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  1. #1

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    An antique camera found - help needed

    A while ago, while I was helping moving our far relatives to their new home, I was awarded by some antique LF folding camera that was appearing to be a pre-war german model. Since then (about 5-7 years ago) I've put it for a storage, forgot where and while my LF advaneture came to life about a year ago I wasn't able to recall where to look for it and was sure I just lost it.
    Yesterday, I've got a call from mother-in-law - she cleaned up her closet while accidently the thing has just fallen on her !
    Well, obviously I picked then black leather-covered (or leatherette ?) box with a heartbeat. Opened it up and here it comes...:-):

    The lens reads (engraved around the lens :
    C.P. GOERZ BERLIN. No.355541 DOGMAR 1:4.5 F=165Mmm D.R.P.
    The lens is in compound shutter which reads:
    C.P. GOERZ BERLIN D.R.P. COMPOUND D.R.G.M.
    The aperture has a scale of f/4.5 - 45
    There is a small level with three states: M, B, Z (Z for focusing, B keeps shutter open manually, M closes the shutter and is woking position)
    There is shutter speeds weel at the upper part of the shutter with speeds from 1 sec to what appears to be 1/150, the weel is engraved with:
    D.R.G.M. No 371939
    The wonderful thing is that the shutter seems to work more then fair, the speeds are easily distinquishable by sound (in their duration), albeit apparently can benefit from adjustment (if this is possible at all for this shutter). The shutter release cable is wron out and partially decayed - unusable, but luckily here is shutter release lever.
    Bellows are red and at glance appear to be in not that bad condition, even good, I would say. No pinholes where spotted so far, but I have yet checked them thoroughly. The wooden box inside seems to be polished (and is reddish) and at the drop bed there is an optical lens enclosed into a metal frame. The lens seems to appear as kind of viewfinder (apparently when direct view composing isn't possible).
    The front panel (is fixed in the metal front frame by screws) has only rise movement.
    Focusing movements (front movement) is smooth and is geared (by a small weel at the right edge of the drop bed) as long as the front standard is moved out of the box and put on the rail on the drop bed.

    The back is opened by the door up by releasing two latches which reveals a wooden frame with ground glass. This frame can easily be removed revealing the back frame which also can easily be removed by releasing its sliding lock and sliding the back frame out. There there are two internal rolls at the upper and lower parts of the camera box which are apparent after removing the whole back. It seems the camera accepted some kind of roll film ! Have yet figured how the one could be loaded onto those internal rollers.
    At the left lower side there is a small window which appears to be frame counter (currently showing 12), at the right of the box there are two rollers, one of this the main one) is ratcheted (appears to be for roll-film advance).
    Once removing the whole back, there is a vertical ruler on the left of the box facing the back, the ruler is apparently in cm and running from 0 down to 9 while the image area ends at 8.5 cm.
    What is wierd: there is a round hole with metal frame in the middle of the back door revealing the center of the ground glass. Have no idea what it is for.

    I'll make several descriptive pictures soon for better realization of the camera, will put them on my site prividing here the direct link.
    Will be grateful to obtain any revelant info: what is this camera, possible manufacturing period. Is it 4x5 ? or what is called 12x9 ? What kind of holders it may accept for sheets ? (I don't even dream about availaility of roll-film stuff fro this camera).

    Thanks in advance, Alex

  2. #2
    Ole
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    The "D.R.P." is a tight dating information - it's an abbreviation for "Deutsche Reichs-Patent". That means it's made between (help me, edz) 1936 and 1945.

    The 165mm lens is a normal lens for 10x15cm, also known as "Postkarten-Format" or postcard-size. That's closer to 4x6" than anything else, so quite a bit longer than 4x5".

    The MBZ on the shutter are "Moment" (instant), "Blitz" (Flash, or Bulb), and "Zeit" (time). I'm a bit surprised that a 165mm f:4.5 lens would be in a Compound shutter - I would think a Compur #2 would have been more likely?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #3

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    Thanks Ole for a quick response.
    The shutter is Compound indeed - it is engaved on it as I wrote above.
    I ddin't know there was a 10x15cm format in the past, apparently isn't usable today...

  4. #4
    Ole
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    Nothing is truly unusable; 10x15cm film can still be bought. If you need it, I think I have a 10x15cm plate holder or two somewhere!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #5

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    Alex, you've told us about the lens. That's nice, now what about the camera?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    Alex, you've told us about the lens. That's nice, now what about the camera?
    Yes. A photo and a cigar is customary for new "babies".
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #7
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Check for sure before ordering any 10x15 cm film. There was also a "half plate" format that was quite common in England and the US in the early 20th century, just barely bigger than the 10x15 cm -- IIRC, it was 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches, and 165 mm was the common focal length for that format as well as 10x15.

    Half plate film is still available from some sources, and of course can be easily cut from 5x7 or 13x18 cm. Half plate film or plate holders are also available various places.

    Your description of the rollers, however, suggests it may be a 3A roll film camera, possibly with an accessory back mounted. This would have use 122 film originally, a paper-backed roll (like oversize 120) 3 1/2 inches wide (3 1/4" image area), 6 frames (or 8 after about 1950) each 5 1/2 inches long. If so, it can also take postcard format sheet film or plates in a suitable holder, which film is a little smaller than the 10x15 cm, IIRC (9x14 cm sticks in my mind, and some had adapters made to take 9x12). Unfrotunately, this is too long to cut from 4x5, and you'll get only a single sheet from 5x7, but it can at least be cut from existing film if you can find plate holders that fit the camera, and obtain or fabricate film sheaths or substitutes for it.

    You should be able to verify the film size by carefully measuring the spools and then looking over the chart here.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  8. #8

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    Yes guys, thanks, will have to "swallow" the info you kindly provided.
    Dan, you're right. I'll make several descriptive images of the camera and will make them available here in the thread. Perhaps this way we will be able to through a bit more shed of light onto this model...

  9. #9

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    Thanks Donald, I'll check out the spools and every other bit of the camera that sticks out and can be observed.
    As I mentioned in my original posting, there is a small round window at the bottom left side of the box with number 12 appearing inside. This suggests to be a frame counter and if so, 12 hints that the camera was able to use some kind of roll film of 12 frames (or probably even longer)

  10. #10
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    The "D.R.P." is a tight dating information - it's an abbreviation for "Deutsche Reichs-Patent". That means it's made between (help me, edz) 1936 and 1945.
    Yup, it pre-dates the patent and copyright: D.B.P (Deutsches Bundes Patent), resp., DBGM (Deutsches Bundes Gebrauchs Musterschutz) which really only got going in the 1950s.

    The Reichspatentamt (Empire Patent Office) was shut down in 1945. It was only in October 1948 that the first post war patent applications could be submitted. The German patent office opened in Munich in October 1949(!). I don't know the date of the first DRP but I'd expect it to have been in late 1949.

    DRP markings, however, continued on products well into the 1950s. Recall.. Patents were still good.. and companies still had loads of parts they could use..

    As a "dating" instument its something like between 1919--- the founding of the Reichpatentamt (out of the Kaiserliches Patentamt or Royal Patent Office)--- and early 1960s. There was enough motivation (and demand for goods) that one in the phtographic sector could probably restrict the window to 1919-1955 or so..
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

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