identification of a tourist camera

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by tobias, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. tobias

    tobias Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello,
    at the weekend my father bought a rather interesting beast in an antique market, and I wish to share it, and hope that maybe some information on it might be found or constructed. Right now I only have the rather poor images that he has emailed me, and I promise that I shall update the post when I have a chance to visit and clean her up.

    From what I gather, it is a nikel plated copper and brass, possibly handmade camera, built for tourist photography with a built in darkroom. The format is probably a quarter-plate, or 6.5x9cm glass-plate.

    There appear to be two chemical trays, a lateral dark chamber to store the sensitized material, and apparently a printing-out window at the top.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I might add that it was bought in central Italy. The rubber blocks that hold in the plate bear PIRELLI 4/0 MARCA and a cut off word STELI... The crank that is on one side opens the guillotine of the dark chamber, which is illustrated open and closed in two of these images.

    There is no lens fitted, but I have a nice early Jena Tessar, which should fit it nicely.

    Thanks for the fun,
    Tobias
     
  2. tobias

    tobias Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. apkujeong

    apkujeong Subscriber

    Messages:
    164
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    Seoul
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tobias, sorry - no idea how to identify it, but it looks fantastic, and I'm jealous!! If you ever do identify it please put the details on here.
     
  4. tobias

    tobias Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    of course I shall share all that i discover, and better pictures when i have them, and any restoration that may take place. No Idea if I would ever feel the need to use the camera, but I will most certainly get it looking its best, and probably fit a lens.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    What an incredible contraption! It's great to see what one of these things looks like up close.

    Thanks for posting!
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,444
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Reminds me of a Peter Greenberg/Terry Gilliam/HR Geiger version of the cameras I've seen in many tourist areas around the world. You could even do wet plate in that if you wanted to.
     
  7. tobias

    tobias Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Ah, but you see, I have only ever seen one of these such cameras, and in the Alinari museum in Florence. Before then, I had no idea that the predecessor of Polaroids had been mobile darkrooms attached to a camera. I am rather fascinated.
     
  8. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

    Messages:
    1,044
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucuresti, R
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well, I guess I'm going to have to echo everyone else - I can't help you at all, but I did want to say what a splendid find!


    I look forward to finding out more as you do :smile:.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,444
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are still working street photographers in Mexico, Cuba, Buenos Aires and Madrid doing something like that - I remember watching one in Madrid who was set up in the Plaza Mayor with a wooden box on a tripod that had an old folding camera inset in the front - he would shoot paper negatives, develop them in the box, then put them on a kind of copy rig, and re-photograph them to make his positive, all while you waited.
     
  10. Stock Dektol

    Stock Dektol Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's quite the find. I have no idea, like the others.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,988
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    there was an early post card type camera called the mandelette .
    it had a afixed chemical tank for processing images.
    like your camera, it required a direct positive paper,
    like those used in modern day photo booths ...
    the shutter was snapped, the hand put into the sleeve and dropped into
    the tank ( in the case of the mandelette it was below the camera ) ...
    it was probably a proprietary monobath developer in the tank ... not sure.
    the mandelette looked kind of like a box camera ..
    yours is much more interesting, bellows and all :smile:

    maybe you can find some of that efke direct positive paper,
    flash it so the contrast isn't crazy and mix a monobath and see how it works :smile:

    good luck!

    john
     
  12. Farside

    Farside Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I recall something of the type being used in seaside resorts in the UK, back in the early 60s. They disappeared soon after, as the market dwindled for nearly instant pics. As Polaroids took hold and the large processing houses became established for holiday film rolls, the prices plummeted, so folk were less inclined to fork out a relatively large amount for pic of them on the Prom.
     
  13. Farside

    Farside Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Here's something I've just found; a very similar camera in use until recently... http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue8/mchoul.html paragraphs 5 and 6.
     
  14. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,444
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Funny thing about that article- the author asserts that this street photography via photographing on paper, then re-photographing again on paper to produce a positive may be a uniquely Indian thing, but I myself have seen it being done in Spain and in Latin America in recent years.