Thursday, September 30, 2010

Plate Camera

Plate Camera, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

I went out looking for a cheapo second hand digital camera to replace my present one and came back with this one instead.

A brass and mahogany camera, very slightly less than quarter plate. Fabric and paper square cut bellows which date it to being probably manufactured before 1890*. Of very basic manufacture, it has no makers name on the camera or on the lens. There are no focusing screws or keys which make it very difficult to operate.

It comes in a sturdy canvas case, with a black focussing cloth of probably later date and a set of three diopters in a case marked Wide Angle, portrait and telephoto. It also has a wooden tripod that looks like three crutches leaning against each other.

It probably had originally a set of three or four aperture rings that could be screwed into the lens and maybe even a hand pushed guillotine shutter.

From this description you will realise that in it's day it would have been considered very basic; The kind of camera advertised in the small ads of Ally Sloper's Half Holiday or given as a prize by the original Titbits magazine.

If it's so awful why did I buy it? Simple....because it is very pretty.


Footnote published 11th October 2010

* I have changed my mind about the date of this camera. Please see here

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