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Can anyone ID this large format camera

Wally Hess , Nov 10, 2002; 06:38 p.m.

Please help me to identify this camera. Ipicked it up for cheap at a local flea market and wonder if this is a 4x5 or smaller camera. Plate on side says (in German) ""Hess and Sattler specialists in photography" Mainz" Inside camera on foldout bed states "Orionwerk AktGes Hanover" Camera looks like a minature speed graphic, all black, with bellows and 135mm lens (glass in good condition)Has a range finder for composing. Shutter is broken. The back of the camera has aremovable sliding back with a dark slide within it. Is this a 4x5 camera, or perhaps a smaller size? Any info would be appreciated. I have photos, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to attach them to this posting. If anyone wants to see pictures, please advise Thanks for your help

Wally Hess


Attachment: PB102117.JPG

Responses

Robert Davis , Nov 10, 2002; 07:35 p.m.

My guess is german 9x12 plate camera.

William Levitt , Nov 11, 2002; 05:15 a.m.

My guess is either 9X12cm or a 6X9. I hope you didn't pay alot for it, because they are not worth alot. It GOOD workng condition, I see them go for about $75 if your licky. But those would be the Agfa Isolette or a Voigtlaender with a Skopia lens.

Colin Carron , Nov 11, 2002; 06:37 a.m.

As above this is probably a 9x12cm German plate camera dating to about 1930 from the look of it. From your picture the lens is a Corygon 13.5cm f/6.3 which was manufactured by Friedrich of Munchen. It is a triplet so medium quality but reasonable. 13.5cm was 'standard' for a 9x12cm plate. If you measure the plate size you will be able to confirm. The camera was probably made by one of the lesser known german manufacturers. Firms such as Orion and Bolta used Corygon lenses but it could have been several others.

If you want to get it working (and why not?) you can either get 9x12 sheet film and fit it into the metal plate holders with a bit of packing(Germany and Sweden seem to be sources for this size still) or look out for a 120 rollfilm holder to fit a 9x12 back. Rada are probably the best known and they come up regularly on ebay. There is unfortunately no guarantee that a Rada roll film holder will fit your particular cameras back as they were not completely standardized.

Robert Davis , Nov 11, 2002; 08:27 a.m.

Similar cameras have been selling on Ebay for between $20-40. German or Soviet. Many coming out of the former Soviet countries. The picture looks in much better shape but many of those selling on Ebay included film backs. OTOH I've seen lens for sale that I'd bet were taken from those same cameras selling for $50+. There is a US store importing 9x12 film. It's more expensive then getting the 4x5 but you save trimming it yourself.

Ron Gratz , Nov 11, 2002; 09:17 a.m.

According to my 1995-96 edition of McKeown's camera price guide, Orion Werk (Hannover, Germany) produced a folding plate camera called the RIO in the early 1920's. It came in 3 sizes: 6.5x9, 9x12 and 10x15 cm. Average selling price: $60 - 90 for a camera in condition 5 - Complete but showing signs of normal use and wear.

Ron Gratz

Wally Hess , Nov 11, 2002; 10:35 a.m.

To all that replied - thanks. I do have the camera back, and inside of the back is a recess with 4 clips that appears to be where you load a sheet of film. It measures approx 3.5 width x 4.5 length, and I have one metal slide that fits within it to cover the film area. As I said, the shuttter is broken, but I will try to find a way to take pictures with it. I paid $25 for it, so I'm not really out a lot of cash - as someone said, I can try to use the lens for something. I will check on ebay for other examples of this camera and possibly extra film holders. Again, thanks for all the info.

Wally Hess

Robert Davis , Nov 11, 2002; 12:41 p.m.

Try:

http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/index.htm

I know they used to have info on similar cameras. From memory the German ones are from Voigtlander and I think somebody called ICA. The Germans stopped around 1930. The Soviets supposedly built over 1 million similar cameras between 1930-40.

When I was looking for an inexpensive entry into sheet film I looked at these types. The downsides IMHO are

1) 9x12 film is a pain to get in North America. That's changed now that it's being imported.

2) The obvious limits of the cameras [shutter speeds,bellows size and some of the lens]

3) They seem highly non-standard. Every company made them thier own way. Or thats the impression I got.

Other then that they seemed ideal. Supposedly roll film holders exist.

Fred Arnold , Nov 11, 2002; 01:08 p.m.

That's roughly the size of Polaroid pack-film, though. Could you use the pack-film back from a MP4 copy-camera, and then shoot Type-665? You might have to shim it, but it's less hassle than sheet film.

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