View Full Version : Hi - need help with an E. Mazo (Paris) Large Format Camera - I'm new to all this ..

11-May-2010, 11:06

Glad I found you. I'm new to all this large format stuff ...

I found an E. Mazo (Paris) field camera with tripod at what seems a wonderful price. [see pic below]

As a photographer, I certainly want to use this - never worked with a large field camera before.

All the parts seem to be there - however, I am confused as to film holders, plates, raw film stock, etc.
(I see the ground glass plate on the back, lens on the front .... ) Seems to be in near perfect condition.
I have not measured it, but the back plate looks to be about 8x10 or larger.

Basically, I'm asking - HOW DO I GET THIS CAMERA WORKING?

Any information or resources you might be able to provide would be gratefully received,


David Allespach
Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece

Jim Graves
11-May-2010, 12:28
Here's a link to a good place to start ... the articles in this forum: Link (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/)

Steven Tribe
11-May-2010, 12:54
This looks like the popular European type travel camera which was made in the following standard sizes (cm) 13x18, 18x24 and 24x30. They were on offer as late as the 1930's. Size quoted is the glass plates/sheet film used in the back - it, more or less, corresponds to the dimensions of the ground glass back. I enclose a phot of a catalogue - it folds up nicely for transport. Note the central part of the base - the central part with the finger hole is pushed forward to lock the fixed fron standard when the camera is assembled. There is a variant where the rear standard can be turned through 90 degrees ( or rather taken off and remounted ) and the bellows turns in the front standard (seen on french cameras).

The wood can be either European Walnut or Mahogany. If you post more photos we can say more. The base interlocking parts are likely to be very stiff - so be careful!

Tim Meisburger
11-May-2010, 13:55
First, extend the bellows and take off the back. Put a flashlight inside the bellows to look for light leaks. If none, good. If a few, they can be fixed easily (just google it).

Next, figure out what size film holders you need (measure the ground class) and buy some. Ebay is a good place to find them. Also buy film and a changing bag (sometimes called a darkbag). Assuming you have a lightmeter (you can use another camera's meter), you are ready to shoot. Videos on how to load film holders are available on the web.

Developing black and white film is easy. Either do it in trays in a darkroom, or buy a daylight tank like a CombiPlan or Paterson Orbital (depending on your film size).

It seems like a lot, but if you take it step by step its easy, and you will soon be shooting that lovely camera.

Good luck!

12-May-2010, 12:09
Thanks very much - now, I have to convince the antique store owner to let me take it apart and photograph it - before I can think of purchasing it and whatever replacement parts might be required. (my bright idea is to use only a large format camera (never having used one before) for my exhibit at the TEA photo exhibition in Tenrife ...)

So, photos and measurements coming soon - thanks for the continued 'hand-holding'

Steven Tribe
12-May-2010, 16:02
There are a couple of 13x18 "reisekamera" on that site in Germany. Check, for example, 280047771556 which has photos. Don't pay too much attention to the BIN prices from dealers. They are often offered for years. Completed auctions are more reliable a price guide. Searches for brass ("messing") will usually find a few more where sellers do not know what they have for sale.