Ive got an OLD 8x10 studio camera...help identify?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by avenfoto, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. avenfoto

    avenfoto Member

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    So I run a digital studio in Orange Park FL, and when we acquired the buisness 6 years ago, it came with all interior fixings. In the attic was an antique 8x10 large format camera... it has a few markings, and appears to be in decent condition.

    From what I can discern, it is a Wollensak-Rochester No.6 ? Does this sound correct? It also has a "beach multi-focal series A " lens on it with the inscription
    "beach multi-focal series a focus 16" no 487 made by wollensak-rochester usa pat appl'd"

    the aperature appears to still work, with the action being very smooth.
    the stops are labeled 6,7,8,9,10,11 and 11.7

    overall the whole camera is in pretty good condition. can I still use this camera? the rear slide mechanism still works but there is definatley something missing...
    how much is something like this worth? I can post pictures if anyone is interested.. thanks for your time... -b
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Post pictures. It would be interesting.

    If it's all there, it's usable. The bellows may have leaks, but that can be patched if it's not too bad, or replaced if necessary.

    The lens may be worth something, since it's a historic soft-focus lens. The number series may refer to the soft focus settings, rather than the stops. I forget if the Beach Series A is an adjstable soft focus. There is probably a description of the lens in the documents on cameraeccentric.com.

    The camera is not likely to be worth as much, because shipping is usually difficult with these studio cameras, so it's worth more if it's, say, in New York City where there is more local demand for unusual cameras.
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    That's the lens. The camera likely has a plate of some sort to.
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Pictures would be helpful. Absolutely useable. That Wollensak Beach 16" is a very desireable lens. The numbers are the aperture scale and I've yet to find the literature that describes the wierd system but you would find 11.7 = f4.5, 11 = f5.6, 10 = f8, 9 = f11, 8 = f16, 7 = f22, 6 = f32

    Hard to make any $$ with it because they are from an era when the value of time spent is quite different from now.
     
  5. eric

    eric Member

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    Perhaps lenses designed for Florida were called "Beach" :smile:
     
  6. ragc

    ragc Member

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    You are probabably missing the filmholders, which are inserted behind the ground glass. Post photos...

    In general, American cameras will have large front frames and wood rails, the front hinged so it swings up, the back rail (if present) removeable. Brand names are Gundlach Korona, Ansco, Kodak, etc. European and Asian cameras are smaller and lighter, and generally designed around the English style; foldable, with a large diameter tripod rail mount, and built-in extensions, much thinner and lighter. These extensions are geared and "stack" under the camera into a compact base when not extended.

    Both types are usable, but the American style is definitely less portable. I am attaching photos of two examples: a half-plate Japanese Asanuma King 1 and an American 5x7 Gundlach Korona View.

    [​IMG]
    Asanuma Shokai King 1 (Japanese half-plate)

    [​IMG]
    5x7 Gundlach Korona View (American)
     
  7. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Having just purchased a Beach Multi-Focal lens, I have some information given to me. The 16 in. No. 7 model covers 11x14. It says, "For those who prefer a soft focus effect in portraiture, the Series A produces a pleasing quality that almost entirely eliminates retouching and the smoothening processes.
     
  8. avenfoto

    avenfoto Member

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    photos...

    attached are the requested photos...

    badge1_lores is on the front of the body
    badge2_lores is on the side of the focus mechanism
    lens2hot_lores i took the curves way up to bring out the engraving on the lens itself..
    lens3_lores shows the aperature mechanisms (and quite a bit of reflections, its been a long day..)

    and the rest are fairly self-explanatory...

    the bellows definatley leak, as there are holes in the majority of flex corners

    thanks for your help
     

    Attached Files:

  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So the camera is a Century No. 6.

    The back looks like it's designed to take other backs of different sizes and has some sort of movable masks for taking multiple shots on a single sheet of film.

    To make it usable, I suspect someone would just remove the back and build a back to take modern filmholders. The maximum size is probably 11x14".

    The lens looks great. You could get good money for it on eBay or here in the classifieds.

    The camera is going to be a hard sell, since it doesn't have a terribly workable back, is heavy to ship, and needs bellows replacement and a certain amount of general restoration. You could keep it around for ornamental purposes, either on the stand, or some people turn them into coffee tables by putting them on the floor with a sheet of glass on top.
     
  10. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    That back looks like it was designed to take 4 vertical shots on a sheet of 5x7 film. This "multi-shot" approach was quite popular for portrait photographers. A way of economizing film use. More common was the sliding 5x7 back that took 2 images per sheet of film.
     
  11. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Your style of camera is called a "tail-board camera" and was one of the most common types of large format cameras in the 19th and very early 20th century.
     
  12. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I've got a century no. 7. It's a nice camera. These cameras are simple and extremely sturdy. Someone like Richard Ritter would have no problem making a back for it. I have an 8x10 and 5x7 for mine, and possible a 4x5 as well.

    If you just want to use it, you could easily make a back out of baltic birch plywood and a spare back from just about any camera.

    I bet the lens would be great for portraits. Does it have a packard shutter mounted behind the lens?
     
  13. avenfoto

    avenfoto Member

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    sorry for the questions but i have no analog experience whatsoever..with the exception of a few years with a nikon n90s...

    1-do you have contact information for mr ritter?
    2- do you have more information about making one myself?
    3, no no shutter of anykind, when the lens is removed you can see all the way through the bellows to the front of the back..


    im rather interested in using this camera in the studio, im assuming ill be developing them myself? is there a faq somewhere as to how? again, sorry for the ignorant questions... thanks
     
  14. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I have a complete 8X10 back for sale in the ads here at APUG

    http://www.apug.org/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=4473&sort=1&cat=500&page=1

    You would take this back and do whatever little carpentry was required for it to go on your camera and you'd be ready to go with 8X10.

    Here are a couple of pics of the packard shutter installation in my old Kodak 2D. A Packard shutter simply sits behind the lens and opens and closes by pneumatic pressure. They're extremely versatile and reliable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When you have a minute and you're bored, flip through some of my web pages. Many images and portraits made with a camera just like yours. In fact the portrait of Jon Wilson on this page was made with a 16" Beach and an 11X14 Deardorff.
     
  15. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    See Richard Ritter's site at: http://www.lg4mat.net/

    Jim Galli's back would be fairly easy to attach. If you bought a back, and sent it with the back plate of the camera to Richard, he'd do a professional job.

    Regarding making it your self, remember that a camera is nothing but a light-tight box with some adjustment. Look how the current back is attached. You can either dismantle/cut out a section of the old back and attach a back, such as Jim's, or you can make something that replaces the back. I'd have to have a look at my camera to see how this is done. Remember that you want to be able to change orientation. The time I did something similar, I used a Sinar 4x5 frame and back. The frame allowed me to change the back from horizontal to vertical. I simply machined a piece of plywood such that it would fit on an old Agfa 5x7 camera. This worked perfectly fine, but it looked a little odd.

    Regarding using it, check out your library. They often have books about how to use the view camera. (Steve Simmons has one, and there are others. Sinar used to publish some neice books on view camera technique.) It really isn't that hard, especially with a portrait camera. You won't be using many movements. You'll only have back tilt, swing and shift. The hardest part will be to get good focus. With big lenses like this the depth of field is very small, and if the subject moves a bit they'll be out of focus.
     
  16. freygr

    freygr Member

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    Well making bellows for that camera would be very easy compared to the small bellows I made. I would take a couple evenings after you got the materials. The ground glass if you grid it your self would take an evening also. But purchasing the Bellows Back and Ground Glass would be very costly.
     
  17. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    ""Perhaps lenses designed for Florida were called "Beach" "' Naw, a beach is called a beach cause I was married to one and the name is appropriate--she's a beach--what more can I say?
     
  18. avenfoto

    avenfoto Member

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    interested in selling the lens...

    so times are tough(er), and i need to purchase some more practical bigticket items, so id be interested in selling the lens in the images.
    its been properly stored since i originally posted. i can take more images if requested.

    does anyone have an estimate of the worth? id be open to a fair deal to anyone....
     
  19. goamules

    goamules Member

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    PM sent.

    Garrett