PDA

View Full Version : Rochester whole plate camera, do I get it?



StoneNYC
18-Jul-2015, 11:37
Found this while traveling at an antique shop.

It's an early Rochester whole plate (6.5x8.5) with 3 plate holders and 4 sheet film holders with 5x7 film holder inserts.

Comes with a no-name lens in shutter (looks to be an aftermarket job) and unfortunately the gem that would have gotten me to buy it, a euroscope 6.5x8.5 Rapid Rectilinear lens with Waterhouse stop.

Afterthought ....Is it possible the glass was removed and put into the shuttered lens job?...

The RE lens LOOKS to be shorter than the shuttered lens, so I don't THINK so... But, would they have done that?

It's a little over $1,200 which I don't want to spend, I kind of wanted the lens but then I thought, I've been meaning to get into whole plate.... And it's a complete kit including tripod...

Bellows needs replacing, front standard won't hold up, needs to be re-toothed, but seems solid other than that.

Came from an estate, smells old but no mold/must smell so that's good.

Thoughts? (PS MODS this is not meant to be a "what is this worth" post, just a "should I do it" post).

137082
137084
137085

StoneNYC
18-Jul-2015, 11:40
137086
137087
137088
137089

StoneNYC
18-Jul-2015, 11:42
Last ones of empty RR lens

137090
137091
137092

Tin Can
18-Jul-2015, 11:52
Of course you get it.

:)

StoneNYC
18-Jul-2015, 12:11
Of course you get it.

:)

Lol!

I'm just about debt free and I can't even tell the focal length of the no-name lens so I'm hesitant. I already have an 8x10 and I won't be ready for WP for some time. I know it's an "opportunity" but I was trying to figure out if it's valued well? Plus it will be $500 to Richard Ritter probably to fix the front standard. (The teeth are worn down so it keeps slipping on the rise) and the no-name lenses aren't that much, and I have one already lol, unless that is the Euroscope glass but I doubt that. It's strange that the glass is gone though... If that had the second lens I would have snagged it.

Joe Smigiel
18-Jul-2015, 12:16
I have 3 or 4 Rochester Whole-plate cameras, including one Carleton model which is more sophisticated. All of mine needed a new bellows and were purchased as project cameras. They fold very compactly.

It's a great camera but I can't comment on the lens. If the lens is worth a grand, then it is probably a decent deal, but I've purchased my cameras for a song since the bellows were shot. My intent was to replace all of them, perhaps getting a discount on a bulk purchase. I did make a couple replacements, but the first didn't allow the camera to fold completely shut and the second fabric didn't end up looking quite like I wanted. The holders are fairly rare but the 7 in the package make it enticing if the lens is worth it.

Here's a few pics of one of mine with a bellows I made for it:

http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpsv8zm2JC1qmnn9io4_1280.jpg

http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpsv8zm2JC1qmnn9io3_500.jpg

http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpsv8zm2JC1qmnn9io1_400.jpg

http://36.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpsv8zm2JC1qmnn9io2_1280.jpg


If you are looking to get into whole-plate, I have a few other suggestions that I'll PM you about.

Jody_S
18-Jul-2015, 12:41
Seems a little overpriced? Depends what you think that lens is worth, I suppose, but I don't think the camera itself would fetch more than about $600.

I use that model in 8x10, standard holders don't fit but I made an adapter (U-shaped spacer).

The front standard is too wobbly for a lens that size, and as you've noticed they have a tiny lens board that is not big enough for most of the large lenses anyway. The rise on the front standard is supposed to be held by a very flimsy brass piece that catches on some teeth in the rear of the standard, none of these hold without some help. I modified mine with a slide and a set knob on the other side of the standard to lock it in place. Mine isn't a museum piece so I didn't feel bad about making some mods. You could perhaps save the original mechanism by adding a 2nd spring in the rear to stiffen it. I saved my bellows by taking them apart and re-lining them, not a great job but it works.

On the plus side, this is an incredibly compact and light field camera, and you can sort of get the movements you need by fiddling a little. They are surprisingly durable for such a small camera, though I recommend bringing a couple of small clamps and some wood glue on trips. Having enough of the original holders is a big plus.

StoneNYC
18-Jul-2015, 13:15
Seems a little overpriced? Depends what you think that lens is worth, I suppose, but I don't think the camera itself would fetch more than about $600.

I use that model in 8x10, standard holders don't fit but I made an adapter (U-shaped spacer).

The front standard is too wobbly for a lens that size, and as you've noticed they have a tiny lens board that is not big enough for most of the large lenses anyway. The rise on the front standard is supposed to be held by a very flimsy brass piece that catches on some teeth in the rear of the standard, none of these hold without some help. I modified mine with a slide and a set knob on the other side of the standard to lock it in place. Mine isn't a museum piece so I didn't feel bad about making some mods. You could perhaps save the original mechanism by adding a 2nd spring in the rear to stiffen it. I saved my bellows by taking them apart and re-lining them, not a great job but it works.

On the plus side, this is an incredibly compact and light field camera, and you can sort of get the movements you need by fiddling a little. They are surprisingly durable for such a small camera, though I recommend bringing a couple of small clamps and some wood glue on trips. Having enough of the original holders is a big plus.

Thanks,

I offered him $500 which is about what I thought it was worth, didn't think he would take it since the asking was so high.

He didn't take it.

Yes the front standard teeth are worn and it's "strong" as a standard but the teeth design kills it. It's a solid camera but still.

Yea if the lens had any markings, but it doesn't.

Oh well... Thanks!

goamules
18-Jul-2015, 13:53
I love these Rochester Universal or "English style" cameras. I was about to say "Yes!" until I saw the price. Unfortunately he is about three times the going rate on these. They are sleepers, and sell for a lot less, when they sell. Their main problem is the tiny lensboard, and the fact you have to use Rochester holders which are hard to get. If it was $300 to $450, yes. The lens is worth nothing, just a standard RR from the period. They look nice, and take good pictures, but are not in demand or valuable.

Here is a writeup on mine, which I shoot quite often. But you cannot use big, fast lenses. I shoot Dagors and such. http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?90081-Rochester-Universal-American-Beauty

jp
18-Jul-2015, 19:21
RRs are common lenses which you can get for small money and go by different names.

Like used cars, if you buy the camera for not much knowing what it needs, and do the work yourself it's good, but otherwise buy the nicest you can afford as hiring someone to fix a low budget car/camera isn't worthwhile.

goamules
19-Jul-2015, 11:45
That's the point, buy the best one. Not this unknown one for twice as much. I see mint condition ones selling for $400 or so. I've had several. This antique shop one probably needs bellows, for $1300? No way. Their price is three times too high.

Oren Grad
19-Jul-2015, 11:58
Like used cars, if you buy the camera for not much knowing what it needs, and do the work yourself it's good, but otherwise buy the nicest you can afford as hiring someone to fix a low budget car/camera isn't worthwhile.

Depends on one's shop skills, preferences for how to spend time, etc., buying a beater and having someone else fix it can be a viable strategy. A good while back now I bought a really ugly WP Century cheap on eBay - bellows shot, wood battered, metal parts corroded and some frozen. I sent it to Richard Ritter for an overhaul and got back a functional, beautiful camera that's probably good for another century.

Roger Thoms
19-Jul-2015, 12:00
Stone, why not get a reducing back for your Chamonix? Plus some Chamonix WP film holders then you'd be set.

Roger

StoneNYC
19-Jul-2015, 16:44
Stone, why not get a reducing back for your Chamonix? Plus some Chamonix WP film holders then you'd be set.

Roger

Thanks guys,

As far as why not a reducing back, because my gloves would potentially have gunk on them and I would spread around the dangerous stuff and risk the Chamonix, that will be a dedicated film camera only.

This was an "opportunity" I wasn't looking for this, I really just wanted the lens, I don't have a RR in shutter.

Anyway I won't buy it, I do appreciate the info.

Whole plate is a nice ratio for portraits so I thought it would be a nice thought.

Oh well, if I could find a nice BIG front shutter that would be helpful. As I already have a RR now. But again I just happened to come across this so figured I would ask. I appreciate all the advice everyone.

IanG
20-Jul-2015, 00:28
Definitely over-priced even if it didn't need work done on it.

Here in the UK (& Europe) where all camera/lens prices are typically 50% higher than the US you can buy a British style wood/brass whole plate field camera in really nice condition usually with a lens and shutter for around half that price and far less for one that needs a little work. However the downside is Britsh cameras used book-form plate holders and they weren't standard.

Keep looking.

Ian

Steven Tribe
20-Jul-2015, 04:26
Far too expensive. I appreciate the Rochester camera heritage for US buyers, but UK plate cameras were better made and often are with exciting lenses/TP shutters. Book holder plate/film holders work well, but need to bought with the camera, as Ian pointed out.

I got a whole plate camera (made by Billcliff of Manchester) a few months ago, requiring no work, with the Ross Universal no. 1 (fast RR) for around 200 usd. I only bought it because it was an exact "little sister" to a 15x12" Billcliff camera which I was lucky enough to get for the same price six months ago.

I usually use German 18x24cm reisekameras in connection with air travel, but the whole plate looks to be a more compact (and much lighter!) travelling companion up in cabin baggage locker.

domaz
20-Jul-2015, 12:27
Usually dealers in Antique shops will go down on prices fairly quickly- and no one else but you will think about buying this. If they bought it at an estate sale they didn't pay anywhere near $1200 you just have to be patient and find their bottom.

IanG
20-Jul-2015, 12:44
Usually dealers in Antique shops will go down on prices fairly quickly- and no one else but you will think about buying this. If they bought it at an estate sale they didn't pay anywhere near $1200 you just have to be patient and find their bottom.

A year or so ago an Antique shop here in the UK listed a Whole plate camera incorrectly on Ebay and I sent a message to the owner, he's a nice guy but knows nothing about (plate) cameras turned out he'd paid more than it was worth. Heb sold it at a loss in the end.

Another antique shop just sells cameras as job lots, we had a Leica (it was M series) we sold it for 25 ($37 approx), afterwards we thought it might have been worth more !!!

The bottom line is antique shops often have no clue of the values of cameras unless they have experience.

Ian

Alan Gales
20-Jul-2015, 12:54
This was an "opportunity" I wasn't looking for this, I really just wanted the lens, I don't have a RR in shutter.

P.M. Jim Galli. Jiim seems to always have neat old lenses for sale. Maybe he has something for you, Stone.