View Full Version : Help to Identify ULF Studio Portrait Camera on Stand - British Builder?

Len Middleton
9-Nov-2016, 08:47
OK, seems strange when I travel I sometimes get to see some odd cameras. There was another time around 10 years ago in the Middle East when I need to get a passport type picture done for a government document, and saw a LF camera on a Linhof telescopic stand with a Rodenstock lens, but no makers name on the camera itself.

Anyways back in the Middle East again, and the hotel I have been staying at a few times now, the owner keeps a large display of a variety of items, including a LF tailboard camera, and some 120 folders and TLR's. So this time, the assistant to the owner takes me to show me one of their recent acquisitions: an ULF studio portrait camera on a stand similar to some of the Century, Ansco, Deardorff, Kodak units.

The back does not seem to be original, as it is about 5x7, but the back opening could manage 11x14 easily. The opening for the lensboard appears to be 8" or 9". Currently it has mounted a Swift and Sons No.4 Universal Paragon f5.6, with an estimated focal length of 20" to 24". Please understand that I did not bring anything to measure distance with...

The stand and camera seem to be produced by the same people as the crank on the camera to move the front bed to focus from the back of the camera, matches that on the rear of the stand for tilt, and the stand is built to match the dimensions of the camera e.g. length-ways guide on both sides to hold the camera from sliding sideways off of the stand, and the length of the stand matches the camera. There are some details that would be a little more expensive than most e.g. the style of lensboard locks, geared front rise, geared front and rear focus, separate geared movement of the front bed to allow focusing from the rear.

The shutter mechanism is different than any I have sen before. It is pneumatic, but uses a flexible bellows "dome" to block the light, then presumably swings the one side over to the other to expose the film. As the rubber air bulb was rotted, there was no way of testing it.

With the lens and comments made by the owner, I am wondering if it British made.

I will be sending them a copy of this link so that they might get some idea about what it might be, its maker, relative vintage, etc. So looking for some help, as this is well beyond my area of knowledge in the ULF world.

Was looking at adding some pictures of it on its pallet and some details to help in identifying it, but it is taking forever to upload a picture, so may have to wait until I get home later this week before I load any more...


Len Middleton
9-Nov-2016, 11:09
Some more pix:


Len Middleton
9-Nov-2016, 12:27
Note the "K" on the pedal to lift the rear of the stand off its wheels (a clue?):

157221 157222 157223 157224

I guess that should be enough pictures for now, although there are three nice cars in the lobby...
1959 Jag Mk IX
1959 Ford Fairlaine Skyliner, AND
1959 Caddy convertible with tail fins that could poke your eyes out if the pointed tail lights did not get your eyes first...

Steven Tribe
9-Nov-2016, 13:08
German Gorlitzer Camera. I have 4 of them.

I have this German studio stand too!

It is (was?) equipped with a Grundner eyelid internal pneumatic shutter as well.

The makers round badge is still present. It shows a "puck" type figure leaping over a Globe.
I have two of these too!
Can't remember the spelling - but I think it is Kugler. (Later! u with an umlaut).

I just read your text and you describe the Grundner as being present!

Steven Tribe
9-Nov-2016, 13:42
This link shows some typical camera backs/plate holders for Gorlitz cameras.


There is a link there to the gorlitz photo museum.

Len Middleton
10-Nov-2016, 03:35

Thank you very much, and just to confirm your comments, see the attached pictures of the one on the stand and on the front standard:
157240 157241

I glanced at the badges, but did not give them much consideration as they did not have a manufacturer's name, and they seem almost like children's stickers.

Please bear in mind as someone from a Northern hockey playing country, when someone uses the word "Puck", a Shakespearean woodland fairy is not the first thing that comes to mind, especially a former goaltender... :D

Do you know what would the age range be for these cameras, or was it a long production run with no way of telling?

Again thanks,


Steven Tribe
10-Nov-2016, 04:34
I can't find any historical accounts of the 3 companies which included Kuegler. They made pretty similar studio cameras throughout their 3 "periods". They are lesser well-known for their reisekameras, but here is an example:


They were certainly making these as late as 1921, as there is a library copy of a catalogue in the Netherlands which can be loaned out!


I doubt they existed much after this date. The 20's was a period of photo company deaths and mergers in Gorlitz.


Nickel plating suggests the 1900 - 1920 timeframe.

It seems the technical phrase covering the "puck" holding a camera is a "jester"!