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  1. #1

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    1904 Seneca No.3 8" x 10" View Camera with 2 backs, 5 holders, 100 sheets of Arista

    I hate to sell it, but I don't have the means to put it to good use. Going to concentrate on my Sinar 4x5 with an adapter so I can use my DSLR.

    Anyway, it's a 1904 Seneca No. 3, 8" x 10". It has a unique design, in that the front rotates! This allows Rise/Fall and Shifting simply by turning the front assembly! The rear standard allows for a bit of Tilt and Rotate, but not much. The structure is reasonably sound, but there is a bit of damage to the rails (see pix), and it's hard to move the front standard. The knob tends to slip, so I would recommend simply pushing the standard along with one's thumbs, then using the knob for fine focus. At 109 years old, one should expect a few problems!

    The bellows appears to be light-tight and in good condition. The camera comes with its original 8" x 10" back, and I cobbled together a 4" x 5" back from pieces I had lying around, so you have 2 formats to choose from! There are five (5) sheet film holders. I'm away from the camera so I can't check, but I'm pretty sure all the dark slides are good. There may be one or two with a crack or damage; I'll check and update the info on those. The one shown in the photo with the "leaf spring" apparently was intended for glass plate. That one has been sold; I just haven't updated the photo.

    The shutter is a Wollensak Optimo No.3. It fires cleanly, and the speeds sound accurate. The lens is a Wollensak Velostigmat Series II, 7-1/2" Focus. The lens appear to be in good condition, but I suspect you'll have shutter/lens combos of your own that you'll want to use.

    I've stripped all of the old varnish off of the wood, using a paste wax as a preservative (I prefer wax to polyurethane or any other modern varnish/sealant). As such, the pieces that comprise the rotating front are a bit loose. I suggest that you replace the existing felt with newer, thicker felt (or some other material) to maintain the light seal and to provide more grip when you tighten the screw once you have the front in the desired orientation. Some of the small screws are loose, due to age. You might wish to replace those with longer screws. You might also consider removing them, filling the holes with wood glue, then drilling small pilots holes for replacement screws. This second method will help to stabilize the wood, given that its over 100 years old!

    The camera does fold up for storage/transport, but there isn't a hook to keep it closed. There are some empty holes that suggest it once had a closure hook or strap.

    Asking $700 + S/H (O.B.O.) for the camera, 2 backs, 6 holders and about 100 sheets of Arista 8x10 film. I'm not sure of the specifics of the film; I bought it off eBay. It's been refrigerated since I've had it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Seneca 8x10 camera.jpg   Seneca 8x10 Field Camera.jpg   Seneca 8x10 Field Camera 2.jpg   Seneca 8x10 Field Camera 8x10 Back.jpg   Seneca 8x10 Field Camera 4x5 Back.jpg  

    Seneca 8x10 FC - Left Rear Damage.jpg   Seneca 8x10 FC - Left Rear Damage 2.jpg   Seneca 8x10 FC - Wollensak Optimo No 3 Shutter.jpg   Seneca 8x10 FC - Wollensak Velostigmat Series II 7 in. Focus Lens.jpg   Seneca 8x10 FC - Film Holders.jpg  

    Seneca 8x10 FC - Does not close fully.jpg   Seneca 8x10 FC - Shift - Rise - Fall.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Bump!

    Okay, make me an offer! I need the money! The camera is ready to go as-is, but will still need some tune-up and restoration. The rotating front will make it a conversation piece in any studio!

    BTW, I have some thoughts on the construction of a new base that should improve functionality without great expense.

  3. #3

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    BUMP!!

    Okay, I'll drop the price to $600 + S/H, as I need the money!

  4. #4

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    e: Missed the reducing back.

    Beautiful camera, by the way.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMD View Post
    e: Missed the reducing back.

    Beautiful camera, by the way.
    Yeah, it's nice! That rotating front really gets the attention of other photographers. Hate to part with it, but I have medical bills that need to be paid.

  6. #6
    cdowell's Avatar
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    Don't have a sample of a picture taken with that lens do you? I don't know much about large format and don't know how to judge the lenses. I'd love to find something that gives results with that 'old-fashioned magic.' Thanks
    "To a photographer the world consists of an infinite number of vantage points -- places to stand -- of which very few are altogether satisfactory." (John Szarkowski, Atget)

    My flickr

  7. #7

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    My quick research suggests it's a Tessar type. 9 1/2" won't even come close to covering 8x10, but it'll do nicely on 4x5.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdowell View Post
    Don't have a sample of a picture taken with that lens do you? I don't know much about large format and don't know how to judge the lenses. I'd love to find something that gives results with that 'old-fashioned magic.' Thanks

    I got the camera late last year, and didn't have a chance to get out before it got too cold. I have some medical problems (selling off gear to pay those bills) that kept me out of the field, so I do not have any shots with that lens.

    Since that particular lens was on the camera when I got it, I have to assume the previous photographer had some success with it. The 4" x 5" reducing back was a recent addition by me; it's not original to the camera. I had parts to another camera, and modified them to fit this one.

    Honestly, I didn't expect someone would use the installed lens/shutter combo, given their age. That's not to say they won't work; it's just that there are newer, better combos out there that should provide greater coverage, etc. However, you just might get that "old-fashioned magic" with this set!

  9. #9

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    Bump!

    $550 + S/H; ships from 47401 (use 20 lbs as weight, 18x18x18 as box size).

  10. #10

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    I set the camera up looking out my apt. window, covered it with the dark cloth, then took a shot of the glass to kind of give you an idea of the coverage of this lens. IMHO, good coverage top to bottom, side to side.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Seneca 8 x 10 lens coverage 3.jpg 
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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Seneca 8 x 10 lens coverage.jpg  

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