comments.
Re contrast...
You would have though so but, in actuality, the scans came back with too much contrast. So much so, I pushed the slider all the way to the left. I did apply a little shadow/highlight filter, brightened the mid tones with curves, cloned out dust and scratches and finally, Smart sharpening took care of detail.

The camera was bought that same year, it was taken to an specialist for a full restoration and this trip was its first outing. Needless to say, I am incredibly impressed with the miraculous work carried out.

Hand held focusing can be a challenge at wide open apertures but, at f/8 and beyond ( this one was taken at f/11 in harsh midday sun) it really is simple, guess the approximate distance to subject, set the bellows accordingly and, release the shutter.

I did get some out of focus and soft focused images, the latter, have a fantastic "from the period" look. If not for some modern accessories (mobile phones and modern handbags) you would have a hard time guessing when they were taken.

Below the compulsory cliche canal shot.


Ivan Garcia

New member
Hi Hélène

Thank you for taking the time to look and comment.
For those who rare curios.
Stock was, Ilford 100 Delta Pro.
Self developing. Nothing fancy, black bag, generic tank, the usual probes pots and pans. Ilford Ilfotec DD-X and Ilford Rapid Fixer... Nothing complicated, just simple standard processing.

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
I'd be interested to see what the contrast is actually like from that old lens, I assume the lab did a contrast adjustment to even out the histogram. Let us know when you start scanning!

Ivan Garcia

New member
Hi Ben.
Happy to oblige, please find below scans taken today.
Images are straight out of the scanner with (other than my info and copyright) no Photoshop adjustments. (silver fast software)

Approximate Crop intended for printing/presentation.

And full frame

For some reason silver fast recognises my scanner as an Epson V700. I can assure you all it is a V750 Pro. I am now scanning with Epson's proprietary software see if there is any differences.

Below the scans with Epson proprietary software. The differences are plain to see.

Epson's proprietary software Crop .

Epson's proprietary software full frame