Show your Old Cameras

ex machina

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So I've a mystery to solve and hope your folks can help me solve it -- anyone recognize this camera?

View attachment 846558 View attachment 846562

I belonged to my great grandmother, used quarter glass plate negatives, and accepted a remote shutter trigger, probably pneumatic. This photo was likely taken in 1904 in Roanoke, VA. USA. This is a crop of a mirror reflection in this photo.

From the same scene, the second, blurrier crop is from a scan I haven't restored yet. And confoundingly, this plate was taken in portrait orientation, while the first was in landscape, yet the camera orientation hasn't changed. Could this be a clue to the camera model? Or is this someone else's camera that just happened to be in the shot? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Meh. After thinking on it more, I think this has to have been someone else's camera, as the shot appears to be perpendicular to the mirror, which would place the actual camera in the center of the photo, which might still have been reflected had the flowers not been there.

Still, it would be interesting if anyone could ID the camera, even if it wasn't my great grandmother's after all.
 

Erich_H

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Maybe the bellows of the camera was tilted.
I'm thinking "how many cameras would be present at an 1904 funeral"?

Additionally, I'm confused by "perpendicular".
I thought that meant at an 90 degree angle to something. You'll have to excuse me, as English is only my third language.
 
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ex machina

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Maybe the bellows of the camera was tilted.
I'm thinking "how many cameras would be present at an 1904 funeral"?

I was wondering if the camera body allowed a rotating back -- that could explain how the camera would provide both a landscape and portrait orientation w/o turning the camera itself on its side.

Grandsally was an amateur photographer, perhaps the family hired a professional to document the funeral scene and she wanted part of the action?

Additionally, I'm confused by "perpendicular".
I thought that meant at an 90 degree angle to something. You'll have to excuse me, as English is only my third language.

It seems to me that the camera viewpoint is at a 90 degree angle to the mirror in the center of the room, which would prevent it from being reflected in the mirror as flowers would obscure its direct line of sight?
 

Erich_H

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I was wondering if the camera body allowed a rotating back -- that could explain how the camera would provide both a landscape and portrait orientation w/o turning the camera itself on its side.

Grandsally was an amateur photographer, perhaps the family hired a professional to document the funeral scene and she wanted part of the action?



It seems to me that the camera viewpoint is at a 90 degree angle to the mirror in the center of the room, which would prevent it from being reflected in the mirror as flowers would obscure its direct line of sight?
OK. Now I get the perpendicular part. I wasn't thinking clearly... 😬

And the pro photographer part makes sense.
The picture quality seems high.

And in that case, the camera in the mirror could maybe belong to your great grandmother, assuming that the picture taking camera is hidden by the flower arrangement.
 
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Beautiful!
Both mum, and camera!

Link to the manual (but I suppose you already have it):

https://www.cameramanuals.org/pdf_files/kershaw_penguin_roll_film.pdf

But, according to Camerapedia, this camera wasn't introduced until 1951. Maybe that's wrong, though...

https://camerapedia.fandom.com/wiki/Kershaw_Eight-20_Penguin

EDIT: according to this:

https://www.collection-appareils.fr/x/html/appareil-1194-Kershaw_Penguin eight-20.html

it was introduced in 1950.

Interesting information - thanks. so perhaps the photo was taken with a different camera. I can remember him using the camera when I was a child, but no idea really when he bought it.

Thanks for links - I didn't have manual. Might see if I can get a roll of film and try it out.
 

ex machina

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OK. Now I get the perpendicular part. I wasn't thinking clearly... 😬

And the pro photographer part makes sense.
The picture quality seems high.

And in that case, the camera in the mirror could maybe belong to your great grandmother, assuming that the picture taking camera is hidden by the flower arrangement.

No, these plates are from the set she took in the first decade of 1900, hers must be the camera hidden by the flowers (seems unlikely that the pro's plates would match size and end up in her own set). The quality of her 3.25x4.25 plates, aside from the toll taken by the intervening century where the plates were not properly cared for, can be pretty good.
 

ex machina

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No, these plates are from the set she took in the first decade of 1900, hers must be the camera hidden by the flowers (seems unlikely that the pro's plates would match size and end up in her own set). The quality of her 3.25x4.25 plates, aside from the toll taken by the intervening century where the plates were not properly cared for, can be pretty good.

But maybe I'm wrong about the camera being perpendicular to the mirror? If that's the case, then it could be my great grandmother's camera -- if we were able to ID the camera and find its back was rotatable. Are there any forensic tools that can reverse-engineer a camera position based on shot geometry?

Getting off-topic, apologies. Moving my mystery to its own thread at Is this my great grandmother's camera?
 
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Erich_H

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But maybe I'm wrong about the camera being perpendicular to the mirror? If that's the case, then it could be my great grandmother's camera -- if we were able to ID the camera and find its back was rotatable. Are there any forensic tools that can reverse-engineer a camera position based on shot geometry?

Getting off-topic, apologies. Moving my mystery to its own thread at Is this my great grandmother's camera?
We just need to say "Magnify. Enhance." to the computer. Like they do on TV.
 

barry13

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GIMP-Minolta+SRT101+with+58mm+F1.4 E3061222.jpg
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Mountain_Man_79

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Uh oh, my computer doesn’t have a parallel port :eek:
E8973BAE-5DF5-47F5-8F2B-3BB8A3BDD462.jpeg
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25 years old and officially a classic digital camera.
 

Petrochemist

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Uh oh, my computer doesn’t have a parallel port :eek:
View attachment 889769
25 years old and officially a classic digital camera.
Not a major issue see https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/usb-to-parallel-port-adapter/bn_7024769731
I think I'd find other issues more of a hindrance :)

Probably no worse than the Phillips cs-mount camera I picked up - which had to be hard wired to mains & BNC video ports, but at least it allowed those annoying cs-mount lenses to be used on something other than bad macro shots.

I'll freely admit your Cybershot is more of a classic :)
 

ralf-11

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Why compact pocket cameras are no more....
 

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