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Thread: Please help identify this camera

  1. #1

    Please help identify this camera

    Hi,
    A few years ago a friend of mine gave me the pictured ULF rig. I am a director of photography in the video documentary world and know little about large format photography. I will be honest and say I am looking to get rid of this rig and was considering throwing it out. But before I did I wanted to ask you fine ladies and gentlemen if you could take the time to explain to me what it is and if it has value to anyone (not necessarily monetary value but value as a photography tool). I would love to responsibly get rid of it rather than just trash it. Meaning I would like to get it in the hands of someone who might use it for its intended purpose rather than have it end up in some landfill. But maybe its really got no value... I don't know. Any advice on what I have would be appreciated.
    Jack K
    Seal Beach, CA USAClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    194

    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    Hello, Jack,
    It has value.
    I am sure that someone in the LA area would love to have it.
    In 30 days, you will have access to the For Sale area of the forum...
    If you list it For Free, must pick up, it would probably go away in a heartbeat.
    Can we please see more pics for identification purposes in the meantime?
    It is an ULF studio camera, but make/ model, etc unknown without more pics. What size is the ground glass in the back? Are there more than one ground glass backs? More than one lens? What do the brass plaques say?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    The lens is a 210mm CZ Tessar which unless I'm way off course, isn't intended for ULF use.............

    good luck

    Andrew

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Buford, GA
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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    It appears to be an old studio portrait camera and stand. That scissors contraption was used to hold vignettors.

  5. #5
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    I'm guessing it was probably the workhorse of a studio portrait photographer. Nice stand. Nothing terribly valuable about the lens, not sure about the camera. The sliding back probably let them shoot a sheet film polaroid to check some lighting or idea, then they could switch to the MF rollfilm back for regular use. Some photographers simple sized down lenses and film sizes as film improved rather than purchase smaller cameras or learn new ways of doing things.

  6. #6

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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    I'm guessing it was probably the workhorse of a studio portrait photographer. Nice stand. Nothing terribly valuable about the lens, not sure about the camera. The sliding back probably let them shoot a sheet film polaroid to check some lighting or idea, then they could switch to the MF rollfilm back for regular use. Some photographers simple sized down lenses and film sizes as film improved rather than purchase smaller cameras or learn new ways of doing things.
    It predates Polaroid.

    You inserted the film or plate on the right. You slid the back to focus and compose, you slid it to the other side to expose.
    Later on split 57 became popular for studio portraits, worked the same way except you could shift the film to get 2 shots per sheet or plate. Was fairly common through the mid to late 60s. Then MF took its place.

  7. #7

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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    I agree that it's likely a portrait camera that has a custom back. It could be anything underneath. The lens would suggest something around 5x7. Value is dependent on finding a nut that wants it. There's plenty of us folks out there. A split 5x7, 2 1/2 7 made a beautiful print of a lady in a formal dress
    5x7 was a popular size for wedding studio prints, contact prints, or there were a lot of Elwood and Kodak 5x7 enlargers around in the 30's through the early 60's too.

  8. #8

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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    It looks like the backs rotate. Are the linked together?

  9. #9
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    Now that's a beauty! Please, do not relegate it to the bin! Someone will take it off your hands, I'm sure!

  10. #10

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    Re: Please help identify this ULF rig

    This must be a post WW II European studio camera/stand.
    It looks like the original 4 piece square bellows which a hallmark of European cameras. The geared front raise is a typical European feature.
    It is a UHC (ultra heavy camera) rather than a ULF “rig”! The format is both medium format and (I think) I recognize a mechanism for making multiple smaller photos on a Larger film.
    Some countries post 1945 did not have any opportunities to import more exotic portrait lenses ( the eastern block) which might explain the Zeiss. Design style suggests a minimalistic ( industrial) version of 1890 - 1920 studio camera.

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