Is this a homemade enlarger?

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by winger, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    A friend bought this at a flea market because the tag says "antique box camera." Just curious if anyone has any thoughts on it. It's obviously an enlarger, but was it homemade or ?
    It's nearly 6 feet tall and the lower platform moves up and down (though lopsided because there's a pin only on one side).
     

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  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The bottom looks like a camera. Portrait camera? Old studio camera? Can't tell. The top part was grafted on.
     
  3. Jed Freudenthal

    Jed Freudenthal Member

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    I made enlargers like this about 50 years ago. It was more common to use a plate camera for the optical part. The pictures were taken with the same plate camera. The camera has been used as a camera and as a part of an enlarger.

    Jed
     
  4. DannL

    DannL Member

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  5. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Makes sense. There are also partially broken wooden, frame-like pieces that slide back and forth. It was wedged into the top part like it was stored there. There isn't a spot where they'd fit now. The lower part does look like a camera, but the top piece is actually metal. It doesn't quite look like something the average person could make. The lower section and the rail that the top is covering are the same wood, but the stand is slightly different. That goes along with the idea of it being an adapted camera.
    None of the parts (even the lens) have any name on them.
    Does anyone have a guess what (if anything) something like this is worth? Is it considered historical since it has no name on it?
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    What size is the camera? No info on the lens at all?

    To give you an idea of how little/much big things are worth. I bought a studio camera with stand and a portrait lens. The camera had a 4x5 back instead of the plate back it left the factory with. The whole kit cost me less then half the worth of the lens. OTOH nobody else was willing to even go look at the thing.
     
  7. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    There may have been more on the lens at some point, but it's pretty deteriorated. I can make out likely f-stops of 8 to 45, but no other markings. If the piece that slides in above the bellows is any indication, it was probably a 4x5 or smaller (I can't find a ruler right now). There was actually a negative in there and I scanned it, but on a different computer. It was smaller than 4x5 but bigger than 120.
     

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  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Judging from the picture of the negative stage, it appears to me as a purpose built enlarger rather than an adapted camera.
    There doesn't seem to be a convenient method of removing the bellows to change into camera mode visible.
    Also the lens board is held on by two visible & two not visible hooks, which if used in a horizontal position would tend to release the lens board.
     
  9. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Do you mean the 2 hooks hanging down on the side? 'cause those are to hold the front section up to the back and close the bellows (if it was a camera, then to hold the front standard to the back standard). If it were put horizontal, the lens board would move, but not fall out (there's something behind it). The lens can (theoretically) move from front to back as well by about 2 inches.
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Sure looks like someone grafted a Magic Lantern projector onto the back of an old studio camera - looks almost like one of the german "riesekameras" that had limited shift/rise/fall movements via a moving lens panel on an otherwise rigid front standard. In any case, looks beastly solid. Might be able to have some fun with that.