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bdial
10-28-2007, 09:48 PM
A friend who is not a photographer just handed me a 19th century Rochester OPtical Co folding plate camera. It looks to be a 4x5, and is a Self-Casing folder, from what I've gathered from Google hits.
The shutter functions, there is no focal length marked on the lens, apertures are marked from 8 to 64. The lens has some haze, and some separation, I'm not sure about fungus.

I'm curious if anyone in APUG is familiar with these and could perhaps help me determine it's value, or recommend dealers or collectors I should contact.
Thanks
Barry

Jim Noel
10-28-2007, 10:11 PM
MOre specific info is necessary to try to estimate a price. Is it truly a plate camera, or will it take standard film holders? Pics of theback open and closed would help. The lens is "apparently" marked in U.S (not United States) stops, but this is nit a certainty without seeing it. Ball park guess would only be a wild one at this point. It is a little rare in this condition, but not extremely wo.

Photographica
10-28-2007, 10:17 PM
I'll go out on a limb and say that it looks like a Poco. The Poco was originally the design of the Rochester Camera Manufacturing Co. not "Optical." Around the turn of the century (1900), Optical and Camera merged with each other and several companies to form Rochester Optical and Camera Company. Around 1903, Eastman bought the merged company and changed the name to Rochester Optical Company. In 1907 Eastman added "Division of Eastman Kodak" to the name. The Poco camera line survived these changes. I think your camera is from the 1903 to 1907 time during the second Rochester Optical Company era.

bdial
10-28-2007, 10:59 PM
Thanks for the quick response.
It does not take standard holders, and has no holders with it.
The inside GG opening measures 6 11/16 in x 4 3/4.
The line across the GG in the photos is a cobweb, the GG is intact.
The number embossed on the back is 18682.
The bellows looks to be in good shape overall. It has some separation of the inside lining at the bottom. It's still supple however. The exterior leather is pretty well shot though.

Whiteymorange
10-29-2007, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the quick response.
It does not take standard holders, and has no holders with it.
The inside GG opening measures 6 11/16 in x 4 3/4.
The line across the GG in the photos is a cobweb, the GG is intact.
The number embossed on the back is 18682.
The bellows looks to be in good shape overall. It has some separation of the inside lining at the bottom. It's still supple however. The exterior leather is pretty well shot though.

Barry,

I have a close cousin of this camera. It would have come with film holders that stored inside the case - between the GG and the viewing window in the back. Mine has the holders but is in much worse condition than yours. Dick Welch collects this type of camera and can give you more info. I'll PM his number to you.

Here (http://www.nwmangum.com/Kodak/Rochester.html) is a great history of the Rochester camera companies. As you can see, the naming of that particular company gives clues as to the manufacture date. I have to say that I'm not sure it's worth all that much, but Dick will set you straight.

luvcameras
01-14-2008, 02:50 PM
1893 Rochester Optical Premo A. Can send catalogue page if you wish

Dan
antiquecameras.net

luvcameras
01-16-2008, 07:02 AM
Catalogue page here

http://books.google.com/books?id=gjYCAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA53&dq=rochester+optical&as_brr=3#PRA1-PA25,M2

Current ebay values run $ 150-250. It is a beautiful example of the early folding plate cameras, but not rare by any means. Read an article I wrote on these cameras..... http://members.aol.com/dcolucci/vidi.htm

Dan

Dan

bdial
01-16-2008, 07:35 AM
Dan,
Thank you, this is very helpful.
The catalog page makes me more curioius on the sizing, given the GG size (6 11/16 x 4 3/4), this camera is a 5x7 model? A 4x5 holder definently does not fit, I don't think I have any 5x7 holders to try out.

The link for your article doesn't work BTW.

Thanks,
Barry

luvcameras
01-16-2008, 10:18 AM
yes, its a 5x7 model. GG sizes are not always exactly stated size....same way as lumber today...a 2 inch wide board is only 1.75ish in reality.


link works for me :>

Dan

Whiteymorange
01-16-2008, 05:00 PM
Dan,
Thank you, this is very helpful.
The catalog page makes me more curioius on the sizing, given the GG size (6 11/16 x 4 3/4), this camera is a 5x7 model? A 4x5 holder definently does not fit, I don't think I have any 5x7 holders to try out.

The link for your article doesn't work BTW.

Thanks,
Barry

I'll bring one "of an appropriate age" to the auction, if you'd like me to, Barry.

The link works for me as well

bdial
01-16-2008, 09:52 PM
Hmmm, that means I have to go to the auction.;)
That would be great, see you there, I'll bring extra money.

Dan, I'd hate to blame it on Safari, one of your links in another thread works ok for me, but this one doesn't. I'll try from a pc.

Thanks Dan, Whitey.

luvcameras
01-18-2008, 05:16 AM
Please do let me know about the link and Safari..... I use Mozilla myself.....

Best
Dan