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Thread: Strange old camera

  1. #1

    Strange old camera

    I received this beast in the post today. It's quite an unusual and well-made camera, as far as I can see, and I wondered if anyone here might be able to shed any light on it. I hope that it's suitable for this forum - it takes sheet film sized up to 9x12cm, so hopefully it qualifies as LF and I don't get my knuckles rapped.

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    It appears to be a custom-built camera, using bits and pieces from other cameras. But the construction is all metal, which is what attracted me to it. It looks quite unusual for a monorail camera, based on my very limited experience.

    There are two backs, one taking 6x9 film and one 9x12. Each has a ground glass and takes slim darkslides (provided). The smaller size are all marked Zeiss Ikon or ICA. The 6x9 back is also marked ICA. But the rest is unbranded. It has a small tripod mount, and a bracket on the side that I can't explain.

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    Two lenses are supplied, a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 105mm 4.5 (the serial of which dates it to 1913) and a rapid rectilinear Bausch & Lomb. Both lenses appear optically perfect and the shutters are fully functional. The camera allows for front and back movements, and tilt at the front. No idea how much movement these lenses would allow, however. Presumably not much.

    A label included in the (home made) box indicates that this is a '1940s submarine periscope camera', but I find that hard to believe.

    Any thoughts about when this might have been made, and how, and why, would be much appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Strange old camera

    GDR (DDR) or somewhere else in the old Soviet influence block where there were plenty of scrap cameras from the early 20th Century and very little to buy in shops!
    Last edited by Steven Tribe; 16-Nov-2019 at 01:50.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Strange old camera

    From the fasteners used, I would hazard a guess that it was made sometime in the 1950s-60s.

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