Keith Camera Company

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by David H. Bebbington, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    As a new member from England, I would like to ask if anyone has info on the Keith Camera Company of Riverside CA. I have just acquired a 4x5" twin-lens on e-bay in great shape and intend to use this for a portrait project (which is what it was made for, I am sure). Camera is very well built, parts are machined from flat metal to avoid tooling costs. I would guess the camera is about 45 years old but would love to find out for sure.

    Regards,

    David H. Bebbington
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've seen these cameras. I gather that like the Camerz cameras, they were made large for school portrait photographers.
     
  3. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Keith Camera Company: No listinig in Riverside, CA telephone directory.
     
  4. rcoda

    rcoda Member

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    I have been asked to sell one of these twin-lens cameras for a friend of mine who has no 'bay or paypal account. Any idea what they are worth?
     
  5. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    of course, it all depends upon size and condition. If it has holes in the bellows, for example, it isn't worth much. Even in perfect condition, they don't seem to find much demand.
     
  6. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I had one for awhile. They're very nice cameras. I bought it from a local gun shot, of all places. I asked the owner, "How are the pictures." "Soft." He replied. I bet they were as there was a silk stocking taped on the back of the lens, and the ground glass was in upside down. :smile: The Ilex Paragon lens on mine was a fine performer. Chris Perez tested it, and it was surprisingly good. In good working shape I'd say they're worth about $200.
     
  7. Fred De Van

    Fred De Van Member

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    "Flat Metal" Sounds a lot like a GowlandFlex. The Camerz and its twins were made to use longrolls of wide film not 4x5. Peter Gowland is a Hollywood glamor photog who started making cameras about 50 years ago. I doubt that your is as old as you think because it took a while before they began to sell. About 500 total. I know Peter, his brother George, was a good friend, but have not seen either of them in about 10 years.

    Does your Camera look anything like this?
    [​IMG]


    Peter is still alive, at 93 and is still selling cameras. http://www.petergowland.com/camera/index.html

    His photography is at http://www.petergowland.com/

    Check him out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2009
  8. Fred De Van

    Fred De Van Member

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    Gowlandflex Glamour Camera 4x5
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2009
  9. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    A Keith Camera TL camera looks a little like a Gowlandflex, although the viewing screen is on the back.
     
  10. hombrec

    hombrec Member

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    New to this site... go by 'hombrec' ... am a LF photographer, currently buy/sell online FT... collect and use lots of different vintage photo gear... often buy from similar folks.. recently bought a "lot" [lots of items] from a serious former photo store owner/collector/camera repair person [he was multi talented, even claimed to own the copyright on some obscure camera listed in McKeowns]... but to make this short now.. have what I believe is a
    70mm Film Back for a Keith Camera??:confused::confused::confused: I recall asking this guy what this back would fit, and think he said a lot of cameras have this same type back... ?

    I am hoping someone can help identify what it is , what it fits and approximately what its value range is, given
    todays market... I already know I can just throw it on ebay and pray... but prefer to have more information before I resort to the "Hail Mary" approach... :smile:

    ... attached are some pictures, interesting, there is FILM still in the capsule, I did NOT open it up, nor do I know how to [yet] ... figured it might add to the mystery of this item, for someone who can actually use it...

    thanks in advance...
     

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  11. hombrec

    hombrec Member

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    Note: after writing & submitting information... noted size of film opening is: 2.5" x 3.75" , not sure what type of camera this fits>>? any help works... thanks
     
  12. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    It might fit a 4"x5" Graflok back, in which case it will fit some but far from all 4x5 press and view cameras.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG hombrec
     
  14. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I have a Keith 5X7 camera with a back designed to give 2 images from one sheet of film. It is the only camera made by Keith that is listed in my edition of McKeown's.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2013
  15. jadphoto

    jadphoto Member

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    Many years ago I worked in a portrait studio and we used Keith Cameras. Ours were all 4x5s and we used 70mm long roll film backs for color and 5" wide roll film for black and white. The studio was in Ontario, CA only 20 miles or so from the Keith shop in Riverside.

    The cameras were well made, very reliable, and the parallax correction system was quite accurate. They do indeed look a lot like the Gowlandflex cameras.

    JD