Rescued from a skip, but Is this worth saveing ?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by SkipDoctor, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. SkipDoctor

    SkipDoctor Member

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    Hi Guys
    I recently rescued a camera from a neighbours skip
    It is a military camera, and is stamped with the Air ministry logo
    Its a big lump and complete with tripod my neighbour says the camera was
    Used to photograph aircraft from the ground during the second world war
    The camera also has the inscription "Ground Camera" on the base
    I would like some infomation on the camera if possable, and is it worth saving
    Or should it be thrown back in my neighbours skip before its taken away
    I can upload photos if required
    Thanks for any help
    Mike
     
  2. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Take the lens out at least- it's probably a lens that can cover large format of some sort and probably very fast.
     
  3. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    domaz made a good point...there's almost always something worth saving in some found camera-like objects...and it's usually the glass if it's in quasi-decent shape. Please post a photo if you can - I'm anxious to see what it looks like. I've seen a few cameras of that military breed around and I'd be happy to see another - is it British then? Let's have a look!
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Hi Mike, welcome to APUG.

    There's not enough details. Williamson made ground cameras. US made Anniversary Speed Graphics were used by the RAF as Ground cameras.

    You need to post some photo's, it could be useless, or it might be very interesting :D

    Kodak (UK) made Ground Camera's for the Air Ministry they are almost the same as the Commercial View cameras usually Whole Plate, and now I remember AW Young, Harringay Photo Supplies, Marston & Heard etc (all ex Government & Military Surplus stockists) used to sell an ex RAF Ground camera.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2010
  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    If it's in decent shape, maybe some collector would be interested. Rather than toss it, I'd advertise it and see what happens. Though knowing myself I'd just keep it.:rolleyes:
     
  6. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Yes, save it. Very rare. Un, what is it?
     
  7. SkipDoctor

    SkipDoctor Member

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    Hi Guys
    These a a couple of photos of the camera, I,m not sure if any bits are missing
    Or even if it would work again, and is it a camera for photographing aircraft ?
    Thanks for any help
    Mike

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I can't see the photos - did the attachment work?
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well look at the serial number 167.

    A strange utilitarian View camera but quite usable, it looks all there.

    Most RAF camps had photography departments, training manuals etc had to be prepared for all sorts of equipment maintenance, also for Air defence equipment.

    So yes it might well have been used to photograph aircraft, but static, undergoing maintenance, repair etc. But it's not likely for photography comabt from the ground.

    Ian
     
  10. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Nice haul from the trash heap. Definitely should be rescued. Good find, I never find goodies like that in our trash. Here in America we would call it "Dumpster Diving".:rolleyes:
     
  11. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Who on earth would throw that in a skip?!!!!!

    Looks complete and with a bit of servicing quite probably very usable.

    I recognise the tripod, I have one just the same, ex- military surplus. Using that as a size guide the camera must be pretty big. I'm guessing wholeplate? (6.5 by 8.5 inch plates?)

    If you don't want it get it on eebeegeebeebay.... got to be good for a few pennies.

    Well saved, that man :wink:
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Looks like a good cleaning and CLA would put it serviceable. Definitely not one for the bin.
     
  13. Martin Reed

    Martin Reed Advertiser Advertiser

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    That brings back memories - I once worked in Harringay Photographic, in North London, which dealt extensively in ex-government cameras, Williamson was the principal make of aerial camera we had through, but I only remember seeing one of these Williamson view cameras, so they're pretty thin on the ground.

    From my memories of handling the camera it was a pretty nasty experience, very heavy, & limited movements. Not much fun in the field, but it would still make a good static portrait camera. However well worth preserving and belongs in a collection somewhere.

    The format will be whole-plate, 6.5x8.5", still a standard size on the Ilford ULF cutting program.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Harringay Photographic, AW Young and Marston & Heard, were all great shops, Aladdin's dens of equipment, film, paper, and obscure photographic items. It's a real shame there's nowhere like them now.

    Odd to think I might have bumped into you way back then Martin :D

    Many of us cut our teeth with ex Government films and papers from those stores, I even bought FP3 although it was a bit long in the tooth, but OK :D

    Ian
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Great find. Now go back there and find one for me!

    Steve
     
  16. Martin Reed

    Martin Reed Advertiser Advertiser

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    Well, there are still the linear descendants of Harringay Photographic. The history in as few sentences as possible; Harringay Photo was set up after WW2 by Frank Knichel in partnership with Harry Madden, trading extensively on the massive amount of photo equipment & materials coming ex-government. This golden goose stopped delivering the eggs in the mid 70's, and the partners were retiring age so Harringay Photo was sold to the 'Phototec' setup - it didn't last long after that. Phototec was the umbrella company that had been created to encompass A W Young, Marston & Heard etc, but the company was expanding just as the hobbyist market was changing direction & soon had to downsize quickly.

    My boss when I was at Harringay before the sale was Roy Knichel, Frank's son, & when the firm was sold he set up RK Photographic, now in Potters Bar & still a firm part of the photo establishment.

    I had decamped to Goldfinger in Muswell Hill, and that being something of a one-trick pony setup dependent on Agfa material had it's meeting with destiny in due course. After that I started Silverprint aiming to keep the base as broad as possible & have managed to survive quarter of a century since then. So there's still me & Roy trying to keep some of that flavour going. But I know what you mean about the ex-gov shops of that time, it was what got so many people started in photography. Brunnings in Holborn was another great old shop finishing around that time, a photo punters paradise.
     
  17. NormanV

    NormanV Member

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    I remember Harringay Photographic. In 1969 I bought a Ross Xpres 6" f4 Wide Angle lens, brand new for £15. I still have the lens and it is fitted on my recently completed 5" x 7" camera. It is very sharp but a bit low in contrast.
    Happy days!
     
  18. NormanV

    NormanV Member

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    I mean it is very sharp but low in contrast!
     
  19. Martin Reed

    Martin Reed Advertiser Advertiser

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    No multicoating back then - single coating if you were lucky!

    What interests me about that sort of setup like Harringay was the way specialist activities had sprawled out to encompass every conceivable way of extracting cash out of what arrived on the van from the photo auctions. It was like nothing on the carcass was wasted. There were 2 in house engineers to turn equipment around - bulk film would be spooled down into smaller lengths - roll paper would be sheeted & then cut to various sheet sizes. 16mm film would have extra sprockets cut so that it could be sold as standard 8mm. It was all stale, I should point out! But there was hardly ever a complaint.

    The premises had grown organically so that they occupied about 10,000 sq feet spread through adjacent shops & alleys. And the whole setup, which was probably quite like similar enterprises back into Victorian times, became financially unsound within a short space of a few years, a great reminder how quickly situations can change in photography.
     
  20. andrew plume

    andrew plume Member

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    Mike, hi, what's the lens on this rescued beast of your's please?

    fairly common, the 'AM' logo, it was stamped on plenty of Ross lenses at that time


    andrew
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It looks to have a shutter, possibly a Dalmeyer fitted internally behind the lens. Dalmeyer made Packard shutters under licence in the UK, they are in my 1940 Kodak catalogue.

    Ross subcontracted some AM lens manufacture to other companies, they had taken over control of the Carl Zeiss (London) optical works at the start of WWI. The first AM lenses date back to then, I have a WWI Ross 151mm f16 AM unmarked"Protar" which covers 10x8.

    Ian
     
  22. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Looks good to me. I would clean it up and use it!
     
  23. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    As long as you have the room and can use it I say use it, I only wish I could find stuff like that in the trash.
     
  24. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If you need another opinion, i will add mine to the "Keep it, and use it" vote. :wink:
     
  25. stuart goodman

    stuart goodman Member

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    martin
    i think these nostalgia trips should carry a health warning!

    whatever happened to fred and jim dave and all the rest?:cry: