View Full Version : Agfa Ansco LF Camera ID

6-Aug-2015, 16:32
Hi all!

I've run into an (incredibly dirty and dusty) Agfa Ansco large format camera that I believe is pre-WWII (given it's made of wood) but I don't know how to identify it further.

Can anyone help identify this/give further information about what this camera is, such as model, year made, etc.? I thought I'd read this is referred to as a "birdhouse" camera, but that may be some confusion on my part.

Any information is appreciated.


6-Aug-2015, 17:21
Generically, it's a portrait camera and it looks like it's set up to shoot split 8x10 film (two 5x8 on one sheet). A view camera would have, for instance, more complex and complete front movements (this one has zero, total) and probably longer bellows possibility. Not incredibly useful for anything else, but still a functional camera. Great if all you're doing is portraits

6-Aug-2015, 19:47
Watch the birdy!!!!!!!

Years ago in my "Bart Simpson" period, the family went to the Ringling Bros. Museum in FLA... Some clown was doing a skit involving a camera looking like this (but larger and brightly colored, and the bellows twisted up looking something like an accordion from hell), and had pulled me out of the audience to "have my picture taken"... He set me in a chair (with a head restrainer and straps), and "fixed my hair" by spitting in his clown hands, rubbing them together, messing up my hair with the tobacco & gin smelling goo, parted my hair down the middle with a oversized comb, told me to "watch the birdy", and I asked 'What birdy!?!!! Then an angry looking bird shot out of the lens at me on a spring, and a pan of flashpowder went off with a BANG and smoke... I was dazed, but I guess I wanted to see the picture (after everything I had been through)... So he's tapping on the back of the camera impatiently waiting for the picture "to come out", and finally it pops out from the top of the back and flies into the air... He catches and fumbles with it and proudly holds up the masonite "tintype" to the audience, with the picture of the angry birdy (that attacked me) leering at everyone...

I felt had... (No, I'm not ordering reprints and enlargements!!!!!!) I was REALLY creeped out the rest of the day!!!!!!

I'm still surprised today that I don't have a phobia of clowns AND view cameras!!!!!!! (Well, at least not cameras...)

Steve K

8-Aug-2015, 12:16
Thanks for the information! And the story!

9-Aug-2015, 11:22
Steve, If you have a clown fobia... You should look up the Clown Motel, in Tonapah, Nev.

9-Aug-2015, 16:58
Yo, DS...

I saw the link here for that motel... The "clown" part of that place wouldn't bother me as much as the host Norman Bates, or the "Breaking Bad" extras living in the other rooms...

But on the camera, I was thinking that with that large lensboard, I would consider making a new custom insert board that would allow tilt, (and maybe swing) that would allow one or more lenses a way for more DOF, or to knock a Petzval or SF "off axis" to vary it's effect... The simple way would be a board with a second board over it, and hinged at bottom to allow tilt, and black foam or something for "bellows", and a screw, strut, or rod on top to hold the top steady and control the tilt...

But that's what I might do on a stormy afternoon if I had this camera... (Hmmmm...)

Steve K

10-Aug-2015, 09:05
Interesting idea. Hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

11-Aug-2015, 20:31
These cameras are generally used on the Ansco version of the Semi Centennial camera stand.