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Strange Bellows Camera

Frank Thomas , Dec 10, 1997; 05:15 p.m.

I've been offered a large bellows camera (Argyle 18) that was left in an office building. It is mounted to a base on two rails and has knobs that move the rear of the camera or the lens forward and backward only. In front of the lens is a glass covered frame that folds and locks either horizontally or vertically and appears to be for holding something to be copied. Someone said it is for enlarging and advertising but gave no details. It looks to me like a camera to photograph papers or posters to enlarge them. Is this thing worth anything or should I refuse it. He plans to trash it if I don't want it. It looks in good condition and has everything including lights mounted on each side of the frame.

Responses

Robert Miller , Jan 10, 1998; 01:49 p.m.

This sounds like a process camera. It works just as you described. It can be used for enlarging or reducing the original item which is held in the copyboard (glass covered frame). Some people use these as a basis for making a large format enlarger by adding a light source to the back, negative holder in place of the ground glass, etc. If it is complete, the lens is most likely to be the most valuable part of whole camera.

Warren A. Rosborough, III , May 21, 2001; 02:01 p.m.

I have an Argyle 18 process camera with light bar. It was obtained when i purchased a small newspaper. They never used it. I would like to sell. Please contact me at wariii@hotmail.com

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