View Full Version : Does anyone know this ?

Ivar Joh
29-Nov-2013, 12:35
I just came across this tailboard camera, and wonder if anybody here know where it`s from and what timeperiod it`s origin. The lens is a Petzval type and it`s marked: No 12298 Ed Liesegang Dusseldorf. There are no other marking on the camera body.

I would also like to use this camera, and therefore I need to know how the plate holder look like and how it funktion. So is there anyone who can help me to get a description. Then I will try to make a new plateholder (film holder? :-) )

Then I just hope that someone have seen this type before :-)



29-Nov-2013, 17:52
My best guess is age is from the 1880s or 1890s. Note it has square bellows. Plate holders would be "bookstyle" wooden ones.

Steven Tribe
30-Nov-2013, 03:23
Need a few more photos to give 100% information!

I think this is the 1880's.
Does look a lot like the early reisekameras (tailboard). The sliding mount at the back accepts both the GG screen and the plate holder, either at the same time, or alternatively. This was either born for studio use - or has been modified for studio use.
If you measure up the back a bit, you should be able to decide whether the maximum format. At this date, the way to get horizon. or vertical glass plates was to mount them this way in the plate holder. I'll post a image later.
Book holders were not often used in sliding backs, so I think the original holders would have been a single plate holder with a back entry door (wet plate friendly).

This date would match the Liesegang lens - they gave up the camera lens business quite early.

Ivar Joh
30-Nov-2013, 13:51

Here is another pic of the camera. It is 32cm high, front end is 26,8cm wide, and the back plate is 41,5 cm wide.
The focus glass plate (sorry I`d know the word for it. mattskive in norwegian :-) ) is 19 x 19cm. and this glass plate is hinged in the bottom of the frame.


Steven Tribe
1-Dec-2013, 07:15
Yes this a simple smaller plate camera used in a Studio from around 1880/85. No pencil lines drawn on the ground glass?
In some ways, this a more usable size than the, rather heavier built, cameras that came in the next decade.
I can't quite make out whether there is plate holder or a ground glass screen in the sliding back? Many plate holder would have been the largest possible size - with a whole set of adapter frames to hold smaller formats (CdeV etc).

I have a couple of complete sets and will post photos here when I have bought the camera down device for my new iPad so you can see what to look for. Unfortunately, standardization did not exist in the 1880 - 1900 period.

The normal reason for a sliding back is either:

- gg and plate holder can be moved across easily.
- using a brass catch mechanism, the plate can be exposed in steps to make several photos by using a 1/4, 1/2 etc of the total emulsion area.

Your sliding back is so narrow, that I think it could have only be used for the second purpose - that is, multi photos.

The fact that the " matsskive " drops down to make an opening for the plate holder also says it is this type.

Ivar Joh
2-Dec-2013, 05:18

Thank you Steven, now i get that feeling to know a little moore :-) As you can see from my last pic I also think this is made for more than one
pic at the time. Ref the catch mecanism on top. The sliding track is 1,5 (6) cm wide, normal? And as you can see there are some pencil marking in the ground glass. Do you know where it was made? Germany? is this possible made of a local carpenter? Yes it raises a lot of questions.

Steven Tribe
2-Dec-2013, 07:39
No, this is a professionally built camera! Early on they did look like this. It was only in the 90's that they made an attempt to give a luxury finish with brass reinforcements.

Like many of the studio cameras I own, this shows the modifications which the user introduced to adapt to the changing portrait demands and the available plate emulsions. Quite often, there was a reduction in sizes. Generally the original ground glass back was retained and the new formats pencilled in. I enclose a photo of an original set for 24x30cm with a GG back ( yes the glass is gone) and a vertical/horizontal plate glass holder. This is single holder type - with tambour darkslide and a back door for loading wetplates. This example is pre- the sliding back era. I think yours had this sort of set when it was new. Then it was converted to a sliding back system. And the back to the static system - with a smaller format. At present you will probably have to use a tambour style plate holders.

You may be able to see where changes have been made in the woodwork!

Ivar Joh
9-Dec-2013, 14:06
Thank you for info Steven. I see that I need to get my hands on a plate holder. I see there is possibilities on e bay. Then I can see what I can make of it. Hopefully skills as a carpenter comes handy now :-) Some beautyful day I will take a photo with this camera..
But still there are some questions.... who / where build this..


Steven Tribe
9-Dec-2013, 15:07
A good guess would be Dusseldorf, Germany! You must research the makers/sellers there in the 1880's.
As I said before, Ed. Liesegang was a short term maker of these Petzval lenses, later he did a very big business's in Projection lenses and equipment. His lenses would have been put on Studio/Travel cameras made locally.

It is possible that the camera body was ordered by Liesegang themselves - as a way of selling their lenses!