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Thread: Nagaoka camera?

  1. #1

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    Nagaoka camera?

    I saw this camera on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/274242820504
    The bottom plate says Nagaoka woody since 1911.
    This camera looks very similar to Philips, anyone knows the history?

  2. #2
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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    Nothing exotic, it's just the last version of the 8x10 Nagaoka.

    EDIT: "Phillips type", but probably not the last version - see my post below.
    Last edited by Oren Grad; 19-May-2021 at 21:40.

  3. #3

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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Songyun View Post
    I saw this camera on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/274242820504
    The bottom plate says Nagaoka woody since 1911.
    This camera looks very similar to Philips, anyone knows the history?
    Sadly, Mr. Nagaoka recently passed away. Check out this thread:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...hlight=Nagaoka
    Not too sure about the date on your camera as the company was founded in 1962, not 1911.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    It only superficially resembles a Phillips, which used a custom lamination of epoxy-impregnated cherrywood and fiberglass (much stronger and more dimensionally stable). But it might be a fine camera in its own right, and at considerably lower price than the going rate for used Phillips 8x10's.

    The 1911 date clearly shows up in a magnified view of the baseplate. So is it even a real Nakaoka? Comparing a different listing of a late Nagaoka 8x10, there's a distinct dogleg to the rear standard bearer, whereas in this case it's just a thin straight section. One more thing that makes me suspect this particular listing is a knockoff, perhaps from India.

  5. #5

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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    I have to agree with Drew, there are several features that look different than any Nagaoka that I've seen before, I think this is a knockoff. Also I don't believe there ever was an 8x10 woody.
    Jim

  6. #6
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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    That "since 1911" label was standard on recent production Nagaoka cameras in all formats.

    The 8x10 Nagaoka, like the smaller ones, was designated "Woody" - I have Nippon Camera annuals from the '90's and '00's documenting that. The annuals also show that for his 8x10 model, Nagaoka-san had moved to the "Phillips style" design with floating front standard by 1995, if not earlier.

    EDIT: More on the "1911" thing - going through my Nagaoka files, looking in particular at an interview that appeared in a Japanese online publication last year, I get the impression that around 1962 he more or less inherited an existing small factory where he had started to work during his student days, as the prior owner did not otherwise have an heir. So it's possible that he claimed the origin of the earlier operation as his own. I'd welcome any further insight on this from any native Japanese readers who happen to see this.

    EDIT 2: One other design note, for those who are familiar only with the Phillips Compact II and Explorer 8x10 cameras - the tapered bed and the hardware on this Nagaoka actually make it more a copy of the original Phillips Compact 8x10, the one that came in "blond" finish.

  7. #7

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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    Made in India is very suspicious! Was the name sold to an Indian concern?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8
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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Made in India is very suspicious! Was the name sold to an Indian concern?
    Where do you see "Made in India"?

  9. #9
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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    Beautiful camera -- I don't have clothes nice enough to be seen with it in public though.

    The tapered bed had me wondering if it was warped!

    I had an Indian knock-off of a Deardorf Special that I used for 5x7. One gets what one pays for usually.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Nagaoka camera?

    When it comes to knockoffs, which are made to fool people to begin with, one would never see the actual country of origin on the label. I'm no expert on Nagoaka cameras by any means, but have seen knockoff Tachiharas and Dorffs made in India, so it was just a hunch on my part. I did read up a bit on Mr Nagaoka's biography, and his apprenticeship prior to his own business venture is a bit tenuous with respect to a fine woodworking background. "1911" might be just the heritage date of a general trade guild in that locality; but he certainly found his groove.

    I personally use the original blonde version of the 8X10 Phillips - only the 9th camera he ever made - and actually prefer its simpler design to the later II version, although I replaced some of the original minor hardware pieces as my own tweak, and then discussed with Phillips what I had done and why. He took it in mind, but then partially redesigned the whole camera instead. It's one purchase I'll never regret.

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