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Jim C.
1-Mar-2010, 16:06
I recently took delivery of this self casing 5x7 Century camera and for
it's age ( 108 yrs old ) it's in stunning shape !
My jaw dropped when I opened the box and saw the condition.

But I'm not sure what model Century camera this is, what I
have been able find out online is that this might be a
Century Grand 5x7 with triple extension. I noticed that the
gg seems to be reversed with the ground matte side facing
out and the glossy side facing in, as far as I can
tell it seems factory installed since the gg bracket screws
seem to be undisturbed, is this normal ?

Can anyone supply me with more information on this beauty ?

All I did was blow off the dust in the pictures below

lenser
1-Mar-2010, 16:16
You might look at Seth's info at www.cameraeccesntric.com

Nathan Potter
1-Mar-2010, 16:26
Sweet piece of gear! Much nicer than my first 5X7 version years ago that I got from a plumber who had cleaned out his grandfathers attic. Actually we called him Joe the plumber (not that one of course) and he also gave me an approximately 1904 French stereo camera that I still have and have never used.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Pete Roody
1-Mar-2010, 17:04
links for older cameras: http://www.antiquewoodcameras.com/links.htm

MIke Sherck
1-Mar-2010, 18:30
Lenser's link should be: http://www.cameraeccentric.com

Mark Sawyer
1-Mar-2010, 18:35
My guess is that the ground glass is reversed, and whoever did it was careful about the screws. It didn't take camera manufacturers very long to figure out the huge davantage of having the ground side inward. But for your own peace of mind, check the registration of the distance to the inside surface of the glass against the distance to the film in an inserted filmholder. Easiest done with the back off and a straight-edge laid acoss the back as the reference point.

Jim C.
1-Mar-2010, 22:42
You might look at Seth's info at www.cameraeccesntric.com


Lenser's link should be: http://www.cameraeccentric.com

Thanks for the link to Camera Eccentric, I stumbled across their site researching something else and forgot about them, lots of good lens info there.


Sweet piece of gear! Much nicer than my first 5X7 version years ago that I got from a plumber who had cleaned out his grandfathers attic. Actually we called him Joe the plumber (not that one of course) and he also gave me an approximately 1904 French stereo camera that I still have and have never used.

Thanks ! it is sweet, the bellows seem to have got crumpled towards the front but
they're light tight, the lens seems to work ok, the aperture is a little stiff, shutter
fires on all speeds and the pneumatics on it seem good too.
The only thing that bothers me about it is the bellows suction, the gg does'nt have
clipped corners and there's quite a bit of suction because of that.
I also love the 'hidden' latches to open the camera !


links for older cameras: http://www.antiquewoodcameras.com/links.htm

The only site that had any amount of info was that site,
thanks for that link, the only other info I found was a Google books copy of
American Amateur Photographer 1903, other than those, there really isn't
much info about those cameras.


My guess is that the ground glass is reversed, and whoever did it was careful about the screws. It didn't take camera manufacturers very long to figure out the huge davantage of having the ground side inward. But for your own peace of mind, check the registration of the distance to the inside surface of the glass against the distance to the film in an inserted filmholder. Easiest done with the back off and a straight-edge laid acoss the back as the reference point.

You may be right about the screws but usually there's tell tale marks that a
wrong tipped screw driver was used, I'll have to check it again since I could
swear that the black paint is undisturbed. Thanks for the advice about
checking the film to gg distance, it's late and I'm not really wrapping my
head around the how and what to measure.

Robert Hughes
2-Mar-2010, 06:21
My guess is that the ground glass is reversed, and whoever did it was careful about the screws.
But wait ... if the ground glass was reversed, wouldn't the image come out upside down? :confused: Hey, wait a minute, I better check my camera...

Robbie Bedell
2-Mar-2010, 19:45
Jim, That is one beautiful camera. I once had a Primo folding camera that was very much like yours. It's magical that it is all black leather on the outside and then when you open it up one discovers a world of gorgeous mahagony. I made some very nice photographs with mine. Can you tell what lens is one your camera? I am just curious...Robbie

Jim C.
2-Mar-2010, 23:41
Robbie - The lens that came with the camera is a Century 5X7 rapid convertible with
I guess is either a Unicum shutter or a Bausch & Lomb shutter, the brass is stamped with B&L and the Unicum name is on a plate.

cdholden
3-Mar-2010, 10:08
The only thing that bothers me about it is the bellows suction, the gg does'nt have
clipped corners and there's quite a bit of suction because of that.
I also love the 'hidden' latches to open the camera !


So clip the corners! You can get a glass scoring tool for about $5 at Home Depot.

Yes, I like the hidden release button. I have a Seneca 6b 5x7 with a similar design, but nowhere near your bellows length. Mine appears to have the wide angle shooter in mind.

Chris

big_ben_blue
3-Mar-2010, 12:20
nice cameras, aren't they. I own my fair share of them.

The Century with back movements (otherwise identical) was called the "Grand Senior", so your's is probably a "Grand".
The crumpled first few bellows folds are most likely due to someone not returning the front rise to the neutral position before folding up.
As for the reversed groundglass; it MAY have to do with the original owner using film with the plate camera (to compensate for the different distances); but don't quote me on it.
One drawback with these cameras was the limited wideangle capability (even with dropped bed). Sometimes you can still find a fitting wide angle adapter (the 5x7 sized ones are relatively common). I even got one of these adapters for a whole plate Century; but now I am looking for a fitting Grand Century whole plate camera to it (the similar Century 46 doesn't fit).