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  1. #1

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    identification of a tourist camera

    Hello,
    at the weekend my father bought a rather interesting beast in an antique market, and I wish to share it, and hope that maybe some information on it might be found or constructed. Right now I only have the rather poor images that he has emailed me, and I promise that I shall update the post when I have a chance to visit and clean her up.

    From what I gather, it is a nikel plated copper and brass, possibly handmade camera, built for tourist photography with a built in darkroom. The format is probably a quarter-plate, or 6.5x9cm glass-plate.

    There appear to be two chemical trays, a lateral dark chamber to store the sensitized material, and apparently a printing-out window at the top.




















    I might add that it was bought in central Italy. The rubber blocks that hold in the plate bear PIRELLI 4/0 MARCA and a cut off word STELI... The crank that is on one side opens the guillotine of the dark chamber, which is illustrated open and closed in two of these images.

    There is no lens fitted, but I have a nice early Jena Tessar, which should fit it nicely.

    Thanks for the fun,
    Tobias

  2. #2

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  3. #3

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    Tobias, sorry - no idea how to identify it, but it looks fantastic, and I'm jealous!! If you ever do identify it please put the details on here.

  4. #4

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    of course I shall share all that i discover, and better pictures when i have them, and any restoration that may take place. No Idea if I would ever feel the need to use the camera, but I will most certainly get it looking its best, and probably fit a lens.

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    What an incredible contraption! It's great to see what one of these things looks like up close.

    Thanks for posting!
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Reminds me of a Peter Greenberg/Terry Gilliam/HR Geiger version of the cameras I've seen in many tourist areas around the world. You could even do wet plate in that if you wanted to.

  7. #7

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    Ah, but you see, I have only ever seen one of these such cameras, and in the Alinari museum in Florence. Before then, I had no idea that the predecessor of Polaroids had been mobile darkrooms attached to a camera. I am rather fascinated.

  8. #8
    tim_walls's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I'm going to have to echo everyone else - I can't help you at all, but I did want to say what a splendid find!


    I look forward to finding out more as you do .
    Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    There are still working street photographers in Mexico, Cuba, Buenos Aires and Madrid doing something like that - I remember watching one in Madrid who was set up in the Plaza Mayor with a wooden box on a tripod that had an old folding camera inset in the front - he would shoot paper negatives, develop them in the box, then put them on a kind of copy rig, and re-photograph them to make his positive, all while you waited.

  10. #10
    Stock Dektol's Avatar
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    That's quite the find. I have no idea, like the others.
    I will NEVER stop developing...

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