Nice antique 5X7 field camera

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Wakuta, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Wakuta

    Wakuta Member

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    I'm trying to find out any info on this fine old camera. Make , year made or anythng would be helpful. The base doesn't have a place to attach a trypod. Instead the matchng legs attach to the bottom by compressing the legs togeather. Click on my link to see pictures. http://s685.photobucket.com/albums/vv217/rw_wakuta/
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I identified a very similar camera on the LFPinfo Forum about a year ago, I think is was made in Japan.

    Will have to see if I can find my post there, at the time I'd just been looking at an identical camera on Ebay. It's the chromed parts that mean it's not British, but it isn't a US made camera.

    Ian
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Same camera, made by Okuhara Camera MFG of Osaka, see this page and this photo. There are no dates but most likely 1920's/30's, the design is English style rather than American.

    Unfortunately the original photo is no longer there but it was the same model. Oh & welcome to APUG BTW.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2009
  4. Uncle Jim

    Uncle Jim Member

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    Hi wakuta,

    I have the big brother to your camera. It's 8 x 15. The metal work and catches that lock the back and front standard are the same. Mine came from India. There is a very small decal on the back that reads 'Vageeswari Camera Works, Alleepiy, India. There was a very similar 5 x 7 in ebay. It sold a few days ago. Hope this helps.

    uncle jim
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Jim, there are some slight subtle differences between the Vageeswari Camera's and the Okuhara's, but as they are both copied from an earlier British camera they are remarkably similar.

    However the Vageeswari's usually have brass plates on the front/top corners of the focus rail, the ones on this camera appear to be set into the wood. It's not easy to be 100% conclusive, it's nice when you can trace a camera's history back to it's original owner.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2009
  6. studiocarter

    studiocarter Member

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    Wakuta, thanks for posting that link to photobucket. That was my task for today, find a free place to host my images instead of hosting them myself and paying fees. Cool.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiocarter/ see my camera here
    http://s822.photobucket.com/albums/zz148/studiocarter/ That is of my studio art; photographs and cameras will be added; this was just a start to see if it a good service for me.

    I have the big BIG brother the the 8x15, a 12x15. Woo, Woo. Still needs work though. Lens board wood is 5/16 and my Baltic Birch plywood isn't that thick. Cardboard? Felt? Bellows needs to be checked.
    Any information on the Vageeswari Camera Company would be welcome here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2009
  7. studiocarter

    studiocarter Member

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    The following is a quoted email from the man in India on ebay who sold me my Vageeswary cameras:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2009
  8. r_a_feldman

    r_a_feldman Member

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    There was a name plate on the back of yours, but it is missing. Your camera could be an Okuhara, as it is very similar to the 4 Okuhara cameras that I have seen pictured on the Web and the one that I own. However, it is not identical, although all of the Okuharas I have seen pictured are different. The main difference is that none of the others has the wooden ground glass protector.

    Your camera is probably half-plate (4.75 x 6.5 inches ), not 5x7.

    I do not know how old the cameras are. I emailed the library in Osaka, and they searched a number of business directories from the early 20th century for me, but they could not find any information on the Okuhara Camera Mfg. Co., Ltd. There were a number of companies that made similar cameras, including Chartan and Tanakaichi Seisakujo (Tokyo Daito). It looks like someone was making and wholesaling the metal fittings (supports, clips, tripod turntable, etc.) and a number of small shops (possibly woodworkers) were building the cameras with these parts and putting their own label on them. The same parts could have been making it to India, also.

    My camera is pictured at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showpost.php?p=463550&postcount=475 and at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showpost.php?p=475856&postcount=6 .

    Please let us know if you can find more information about the Okuhara cameras.

    Bob

    Edit -- Your camera has a metal "arrow" plate on the side of the back, like the Chartan pictured in a camera history book from the George Eastman House (I don't have the reference handy, unfortunately). None of the Okuharas I have seen have this arrow.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2009