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Thread: identification of old French wooden camera

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2023
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    4

    identification of old French wooden camera

    Dear All,

    Can perhaps someone help with the identification of a wooden camera, most probably French.

    Lens holder marked as 'Manchons: Le Phare', however I found no trace of this brand/type online whatsoever.

    The brass objective is marked as 'American lens' (f 8-64).

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    649

    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    LOL. Crossed wires I'm afraid. A "manchon" in french is a muff or sleeve in english. Very likely this tube once housed a gaslamp mantle which with the name "Le Phare" makes sense as a "phare" is a spotlight ot lighthouse in french. So I think they reused the cardboard tube to put the lens in. It is not the brand of the lens or camera.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  3. #3

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    Nov 2023
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    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    LOL. Crossed wires I'm afraid. A "manchon" in french is a muff or sleeve in english. Very likely this tube once housed a gaslamp mantle which with the name "Le Phare" makes sense as a "phare" is a spotlight ot lighthouse in french. So I think they reused the cardboard tube to put the lens in. It is not the brand of the lens or camera.
    Many thanks, indeed this explains a lot of my confusing search results

    Now my only trace is the 'American lens' markings on the objective.

    Any hints are welcomed!

  4. #4

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    Jan 2009
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    Denmark
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    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    Looks like a tailboard “travel” camera from the period 1890 - 1914. Most likely French or German. The top brass fitment on the sliding lens board suggest it is prepared for mono/stereo use with a single lens - there may be additional clues inside the camera.
    “American” used in conjunction a French lens usually means radial focusing drive, rather than the more common tangential drive. But doesn’t make sense here as your lens is a typical Generic Rapid Rectilinear or Aplanat- focusing is done on the camera. Most of these cameras have no name or the name of the retailer or the supplier.
    Looks like nicely finished European Walnut.

  5. #5

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    Nov 2023
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    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    Looks like a tailboard “travel” camera from the period 1890 - 1914. Most likely French or German. The top brass fitment on the sliding lens board suggest it is prepared for mono/stereo use with a single lens - there may be additional clues inside the camera.
    “American” used in conjunction a French lens usually means radial focusing drive, rather than the more common tangential drive. But doesn’t make sense here as your lens is a typical Generic Rapid Rectilinear or Aplanat- focusing is done on the camera. Most of these cameras have no name or the name of the retailer or the supplier.
    Looks like nicely finished European Walnut.
    Thank you very much @Steven Tribe for this detailed assessment, much appreciated!

  6. #6

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    Nov 2023
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    3

    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    My thanks, as well. I've just joined the Forum in part because I've got my first field camera--and by amazing chance it looks to be identical (except for lens, which is unmarked aside from the f stops) to this one. It came from a brocante (pop-up vintage market) here in Paris, but has no maker or dealer's markings, so it's just as much a mystery to me. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by fhabit; 16-Nov-2023 at 05:44. Reason: removing duplicate photo

  7. #7

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    Nov 2023
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    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    Quote Originally Posted by fhabit View Post
    My thanks, as well. I've just joined the Forum in part because I've got my first field camera--and by amazing chance it looks to be identical (except for lens, which is unmarked aside from the f stops) to this one. It came from a brocante (pop-up vintage market) here in Paris, but has no maker or dealer's markings, so it's just as much a mystery to me. Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice to see an identical camera! Hope the mystery will be revealed!

  8. #8

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    Mar 2005
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    Newbury, Vermont
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    2,236

    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    Would be nice if you could (gently!) unfold the camera and then post more photos of it (unfolded) here.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2023
    Location
    Dubai
    Posts
    1

    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    Hmmm, it seems nice. Can you please share more photos like these? I can't understand how this was discovered.

  10. #10

    Re: identification of old French wooden camera

    Old wooden camera need help with size and identification. By DRAGONPIX11 ... French Very Early Wet Plate Camera |1850-1860 | Tailboard | 9x12cm.

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