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Thread: Deardorff Identification Help

  1. #11
    Tracy Storer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Oakland CA
    Posts
    999

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    It's funny that this post showed up, it was just a couple weeks ago I was chatting with Ken and he mentioned the plywood. I think it was some traveling salesman who came to visit and showed some samples of the high quality marine plywood and the briefly used it for some beds, IIRC.
    In any event I did ask him specifically on this camera and he felt everything was factory original.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Crabtree View Post
    It is good to get the scoop on this from Ken. I was really baffled by the bed since it looked original, but like no Deardorff I've ever seen.
    Tracy Storer
    Mammoth Camera Company tm
    www.mammothcamera.com

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle area, WA
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    1,137

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Storer View Post
    I personally don't think "Most Deardorffs probably were refinished at least once", but I do know that the waterslide decals often put on the right side of the cameras frequently degrade and flake off.
    That's probably fair. I have heard about people refinishing Deardorffs quite a bit on forums, but not sure how many actually go through with it. I kind of like having the original finish on mine, although I'm not sure cameras are the same as antique furniture when it comes to the "never refinish it" rule.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canmore Alberta
    Posts
    724

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    That's probably fair. I have heard about people refinishing Deardorffs quite a bit on forums, but not sure how many actually go through with it. I kind of like having the original finish on mine, although I'm not sure cameras are the same as antique furniture when it comes to the "never refinish it" rule.
    I used a no front-shift 1938 5"x7" Deardorff as my main camera for about 15 years. It had been well-used before i got it and the finish had stood up very well over its working life. They're remarkable cameras with a design that had worked from day one. I can't see much reason to refinish one, unless its been subject to water damage or chipped away at with a pocket knife. Like fine vintage ('1920-1945) Martin guitars, they are much more highly valued with original finish and parts.

  4. #14

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Thanks for linking to his archived info. I recall seeing it some time ago but couldn't find it after searching all over Google.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Madisonville, LA
    Posts
    2,400

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    It's a Marine V11 without front swings made for the military. I've seen them both with the usual 4 piece triangular bottom, and the bottom shown here. L

  6. #16

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    No question it is a 1940 Military V11. The reason I know is I have camera #3 (serial number was behind the front rise. My camera came with the original one shot back that looked like a roll top desk cover and was designed after each image to take the back into the darkroom to remove the film for processing. I replaced the back with an original V11 back but had to carefully check the film registration to the Fidelity Medical Cassettes I was using and it needed some shims to get it to calibrate properly. What is very unique about this camera is it has the old Infrared bellows that do not sag. The were forced to stop making these bellows after the war because of the toxicity involved. My camera came with a Deardorff emblem and I covered the sides with an aluminum plate to use the standard pins. I got the original box it came from the factory with as well as a 14" Artar. If it was out of the box you could not tell. It looked like new. Enjoy!Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    now in Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,310

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    One wonders, as one does, what the Marine Corps wanted an 11x14 field camera for.
    And have any of the photographs made with those impressive cameras survived?

  8. #18

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    One wonders, as one does, what the Marine Corps wanted an 11x14 field camera for.
    And have any of the photographs made with those impressive cameras survived?
    The cameras were not deployed by the military to make photographs from our perspective per se. They were used in combination with infrared film to identify camouflage of enemy positions as well as the heat signature artillery produces for a considerable period of time when they were fired. That is precisely why the cameras have special infrared bellows. As is the case with a lot of things the military does where money is not an issue, they probably realized that the effectiveness of using such a heavy and cumbersome camera in a theatre of war was completely impractical (although that is completely a conjecture on my part from using the camera myself in the field many times). I suspect that they shifted to getting IR film in smaller more portable aerial camera more suited for the required objective. Their loss, our gain.

  9. #19

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Storer View Post
    Most of Kens old website is available on the web archive.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20190330...as.0catch.com/
    So much useful information here. Thanks for listing the link!

  10. #20

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    No question it is a 1940 Military V11. The reason I know is I have camera #3 (serial number was behind the front rise. My camera came with the original one shot back that looked like a roll top desk cover and was designed after each image to take the back into the darkroom to remove the film for processing. I replaced the back with an original V11 back but had to carefully check the film registration to the Fidelity Medical Cassettes I was using and it needed some shims to get it to calibrate properly. What is very unique about this camera is it has the old Infrared bellows that do not sag. The were forced to stop making these bellows after the war because of the toxicity involved. My camera came with a Deardorff emblem and I covered the sides with an aluminum plate to use the standard pins. I got the original box it came from the factory with as well as a 14" Artar. If it was out of the box you could not tell. It looked like new. Enjoy!Click image for larger version. 

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    When you say the serial # was behind the front rise, can you be more specific? I would love to find a number on this one but all I have found is the V11 stamp as depicted in my original photos. That was located on the rear plate underneath the film back.

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