View Full Version : Half-Plate (19th Century) & Busch Wide-Angle Lens

6-Mar-2007, 16:04

It looks similar in design to some of the British Lancaster models and is at least 19th Century. This one uses 13x18cm format, which seems to be a more familiar than half-plate sizes, although the half-plates accompanying this are very similar (but slightly different in the tab design) than the standard British half-plates.

Comes with an Emil Busch wide-angle Aplanat too.

What camera is it?

PS - The bellows look a bit gory. Or maybe it's just not my colour.

6-Mar-2007, 16:31
With bellows that colour you're guaranteed a thief will think twice!

Ernest Purdum
6-Mar-2007, 17:32
It appears to be Cointinental European and probably German. Identifying the actual maker when there is no maker's plate, is very unlikely.

Glenn Thoreson
6-Mar-2007, 19:19
The lens may surprise you, though. I have one Busch Aplanat that is absolutely amazing.

Ole Tjugen
7-Mar-2007, 06:18
There are two basic types of those: Generic German, and later Russian "copies". The German ones tend to be better made, but half a century older. Yours looks German, from the nice finish and fine woods.

Which Aplanat is that? A WA Aplanat Ser.C no. 2, it looks like?

If so you may well be surprised - I use mine (150mm focal length) on 24x30cm film!

7-Mar-2007, 07:13

It's not my camera - I just found it trawling around Goggle for half-plate information and was curious.

I notice a lot of plate cameras don't have names. Perhaps this is a fashion accessory added later? But then how would anyone know what the camera is? Certain designs were very evident (look! There's a name plaque):


Just look at that front drop design and engineering.

In any case, back to the German field camera with the gory turquoise bellows (surely a later modification! 19th century people could not possibly have such terrible taste).
The mahogany and brass design could very well be anything. I guess I like the look of the joints and the build.

Yes...Busch Aplanats don't sell cheap either ;(

Ole Tjugen
7-Mar-2007, 07:33

Those cameras were made over a 50-year period roughly centered on 1910. "Early 20'th century" and "taste" are usually only found in the same sentence if the word "bad" is also in there somewhere. :p

Here's one of mine:http://www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Reisekamera/DSCN0422.JPG

This one was in regular use in a German studio until about 2001, when the old guy retired. I originally bought it for the iris lens mount, but found out that the camera was far too nice to "butcher". So it's now my "standard test bed for shortish lenses", since I can swap lenses in seconds without worrying about running out of lens boards.
Note that this is also "nameless" - it seems to be the norm with that kind of German camera.

This one is a 18x24cm camera of the "Englische Type":http://www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Reisekamera/DSCN0417.JPG

Lots more front movements, less back movements, and I wouldn't trust it with a 2kg lens... The only indication of the maker is the words "Gesetzlich Geschützt" on the back, indicating the little sliding tab for "additional protection" of the ground glass frame. So it's most likely German, too...

7-Mar-2007, 07:50
Those cameras were made over a 50-year period roughly centered on 1910. "Early 20'th century" and "taste" are usually only found in the same sentence if the word "bad" is also in there somewhere.

No way!! Let me get my glasses on. Your camera looks really suave and sexy! I love the simplicity and elegance of the older one (by the way - have you ever tried to restore brass lacquer?)

The second Englische Type camera - apart from the beer-belly sagging bellows (must be showing it's middle-age :) )

Final one - Gandolfi (restored at last to use a Taylor Hobson Series III half-plate lens):