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I used both a standard 50 mm 1.4 Nikor lens and 24 mm lens to take these pictures using my Nikon F100 or FE2 both with and without a polarizer on them over various days and trips to the United Kingdom.
11th Century Windmill Thaxted, England
The Thaxted windmill was undergoing restoration when I was last there in 2004. I took this image in the summer of 1998.
By the time we got to this Windmill west of Lincoln it was closed for the day so only external images of it was taken.
What is interesting about this one is that it will swing through 360 degrees - allowing it to always face into the wind. You can see the wear marks of the outside track of the guide pylon where the weathervane can can move it around to face the wind on its own.
I have to go back through my notes and find the exact village it was in.
There is another windmill that I have pictures of right off the A14 that I have yet to post.
Thelnetham Windmill is on private land and is open when the owners are around. They were just closing up the gift shop when we arrived and they let me in for a few minutes to take these quick images. Everything in here still works and it is a mechanics dream project - just on a larger scale.
This one is made out of bricks and is very sturdy. The props for the main rotor are gone and only the small weathervane is there.
The cost to repair these into working order is huge - since no one around really knows how to do it. Each windmill is unique so everything has to be done on a custom basis by a very few select people with some knowledge of how to restore them to working order.
Thelnetham windmill just inside the door and you can see some of the gearing. The inside is only around 15' across and it is very tight.
The whole purpose of the windmill is to turn the milling stone to grind wheat into flour (or any other grain into something more usable). Doing this work by hand is very hard, so a long time ago someone dreamed up the idea of using the wind to turn blades and through gearing turn stones to grind the seeds. Holland (Netherlands) is the one country known for windmills, but they were actually everywhere before the use of waterpower to perform the same task.
To the right as you go in is a steep ladder leading up to the 2nd floor. Not allowed up there but the owner said I could climb up and look into the 2nd floor to take a picture.
2nd Floor of Thelnetham windmill has a bit less heavy mechanicals in it but they have a function - just no idea what it is. There was not enough time to ask since they were closing and going to supper. Floor to ceiling was less than 6 feet with another trapdoor and ladder heading up to the 3rd floor of the windmill.
As you climb up a windmill it gets a lot narrower. With my 50 mm lens on the Nikon I could not get a wide angle view of the inside - only around 40 degree view - unlike my 24 mm lens which would have gotten an 110 degree view of it. To swap lens would have taken less than a minute as well as adjusting all the exposure modes to manual however, even then, the flash on the camera still would not have illuminated the whole room. Would have needed a few slave units and another 10 minutes of time and permission to crawl around to set them up so I went with the 50 and got the image that I could get.
Lincoln Windmill , actually the official name is Ellis Mill, just north of the city core in the Cathedral City of Lincoln (in Lincolnshire, Britain) is this windmill. It is a very short 10 minutes walk from the Cathedral.