View Full Version : Closing cameras with lens inside.

Ernest Purdum
17-Aug-2004, 15:45
Peter York's thread about a cracked base on a big folding camera reminded me of something I have been thinking of off and on for some time. Do you know about the "turntables" that many field cameras used to have in the base? These were big metal rings to which those dangerous old folding wooden legs were attached. After way too many fine cameras had been crashed and trashed because someone had kicked a leg, the turntables were discarded, The base became all wood except for a fitting to thread the tripod screw to. Two new problems arose, one, that which Peter York is trying to deal with - cracks, usually running from the tripod fitting to the edge of the piece of wood.

The Japanese solved the tripod problem by supplying an accessory item, a plate which fitted into the turntable and included the fitting for a tripod screw. Since the turntable was still there, the cracking problem didn't arise.

The other problem is that now only quite compact lenses could be left attached to the camera. Before, they poked out through the turntable which left them unprotected, but at least were in place.

It occurred to me that a way of solving both problems would be to retain the hole for the turntable, but instead of a flat plate, provide recessed cups, hat-shaped in cross sction, in which the lens could protrude when folded. These could be made interchangeable to provide for lenses of differing bulk. This would add some thickness to the camera, but I think this would be a lesser disadvantage for most people.

Sometime back, I was very pleased to note that someone was actually building cameras with this arrangement. The problem is that I have forgotten who it is or was. I hope "is" is the word, because I think many people would like it. Can someone remind me of the maker?

Michael Jones
17-Aug-2004, 17:14
Didn't the short-lived Carbon Infinity (mid to late 90s) have a similar arrangement? It had a slightly thick clamshell body with L shaped standards that would accomodate most non-Biogon design lenses in the bellows when folded. Check old View Camera mags for the ads; Ken Hansen sold them at one time as I recall.


Ernest Purdum
17-Aug-2004, 17:57
Mike, thanks for the response. I did a search and found some pictures on photo.net under Carbon Fiber LF Camera. That camera certainly reflects the same kind of thinking, but my recollection is of a wooden camera. I had forgotten about the Carbon Infinity,but at that kind of cost it was very easy to forget.

Sam Crater
18-Aug-2004, 10:23
I think I remember seeing a Prinzdorff branded Japanese wood field with a leather cup like you describe.