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Thread: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

  1. #1
    Rafael Garcia's Avatar
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    Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    I am recent to LF, but have a small collection of MF cameras and equipment. Old habits are hard to break, so my LF cameras have grown into a collection of two! I have a 5x7 Gundlach Korona View wood field camera and just found a Carl Zeiss Jena Universal Palmos from 1903 in fantastic condition for almost nothing ($75.00 US). I see that a lot of you are "new" equipment people, and extremely serious about very precisely evaluating the differences in modern equipment and rightly so, as it reads as if a substantial portion of the members are professionals or lifelong amateur photographers. Should there be a forum for the collector photographer like myself? It would be interesting to post questions on the old equipment and benefit from the knowledge of others who may share the collecting disease. I am currently trying to find out what a Newton viewfinder, an accessory apparently used with the Universal Palmos, for which the camera has a built-in rail (which sits empty on my camera), is, if it can be found, etc.

    One thing I will make clear for those reading this: I use my collection to take photographs. The cameras do not sit in a glass case; they go out and get used. I would not get a camera and relegate it to decorative use. They are tools meant to be used, not relegated to decorative accessory status.
    Last edited by Rafael Garcia; 15-Oct-2006 at 07:30.

  2. #2

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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    Rafael,

    I'll throw my hat into the ring and agree that it may be an interesting addition to the forum. There's many cameras and lenses out there that show up from time to time and locating information on them is akin to pulling hens teeth.

    Cheers
    Life in the fast lane!

  3. #3
    MJSfoto1956's Avatar
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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Garcia View Post
    One thing I will make clear for those reading this: I use my collection to take photographs. The cameras do not sit in a glass case; they go out and get used. I would not get a camera and relegate it to decorative use. They are tools meant to be used, not relegated to decorative accessory status.
    Would you be willing to write up a review of an "older" camera (much like the Linhof reviewed in the premiere issue of MAGNAchrom)?

    We'd love to publish your point of view!

  4. #4
    Rafael Garcia's Avatar
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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    Still waiting for the confirmation e-mail for MAGNAchrom. Want to read the review to understand better what you expect before doing anything. The publication looks impressive, by the way. congratulations!

  5. #5

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    Smile Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    Rafael,

    I'm with you. I use several pieces of old equipment including removing lenses from some of the large old roll film cameras for use on the 8x10. Many of them are amazing in their quality and covering power.

    My "New" camera is an 8x10 Deardorff maade prior to 1939 (it has no serial number). I also have a 5x7 'Dorff which matches. Then of course there is the Improved Seneca 8x10. I could go on, but you get my point. I too would like to see a forum for users of this equipment.

    Jim

  6. #6
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    One of the things I like about this forum is that no matter the age and "rareness" of the equipment, there's always someone who knows a lot about it, or has used it for several decades, or both.

    One of the things I like about LF in general is the almost total compatibility; there are lots of people using 100 years old lenses on brand new cameras and vice versa. I've done both myself and will do it again.

    So as long as the gear is not sitting in a glass cabinet, do we really need a separate forum for "collectibles"?
    Last edited by Ole Tjugen; 18-Oct-2006 at 15:11. Reason: Spelllling.

  7. #7

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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Tjugen View Post
    One of the things I like about this forum is that no matter the age and "rareness" of the equipment, there's always someone who knows a lot about it, or has used it for several decades, or both.

    One of the things I like about LF in general is the almost total compatibility; there are lots of people using 100 years old lenses on brand new cameras and vice versa. I've done both myself and will do it again.

    So as long as the gear is not sitting in a glass cabinet, do we really need a separate forum for "collectibles"?
    I agree completely.

  8. #8
    Terence
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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    I dream of building several of my own cameras, and have built a couple of simple ones, and modified others. In the quest for ideas I've studied every old camera I can find a photo of, and have bought more than I care to admit. I love the fiberq site (www.fiberq.com/cam/), but it's only of American cameras. So I'm always up for seeing what other people have squirreled away in their photography closets, etc.

  9. #9

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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by MJSfoto1956 View Post
    Would you be willing to write up a review of an "older" camera (much like the Linhof reviewed in the premiere issue of MAGNAchrom)?

    We'd love to publish your point of view!
    Years ago, I wrote an article that Shutterbug bought, but then never published, entitled "The Yard Sale Photographer". In that article, I described a rather large range of camera equipment I found at yard sales, including a 4x5 Omega enlarger for $35.00. Before you start screaming that you can't do that in this day and age...last year, I bought a Norman 500P power pack, 2 LH2 heads and 2 LH4 heads from a guy in Springfield, Missouri while I was on vacation. I asked him how much he wanted for them. He said he didn't even know what they were...that he'd gotten them at an auction at the local university. I offered him twenty bucks to see if he'd hit me with something, and he said, "Twenty-five and you got a deal."

    They work great.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  10. #10

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    Re: Camera/Gear Collectors Forum?

    Rafael, I'm puzzled and sorry that you think you're the only person here who uses old gear. There are others, including Ole, who's spoken for himself already, Jim Galli who's surprisingly mute now, and, yes, me. My youngest camera was made in 1953. I have pre-WWI (that's I, not II) lenses that are treasures. So I don't see the need for a separate collectors' forum, especially since we're all users here.

    You're right that information -- specifications, user's manuals -- for older cameras can be hard to find. And you're right that information on really obscure old lenses can be hard to find too. You're wrong that much of the information people want on old lenses -- basically, is it any good? -- is worth anything, though, because each old blunderbuss (literal translation of a crack made by a participant on the french LF forum about an old lens that I fancy) has its own history and can't be counted on to be like any other, including itself as it was when it left the factory. With old lenses, its buy or borrow and try. Find out for yourself.

    If you really are at a loss to figure out what an aged LF lens is or might be able to do for you, buy a copy of A Lens Collector's Vade Mecum. The VM is incoherent in places, incomplete, inconsistent, at times infuriating, and on the whole invaluable. It is, alas, quite weak on US-made lenses, but Seth Broder has posted some interesting catalogs on his site www.cameraeccentric.com that somewhat fill its gaps.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan

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