Seneca Box Camera

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by the-new-old-school, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. the-new-old-school

    the-new-old-school Member

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    My father came across an interesting camera in an antique mall near my home and I haven't been able to find all that much info about it. It is a Seneca Kao Sr. 4x5, or 5x4 as the brits put it, box camera. I know it was made somewhere between 1908 and 1916 from what info I could find. The tag on it says circa ~1910. I am considering getting it for mainly a show piece, but it is very light so I may try and actually shoot it. The overall condition is pretty great considering it is ~100 years old. I guess my main concern is that I don't want to overpay for it. Since these seem to be fairly scarce it makes pricing them kind of hard. I did come across a closed auction on ebay that had it priced for about half of what the seller is asking for, but the ebay one was in worse shape. Just thought I would get some opinions from you fine people here.

    Pics of the Seneca (pleas forgive the quality since all I had on me at the time was my mobile)
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  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    hi

    i have the sears version of the same camera.
    mine's from around 1896 or so ... when i bought
    it from the big auction site ( 10years ago? ) it cost
    about 25-30$. this size box camera isn't too scarce,
    but just the same you don't see them every day either ...
    i love mine and takes modern film holders.
    i wish i had the 8x10 version with a focus-hood/chimney.
    if you haven't seen boxcameras.com
    ( its gone now, but mr peabody and sherman's way-back machine can help you )
    there is some info on the camera there ...

    have fun !

    john
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011
  3. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    You can expect an antique store to charge more for "antique value" of a camera. They're a retail business dealing in collectible decorator items, so you pay a premium. If it's in good shape, try haggling a little. They might come down 10%.

    Peter Gomena
     
  4. the-new-old-school

    the-new-old-school Member

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    Thanks for the link John. Also glad to know that it will take modern film holders.

    Peter I know that the antique malls/stores will have a bit of a mark up on them. I'm pretty sure this particular store is a consignment type shop that just rents the spaces out to people with stuff to sell. I may still get this.

    Does anyone know the speed of the shutter on these things? It sounds like it is right around the 1/30th mark maybe a touch slower. Also any guess as to the aperture size? I'm guessing f8 or f11.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    the shutter is somewhere between 30+50th S
    and aperture is around what you said, at least its around that on mine ...

    there is a bulb setting ( B + I ) and a tripod mount ...
    and there are just a pair of springs that hold the film holders in there,
    so if you have a 545/545i polaroid holder and some polaroid film
    you can have fun :smile:

    enjoy your new camera !
    john