New here with question

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by HBPhoto, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. HBPhoto

    HBPhoto Member

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    Does someone have a link that can quickly identify a Burke and James Camera? My mother picked one up for me at an estate sale (I collect vintage) but cannot find where to accurately date or identify this one. It would APPEAR to be a B&J 1940 portrait camera.. it's wooden with metal (not brass) hinges and knobs - has an Ilex lens.. I thought it was a field camera but read that these were generally battleship grey, this one is a deep brown wood, maybe mahogany, and does not appear to have ever been painted. Any help would be appreciated..

    Thanks!

    ~Heather
     
  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Hi Heather,

    Welcome to APUG. Good to have you here.

    If you haven't already seen these, here are both the 1938 and 1942 Burke & James sales catalogs, each in two parts. Perhaps you can find your camera in one of these?

    Burke & James 1938 Catalog, Part 1 of 2
    Burke & James 1938 Catalog, Part 2 of 2

    Burke & James 1942 Catalog, Part 1 of 2
    Burke & James 1942 Catalog, Part 2 of 2

    Hope these might help.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2012
  3. HBPhoto

    HBPhoto Member

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    It looks like the Watson 5x7, but it doesn't say Watson anywhere - On the front of the camera is a metal plate that is stamped "Burke & James, Chicago" and under one of the wooden panels there's the number 1045 stamped onto the wood. Otherwise I don't see any identifiers.. Just stumped.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG

    If possible please post photographs of the camera.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hello Heather and welcome to APUG.
     
  6. HBPhoto

    HBPhoto Member

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    _MG_8255.jpg _MG_8259.jpg _MG_8262.jpg _MG_8258.jpg _MG_8257.jpg

    Here are some images of the camera - Thanks for the welcome!
     
  7. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Looks like a Watson to me. I've had B&J Grovers, Rembrandts, Princetons, and Commercial Views and yours doesn't match any of those.
     
  8. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I'm not an antique camera specialist, but I have to agree with smieglitz. Yours looks similar to the 5x7 Watson Portrait Camera at the top of (PDF) page 17 in the 1942 catalog, part 2 of 2. But it looks identical to the same model at the top of (PDF) page 29 in the 1938 catalog, part 2 of 2.

    Specifically, the metal reinforcing bar across the top of the front standard and the 5-screw flat metal baseplate at the bottom (where your image #5 shows the Burke & James stamp) are both shown in the 1938 model, but not shown in 1942.

    And looking at the 1938 version, is that your lens I see listed as a LUXOR 7½ in. F:7.5 for the princely sum of $23.50? (Listed under RECOMMENDED LENSES... in the right-hand column. Not the 7¼ inch listed on the left for the same price. A catalog misprint, perhaps?)

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2012
  9. HBPhoto

    HBPhoto Member

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    I thought the same thing - that it was a Watson - only issue being that all the ones I've seen online have a nameplate that says "Watson" on it, and this one didn't have any marking.. Maybe this is an earlier model than the ones I saw when I google searched it? The lens is in Ilex 7 1/2" f:7.5 5x7 Special Anastigmat.
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Where have you seen the nameplate located on other samples? Could it have been removed at some point in the past from your sample?

    Regarding the lens and shutter, maybe some of the more knowledgable posters on those topics will chime in. The lens specs themelves appear to match. But I don't know if an Ilex shutter and the term "Universal shutter" are describing the same or different shutter types.

    Ken
     
  11. HBPhoto

    HBPhoto Member

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  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    See www.graflex.com or The All-American Cameras, a review of Graflex®, Richard P. Paine, Alpha Publishing Company, Houston Texas, 1981
     
  13. HBPhoto

    HBPhoto Member

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    Took this photo today to show my collection to someone else - thought I'd post it here too. :wink: Now to get some film in my Graflex and see what she can do.. :smile:

    collection.jpg
     
  14. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Nice family of cameras you have there.
    If you have fun with the Graphlex and 4X5 try the 5X7 and see what a nice size neg that would make. (5X7 contact prints. Mmmmmmmm, tasty).
    Try either camera with enlarging paper as "film" it's cheap and can be developed in a common paper developer.,
    BTW older cameras like this frequently have pinholes in their bellows so check them before you start shooting.
    There's also a good thread going along about 8X10 paper negs, you may want check it out
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2012
  15. HBPhoto

    HBPhoto Member

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    The 5x7 DEFINITELY has holes in the bellows - either need to repair or replcace it. My Graflex is light-tight (as much as I can tell).. I'll check out the other thread. THanks! :smile: