beginner in LF has found some 1930 wood LF, help!! : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


I have been reading many discusions at the beginners section, but there was to much information in once and could not find a solution therefor;

I found a wooden LF camera (see picture) of a friend. He has never used it nor checked it. it has 3 lenses and no name plate. He offerc it for 250$, if not he would go to a shop and try to get something for it, but shop's don't give much for old things with no name plate. (maybe because it is not realy wurth much). does someone reconizes this camera? does it take the standard films? what are the most importend things to check? (the acordeon is in good condition and have a extencion of 50cm, and the lenses are fine)

I would like to get started in LF mainly for landscape's, architecture (easy to shift the lens) and Close up. but I would not use it much. could someone give me some general information thanks in advanced

see image;

-- Stijn (, May 10, 2001


Essential details are not visible in the picture. For example, I get no clue of the size. But cameras of this style were, as far as I know, frequently made without any name label. Here in Germany, they occasionally turn up on flea markets. As far as I can see, the camera does not even have a front tilt, and chances are you have to modify the back to make it accept modern film holders. Three lenses are a temptation, but I don't think they are in a shutter, and they are probably not anywhere near modern quality. Negatives from such cameras were mostly contact printed. My advice: buy it if yo can easily spare 250 $, and if you like for some reason the thought to take pictures with an antique camera (and are willing to take some trouble for this), but if you want to get into large format with some degree of seriousness, get a more modern camera (plenty on ebay).


-- Lukas Werth (, May 10, 2001.

apparently there would be some papers with it (hand lotes) where it say's to be "G.rodenstock munchen" "OPTISCHE INSTITUT MUNCHEN" there are 3plates to put in the negatives numbert 1-6 , and 2 negatives/plate. also a timer included.

-- Stijn (, May 10, 2001.

The camera's worth more to a collector than as a usable piece of equipment. The back will almost certainly take the old 'bookform' plateholders, which can no longer be used. Converting the camera to take modern filmholders will ruin any collectible value, so don't even contemplate that.
The accessories that are scattered around suggest that the camera doubled as a horizontal enlarger also.

If it were mine, I'd polish the woodwork and bellows up (leave the brass alone), take it to a high-class auction house, put an optimistic reserve on it, and see if any mugs, er...sorry, I mean wealthy collectors, take the bait.
Then I'd spend the proceeds on a decent and useable camera.

-- Pete Andrews (, May 11, 2001.

Hi Stijn, that looks like an old portrait camera to me, something along the lines of a B&J Rembrant. I take it the front is afixed vertically to the bed. Do you know if it is a cut film or a glass plate camera? Are there any movements at all on the rear? Usually and minimally, for landscapes and architecture you desire at least rise and fall on the front and tilt and swing on the back, and for the close ups you will want freedom of bellows extension. The small table top portrait cameras I've seen are no good for any of the above. However, there are some pretty creative folks out there who take some great and interesting photos with the most amazing things. I guess in the end it's a temperment kind of issue you are facing, but it would be convenant if at least he has film holders with it, and if you knew there was some way to reliably time the exposure. Don't leave all the incidentals out of you decision, like will you need a tripod, dark cloth, exposure meter, does it require a size of film you will have to cut by hand...and so forth. Good Luck, David

-- david clark (, May 11, 2001.

thanks for answering, this camera is dated from the glass period, would it sell for $250 if I eventualy have no satiasfation of it? 2 lenses have marks on the side, (probably caused by the lead and copper) are they of any use? and reparable? thanks

-- Stijn (, May 14, 2001.

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