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  1. #1
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The Ultimate Portable LF cameras . . . . . . .

    No not a Littleman . . . My 9x12cm Patent Etui's arrived in the UK a few days before me.

    Wow, what wonderful engineering, small, light, and they fit a pocket, well a big pocket, but they are a fraction of the size weight of their European competitors. Compared to a Orion Werks at 1245gms the Etui weighs 815 gms and is slimmer and more portable.


    The silky smooth mechanism allows the camera to fold into it's case - Etui in German -with no room to spare.


    Once open the camera is quick to set up and use.


    The 9x12cm format is only slightly smaller than 5"x4" (10.1x12.7cm) but in comparison to a Speed or Crown Graphic (2.4 kg) the Patent Etui is a third of the weight and about a 1/5th of the size when folded.

    The Tessar lens serial no indicates it was made around 1927, the Compur shutter has a 5 figure serial number which is odd, and has paper aperture blades.

    The second Etui was described as "Korpus" with no lens or back, it had obviously been opened with a can opener, however it tapped back into shape with ease and it's now hard to spot any damage. This camera is to be a user. I had hoped to fit a Eurynar but its Compur shutter is much to large, so I'm back to finding a small compact coated 135mm lens that will fit


    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 10-22-2008 at 03:43 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: correction

  2. #2
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Fantastic little things these, Ian! Never knew such compact LF camera's were made. Must be fun to start using them, and the baffled faces of the people surrounding you when you open your "cigar-box", only to reveal a camera!
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  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Marco, the story of the manufacturers is also very interesting. They went on to make medium format SLR's in the 30's but as Jews weren't safe in Nazi Germany. Ironically the company was swapped with a US citizen of German origin, Charles Noble, in 1938, and the new owner and his son were later imprisoned in the former Nazi camp, Buchenwald, by the Communists after the war. They regained the factory after the fall of the Berlin wall and it still makes Noblex cameras today.

    The company switched to 35mm cameras in 1939 making the highly innovative Praktina's and later the Praktisix, in the 60's they merged with the East German part of Contax to form Pentacon.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    I love my 9x12 Patent Etui with the dial rim Tessar but it is hard to find the film holders; I only have three original ones. Film supply in 9x12 is limited too.

    I would like to build a 4x5 version that would open out horizontally but still be as slim as possible.
    "There are two ways to avoid most trouble in life: live below your means... and within your seams."

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Frank, 9x12 film is readily available in Europe. Ilford, Foma and EFKE all sell 9x12 film it's a European standard, modern Universal 9x12 dark-slides (film holders) have the same outside dimensions as 5x4's.

    9x12 plate holders are very common and can easily be adapted for film. What surprised me was the Patent Etui takes the most type/

    Ian

  6. #6
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Marco, the story of the manufacturers is also very interesting. They went on to make medium format SLR's in the 30's but as Jews weren't safe in Nazi Germany. Ironically the company was swapped with a US citizen of German origin, Charles Noble, in 1938, and the new owner and his son were later imprisoned in the former Nazi camp, Buchenwald, by the Communists after the war. They regained the factory after the fall of the Berlin wall and it still makes Noblex cameras today.

    The company switched to 35mm cameras in 1939 making the highly innovative Praktina's and later the Praktisix, in the 60's they merged with the East German part of Contax to form Pentacon.

    Ian
    Nice little snippet of history. Thanks for posting.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

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  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Fantastic cameras!

    Zone focus or ground glass??

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Zone focus or ground glass??
    Either. But I'm quite happy to use Zone focussing as I already do the same regularly with a 6x17 Gaoersi panoramic camera with no problems.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    Agree: I have three now. Have only used one with 6x9 roll film holder, and was so impressed with it as a travel camera that I acquired the other two. One is a beater, and I am thinking of some way to make a 4x5 holder for it, although having read the post above I may try 9x12 film in the 2 holders I have.
    Of note one comes fitted with a 150 lens of the right vintage. Havent had any time to look at it closely but it looks much the same as the others. Were there different models, or has this one just had a new lens bolted on?

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The cameras were made in two sizes, the 9x12cm, and the 6.5 x9cm. Two models of the 9x12 were sold one with a 135mm f4.5 Tessar, the other with a 150mm f4.5 Tessar, these were fitted in dial-set Compur shutters until the release of the rimset Compur's in 1931. The 6.5x9 cameras had either a 105mm or a 120mm Tessar in a Compur, however two budget triplet lenses the f4.5 & f6.3 105mm Meyer Gorlitz Anastigmatic Trioplan were also available, the f4.5 in a Compur shutter and the f6.3 in a 3 speed Vario shutter.

    Ian

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