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Thread: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

  1. #11
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    They are not as rare as you think. Deardorffs are. I found a grey painted Ansco Semi-Centennial stand and matching tailboard camera with the very popular 5X7 back. Grey paint was the 'premium' model and priced higher as for a while everybody wanted the 'new' Industrial finish. Now nobody does. 5X7 became the most popular studio size as the format is good for groups and standing poses. It is can also be used with a sliding back to give 2 images very quickly on one piece of 5X7. As film improved smaller sizes saved money, again 5X7. Tailboard cameras were prefered as they only needed rear focus and adjustments, the front standard on a Tailboard can carry a huge portrait lens and internal shutter. Strong.

    Another arcane fact is every small town in the USA had a Portrait studio and one of these cameras was de rigor. How many were made? How many are still somewhere in Ohio. I bet Ohio has a lot of them.

    I found mine while looking for an enlarger. Horse country Chicago area. A falling down house, 2 very odd brothers. I think I barely escaped with my life. Not kidding. The musty basement had father's old gear. I bought 2 enlargers for cheap. Then I asked what was under that dusty sheet. The Ansco! It was just begiining to rot, but not yet. Maybe 2013. $25 and they loaded everything. I was on crutches. The house was remote, far off the road and i had to park out of sight of the road. After loading one brother gave me a very scary look, the other brother said, 'Get out of here now'. Not in anger, more like he was worried...

    When picking take a partner if possible.

    Your camera and stand are somewhere in Ohio.

    I later sold mine for $250 to a guy who was going to restore it. I had used it for several years as is. He was buying everything LF in sight from NY down the Midwest and home to Texas.

    In his van and cargo trailer he had a Deardorff Portrait Stand with camera, 3 of the big Dearforff stands with cameras like in my picture. My Ansco and all kinds of stuff. He claimed to run out of cash at my studio. Nice guy and wife. We hit it off. It was a good day for me. He left me with a full load going home. Never heard from him again, but i bet he reads this Forum, eBay and every Craigslist in the country. I knew where he got his 'good stuff' from sold eBay listings I had watched.

    Let us know when you find one!

  2. #12

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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    I agree that there's probably a lot of these things tucked away in dusty places in Ohio. Dusty objects seem to be our chief product (aside from meth and moonshine). The part I'm unsure about is finding that first lead. Obviously, now that you guys have given me the right words to use, I've got search alerts saved on ebay and the Columbus craigslist for as many variations on the theme as I can come up with. I've also got a "if you find one, call me" cards in for several different things at the local used camera store (the one who doesn't take advantage of customers, at least). I'm just not sure what to do beyond that. I have a feeling I might be better off looking out towards Newark or Zanesville (smaller towns but still county seats) but I don't have a clue what threads to start pulling on there. It'd be nice if I could run an "all-Ohio" search on Craigslist or some of the actual physical auction websites.

  3. #13
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    Pm sent

  4. #14

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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    Pm sent
    Thanks Randy, I appreciate that you took the time to do that. I'll repeat what I said in the PM in case anyone else tries to help. I have a spinal problem and riding long distances in the car messes me up bad. I can pretty much make it to any of the borders of Ohio but that's a hard limit with the exception that I'm a little closer to the southeast border of Ohio so I can make it just across the river into the near parts of WV.

  5. #15
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    Mine was found on Ebay and required a full day's drive to pick up.

    Like everything else, they are most apt to show up when you do NOT need one and/or do NOT have the money to buy one.
    Similarly, Murphy dictates that the first to show up (or the most desirable) will be on the other side of the country from you...
    Last edited by William Whitaker; 8-Mar-2018 at 11:39.

  6. #16

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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    I see more "birdhouse" cameras + stands in people's living rooms now as décor, and they will probably never be used to shoot a sensitized piece of material ever again... So maybe look into the antiques market for them... (But probably more $$$...)

    Steve K

  7. #17
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    ...The musty basement had father's old gear...
    ...and possibly father as well, eh?

  8. #18
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    I think the name "semi-centennial" was used by Kodak or Folmer & Schwing (or both) to refer to the stand they sold for their line of Century cameras.
    Agfa referred to their studio camera as the Studio No. 5.

    I've had both, but still have the Agfa version. They are of comparable quality and I would recommend either to someone looking to acquire a nice old camera stand. And no, mine's not for sale!

  9. #19
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Whitaker View Post
    ...and possibly father as well, eh?
    Not quite the right smell, I know that smell.

    When they were loading the van, the odd brother noticed all the tie downs and made a comment that chilled me.

    I got the Hell out of there.

    I think I survived as the 'ok' brother was a biker and we had mutual acquaintances. I always search for common ground. Saved my stupid ass a few times.

  10. #20
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: What's the correct name for the big crank-up camera tables old studios used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Whitaker View Post
    I think the name "semi-centennial" was used by Kodak or Folmer & Schwing (or both) to refer to the stand they sold for their line of Century cameras.
    Agfa referred to their studio camera as the Studio No. 5.

    I've had both, but still have the Agfa version. They are of comparable quality and I would recommend either to someone looking to acquire a nice old camera stand. And no, mine's not for sale!
    Right now I know of 3 for sale. One is close to me, well 300 miles...

    Then there are these clumsy things. I know of one for sale. I sold another to the Texas guy.

    20130701-DSCN2992 by moe.randy, on Flickr

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