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  1. #1

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    Can Anyone Tell Me What Kind Of Camera This Is?

    I got it for $10.00 the other day, but I don't know much about it...I was hoping you guys could tell me more. It says on the lens "Ernemann doppel objektiv" Everything works on the camera, it has O, Z, and has 1/100, 1/50 and 1/25 for shutter speeds.

    Pictures...






  2. #2

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    Looks like an old plate camera from the early 1900s, similar to the Zeiss Maximar and a few dozen other varieties. I'm not too familiar with holders, but yours might be a plate holder with a film insert which would let you shoot cut film (you might have to cut down 4x5 or something to fit it). Looks like the darkslide is kind of bent up though, maybe you can straighten it.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
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  3. #3
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    Yup, It's a plate camera from early last century. There are lots of them out there (I have three, and I wasn't even trying to collect them!) The plate holder you show doesn't seem to have the film insert - was there more? Do you have the ground glass back as well? If not, it may be possible to pick these things up; they often get orphaned. You don't indiocate the size of the camera or the focal length of the lens. It's most likely a 6.5 x 9 or a 6 x 9 (close to 2.5x3.5) or a 9x12. Film is available for either size and there are roll film backs that fit.

    Now for the bad news: there are lots of different size/style backs, and you have to get the ones that fit. If Ole chimes in on this thread, he can tell you just about anything you want to know about this kind of camera -- he's been educating me for the past year or so. And check the plate camera sub-forum for threads like this one. You can pick up quite a bit through other people's questions.

  4. #4

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    The back is 4 1/2 X 3 1/2. And no there wasn't anything else that came with it.

  5. #5
    Ole
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    There isn't much more I can say about this camera right now - maybe when I get home (next week?).

    To guess at the correct type of holder (there are several almost identical but non-interchangeable types), I need to see the other side.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  6. #6
    Ole
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    Addendum: 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" - that's probably 9x12cm. So the lens is probably a 135mm or 150mm. I don't have my library with me, so I don't know what kind of lens the Ernemann "Doppel-Objektiv Serie A" is, but I know I can find out.

    The holder looks like it might be "Normalfalz", but it could be some other type.

    I would guess at early 1920's for this camera, and for some reason the shutter looks to me like it could be a Koilos. "O" is "Offen", or "B"; "Z" is "Zeit", or "T"...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #7
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    The design looks very similar to my Zeiss Ikon plate camera which has a 135mm lens, but in my case the lens is a CZ Jena 135/4.5. And mine features advanced wireframing technology.

    Been meaning to fit a rollfilm back to the little guy, it's kinda cute. I mean, who wouldn't stop and smile for a camera like that?
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #8

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    I looked up the lens in the Vade Mecum. The Doppel (the "Objektiv" part just means "lens") seems to be a doublet, as the name would suggest; the text says it dates "at least from 1902", is found in an f/11 version (which seems to be what you have) on something called a Simplex from 1926, and "was often the low cost option on cameras such as the Heag 0, 00, 1, 11 of the period".

    It looks like the Simplex was a low-end 9x12 folder, which is what you have---I'm not sure whether it was an Ernemann model or existed only after Ernemann was assimilated by Zeiss.

    These old folders are pretty fun cameras, but don't expect any miracles out of the lens. I think Freestyle is the only US source of 9x12 film. Plates turn up on eBay once in a blue moon, but to shoot film in it you'll need a sheath that fits inside the plate holder you have. In principle they'd be easy to fabricate out of sheet metal, but while it's obvious how to do that when you see one, I don't think it would be so easy without a model.

    The different back formats are supremely complicated and are probably the main topic of discussion over on the plate camera forum. It looks to me like your camera can probably share holders and backs with Voigtlaenders. In my experience, the easiest way to accumulate film holders and backs is to lurk on eBay for dodgy cameras with good backs. And then there you are with a bunch of plate cameras...for good or ill.

    -NT

  9. #9
    Ole
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    That's correct - to get more holders I got more cameras, then I got more holders to get the film inserts, and then another camera with holders and extra inserts, and...

    I got one camera with good holders and a cracked lens, and then I found a good lens of exactly the same type so I suddenly had two good cameras. So I usually bring only one of the cameras, but 12 holders.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    That's correct - to get more holders I got more cameras, then I got more holders to get the film inserts, and then another camera with holders and extra inserts, and...
    Yes, you can see how this sort of thing could start an avalanche. I've been fortunate to get no mismatches---everything I've bought blind has turned out to be the same -falz, I think Normal-, but one mismatched camera could have sent me out to find a whole new set of backs to work with it, and so on.

    Was it you, Ole, who had a closet full of plate cameras breed unexpectedly and produce a miniature one?

    -NT

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