View Full Version : Help identifying camera

10-Jun-2016, 12:19
Hello! First post here by a very new guy to the large format photography (and analog photo for that matter) Only been shooting on Instax wide so far using home built cameras.
Anyway I got an offer I just couldn't refuse. A very large format camera for a reasonably good price.
It needs some TLC but overall it's in darn good condition. Bellows look good, everything moves.
Really really cool that you angle and raise the camera using the cranks on the table!

Problem is that I have no clue what the make or model of this camera is. Been searching around but haven't found much so far.
Here are some pictures:
Anyone got any tip to nudge me in the right direction?

10-Jun-2016, 12:21
More pictures:

10-Jun-2016, 14:09
Where are you located? That gives huge clues to the camera, which looks European.

10-Jun-2016, 14:22
Didn't think about that. It's located in Sweden.

Steven Tribe
10-Jun-2016, 15:11
Almost all Scandinavian Studio Cameras came from Germany. Most had an added plate from one of the 3 or 4 retail organisations which sold these before 1900.

I have a number of these and one that looks very similar, especially the brasswork on the front standard. I'll take a photo tomorrow. The Camera table looks familar (from catalogues!).

The size 6 Voigtlander would have been supplied as a standard portrait lens when the camera was purchased (probably).

These were made in 18x24, 24x30, 30x40, 40x50, 50x60, 60x70, 70x80 and 80x100cm plate sizes.

The lens is a very large series II which has a focal length of 14" and covers 10x12"! So the camera is probably the 24x30cm size.

You appear to be missing the rather important back (probably a sliding back) and the plate holders.

Steven Tribe
11-Jun-2016, 01:15
This the one which is nearest in size and details to yours. Also bought in Sweden, but with a Dallmeyer 3B mounted. Most of these cameras were made in Gorlitz. It is the one on the left.

11-Jun-2016, 01:35
Wow good info thank you! :) Found the lens catalogue from 1890 where the Voigtlander portrait lens specs were listed.
The camera also came with this awesome film holder:
Never seen anything like it! Crazy cool sliding dark slide.
Size of the removable plate is 32x32cm so 24x30 seems reasonable.

Yeah it's missing the back. I'll have to make something that matches the style. Shouldn't be too hard as I have the tools.

Thank you very much for taking the picture! That looks really similar! (cool cameras on the left and right :))
Going to scrape the internet for Gorlitz cameras. Thank you very much again!


Edit: Got any good links to catalogues or info? :D

Steven Tribe
11-Jun-2016, 02:21
Sorry about the photo quality, but they (and others!) are in store!
The is a little info on a website that the "Gorlitz photo historical club" - something like that anyway! - has. Especialy about the various companies.

I have the important reference book for all things Voigtlander (CLaus Prochnow) and there is a general section on the types of Studio Sets made (Mostly no-name types). Will post later today when I am finished with Saturday duties. Not available for reference on line.
The plate holder is called the single tambour type with wet plate back door. Again, probably original to the camera.

11-Jun-2016, 02:35
No worries. Any picture is appreciated :)

Searching for the photo club now :)

Wow looking forward to seeing the Voigtlander reference book! Sounds awesome. Thank you :)

The guy I got the camera from said someone in Denmark was interested in buying it as well. Might have been a sell tactics :) It was bought in Töreboda. It was supposed to have been in a Photo studio in Karlstad since new.

Steven Tribe
11-Jun-2016, 04:10
You can start here!


Steven Tribe
11-Jun-2016, 11:25
And here are two camera series sold by Voigtlander at the turn of the century by unknown makers. Poor image to respect copyright!

The other photos show off the brasswork on the other camera I have of this type.

13-Jun-2016, 08:19
Thank you very much! They almost look exactly like mine! Also thank you for the back plate pictures. Really is going to help a lot when making my own :)

Emil Schildt
18-Jun-2016, 02:44
I have a smaller version of this camera with the same types of cassettes...
I can take some snaps of the back, if you need something to make your own out from...

Emil Schildt
18-Jun-2016, 03:00
here you go - slight different than Stevens..

Steven Tribe
18-Jun-2016, 03:48
Here is another version of Emils sliding back example designed for tambour square plate holders. The plate holders are placed directly in a square "hole" so only tambour types can be used. This one is for 18x24cm but can be used down to halfplate sizes. You can see that the conversion down to plate size is in place for more economic studio use! I think I have the 24x30 size somewhere? Yes, the GG is missing, quite common on these bulky sliding backs.
The text is french, which gives support to the common nation that these sorts of backs with tambour plate holder were a french speciality, but the cameras were German made.

Sorry but all images are upside down!

19-Jun-2016, 01:26
Thank you very much Emil and Steven!
Really cool that they were slid left and right! Had no idea. That is perry crazy stuff :)
I was toying with the idea of having the GG swing out to make place for the film holder, but I like the sliding version more :) A bit more work though, but authentic :)
Thanks again guys

Steven Tribe
19-Jun-2016, 03:51
Could you measure up the hole in the back and I can check whether I have something that would fit? At least it would provide you with a better idea of what to look for, or as a template. The fixing device at the top isn't shown on photos so far, but the bottom "rail" is pretty standard.

21-Jun-2016, 00:27
Here are some pictures

Size of the back is width:563mm hight:573mm depth: 24ish mm
Size of the film holder is hight:358mm (up to the larger top piece that extends in all dimensions) width:353mm thickness:37mm

Would love to buy a back from you if you have one :)

Also on the second picture, the rod with the little handles on it just underneath the back there. I have no clue as to what function it has. It can swing 90° upwards, but that is it. Any ideas?

Steven Tribe
21-Jun-2016, 15:40
And the internal opening in the rear standard is?

21-Jun-2016, 22:45
Visuals makes things a bit easier:152053152054

Steven Tribe
22-Jun-2016, 01:06
This is unusually large studio camera made for up to 30x40cm, and, perhaps, even very close to 40x50cm. The "Drop down" system of loading the back plate is unusual for this sort of camera, as well as the edge fixing fitments. Thre is usual a "place in" system with a central top latch.

THis system does seem to make the conversion of just about any available sliding back on the market "Metric or inches" an extremely easy thing to do!
All you need to do is to find an attractive piece of wood which fits flush in the square back with a brass or aluminium profile which fits in the bottom grove. Depending on the size and style of the back you wish to use, you may have to move the locking tabs a lttle higher.

My personal opinion is that you will never be able to find extra plateholders of this exact design or a back into which it will fit properly.
Perhaps you should think about the size of the format you are most interested in for portrait/still life and the process you might be using?
The back shown is a quite simple one, but with a drop down system from a slightly earlier camera than yours. It has the back plate and square plate holders. The GG screen frame hinges down and the holder is inserted from the side. The two guiding wooden pieces are quite simple and are just screwed onto the back plate. So your new back could be a sliding back with just 2 pieces of profiled mahogany.
camera backs were frequently changed over decades and, especialy, spring backs are often found on these old studio cameras.

Steven Tribe
23-Jun-2016, 04:26
The lens on this camera was likely there fom the start! A size no.6 Euryscope is a 14" focal length F4 which was designed for 10x12" coverage which suggests the original format was indeed 24x30cm. The Victorian table stand was mostly used with the larger sizes of studio cameras.

24-Jun-2016, 04:13
Love the drop down system! That should be a piece of cake to make.
I think I only need one film holder for the moment. Will do ambrotypes mainly. The X-ray film looks quite interesting though. We'll see about that in the future. Will use it as a portrait camera.

24x30cm is a pretty good size I think :) Would be cool to take larger photos in the future, but that is way down the line. Really love how the whole camera and lens looks. Lovely hand work.

The lens has a slot for aperture inserts, but those have been lost since ages. Might cut some to experiment with on the laser cutter. Bet it's going to be difficult to get enough light even with F4.

Have plans for a pretty cool LED flash system that I think could work well. 450nm light and 100x 100W LEDS should at least do something.

Steven Tribe
25-Jun-2016, 03:35
I have located my 24x30cm back "items" which actually match one of my European Studio cameras. To compare with your monster, this camera is only 38cm across!
These backs predate the "sliding back" introduction. I, personally, think sliding backs are OK with smaller formats - but I think the lift out and replace system is much more likely to keep the image selected on the GG framing with the weight of these holders (Almost 2 kilos). Note the GG is mounted by wooden strips, like window. The corner supports for the glass plates are silver for wetplate use. There two short tabs at each side on the tops of these backs which lock the backs into place. Apart from the GG and the single tambour back, I have two "blanks", which fit perfectly, but just have a square hole about full plate size. Perhaps a preparation to going down to a more modern, more economic, format?

22-Aug-2016, 23:44
i wanna purchase best camera, can one one tell me with advantages?

Dan Fromm
23-Aug-2016, 04:51
i wanna purchase best camera, can one one tell me with advantages?

The first LF camera most photographers buy is the wrong camera for the purchaser. It will teach the purchaser what it really wants/needs.

I have no idea where you are, what you want to accomplish with an LF camera, what's available to you or how much you can afford to spend. On the assumptions that you can buy through the internet and aren't made of money, buy a Cambo or Sinar monorail or a Crown Graphic. These are all relatively easy to find and not too expensive. Use whatever you get for at least a year and then go shopping again. Any of the cameras I mentioned can be resold with at worst a slight loss of money.