After the saga of the lens arriving fitted with the wrong lens board a desperate scrabble around ebay turned up the right item....at a price. Ordered on Friday it arrived next day (Christmas Eve). Eagerly I set the camera up, changed the board on the lens over.......much simpler that I had expected, and draped a blanket over to act as a makeshift dark cloth. Well, I knew that the image would be inverted and back to front but I must say it is going to take some getting used to. I was surprised just how easy it is to focus the Chamonix as the focusing knob is fitted beneath the ground glass, so no reaching forward out of sight and feeling for it. The Chamonix came fitted with a Fresnel in front of the ground glass and although I'm not sure just how much this improves the view through the glass but I found it clear and quite bright with the lens wide open at f/5.6. I then spent an hour or so practicing achieving focus by adjusting the front and rear standards for tilt. Although I understand the theory I'm sure this will cause a few headaches along the way until I fully master it.
I have also come up with a written list to help when I start exposing film. The steps I need to take when setting up the shot are as follows.....
1, Open the shutter.
2, Open the lens to it's widest aperture (f/5.6 on the Nikon 180mm).
2, Compose and focus.
4, Close shutter.
5, set aperture and shutter speed.
6, Cock Shutter, test fire and cock again. (This will make sure that I have closed the shutter before loading the film holder).
7, Tap the film holder to make sure the film is sitting correctly.
8, Insert film holder.
9, Withdraw darkslide.
10, Take picture.
11, Replace the darkslide the other way around to show that that side has been exposed.
Well, that's it for now, I just need to sort out a proper darkcloth and loupe and I should be ready to expose some film.