Dec 30, 2010

Photosynth of the Eastman Interchangeable View camera

See the synth below. If you are viewing a synth for the first time you may have to download a programm from Photosynth. You can also see it on my site where there is some text also.

Dec 28, 2010

A. Laverne & Eastman Interchangeable View camera

Part of the Xmas holliday I have spent on writing an article about the Eastman Interchangeable View camera. Theme is that Eastman's left his 'blue ocean strategy' temporary and switched to a 'red ocean strategy'. His attempt to introduce film photography during the mid 1880s was not succesful. His conclusion was that he needed to aim at a new public: the snapshooter and family photographer. To put this strategy into practice would take several years, but during this time the company had to earn money. Eastman decided to fill the gap with a traditional product for a traditional market: field cameras for the serious photographer. And that is the Eastman Interchangeable View.
I have to take the photos to go with the article and select other illustrations and then I it ready to go to the editor of Photohistorisch Tijdschrift.

When researching my new camera I found some interesting information about A. Laverne & Co., who made the shutter on my Eastman Interchangeable View camera. It doesn't fit into my article, so I share it here.
Arthur Léon Laverne was a French lantern manufacturer who took over around 1877 the business of two optical instument makers, Albert Gasc and Alphonse Charconnet. In 1887 he formed a partnership with the optical and photographic dealers Eugène Gaston Clément and Georges Arthur Gilmer. In 1890 Laverne retired and sold his business to Clément and Gilmer in april. (Source, source)
The shutter on my camera was patented Februari 24, 1887 (181.782). See the patent text and illustrations here. The illustrations are in the last part of the book. 
The shutter works between the lens element, through the slit for waterhouse stops. It has times for 1, ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 en 1/100 second. The fitting lens is made by “A. Laverne & Co. Clément & Gilmer Sucrs”. It has an irisdiafragma and slit for the shutter. De diafragmrange goes from 8 to 64.

Dec 19, 2010

Eastman Interchangeable View camera

Yesterdays experiment with the Venetian Cream worked out well. At least the bellows didn't fall apart during the night. So this morning I continued to treat the rest of the bellows. See the before and after pictures.
After that I touched up the wood where it was scratched with a furniture touch up pen. If you are going to do this on your camera, don't forget to wipe off the ink immediately after you applied it. Don't let it dry on the lacquer around the scratch. Just wet a tip of a finger with some spit and wipe the ink off.
Next I put the parts together again. This is the result. (Photo taken with smartphone. I hope to take some better ones during the Xmas holiday.)

In the picture above you can see the A. Laverne & Co shutter. It has a blade that moves up and down between the lens elements. The brass 'chimney' controls the shutter speed. The top of the 'chimney' rotates to set the speed. Range is: 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 and 1/100 seconds. With the knob above the lens you can open the shutter manually if you want to see the image on the ground glass. On the right side there is a piston for the pneumatic release. See the bulb and tube in the background.

It would be a great adventure to use the camera, with all its shifts and swings. But the bellows is too far gone for this. Maybe I can try next summer to photograph the image on the ground glass. I have done that before. It is not the same as taking real photos with the camera, but at least I can experience a bit how it works.

Dec 18, 2010

Eastman Interchangeable View Camera

Last Thursday the early Eastman camera that I had bought early this month arrived. Shipment was super fast, taking only 10 days from the USA to the Netherlands, including customs. After unpacking, admiring it and trying how everything worked, I started cleaning it. Fortunately the camera could be taken apart easily, so wiping it with a moist cloth was not difficult. All the woodwork seemed to be in good condition, with only a few minor scratches. After all the dust was gone the wood was as pretty as 120 years ago.
The bellows was in a bad conditions and I am affraid this camera will never take a photo again. It is not pinholed but bulletholed. One fold was torn from side to side. The thing was falling apart rapidly. First I thought the bellows was made of a rubber coated textile, but it appears to be a thick black paper outer layer on a textile inner layer. To stop the tearing I started to reinforce the inner lining with narrow black strips of thin linen. After that I could start cleaning the outside carefully with a moist cloth, wiping off the dust and dirt. (I would not have used a moist cloth on a leather bellows!) On the sharp edges of the folds the surface was quite worn and the whole thing looked quite shabby. To improve the color I tried a coating of Venetian Cream on a part. The first result looks promising, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to see how the paper, glue and textile of the bellows reacts.

Dec 12, 2010


I discovered an interesting 'thing' on the web: a wordle. It figures out the prominence of words in a text and visualizes this in a word-cloud. Meaning what? I don't know. Here is a wordle of this blog. Make your own here.

Dec 11, 2010

Wood finished Kodaks

Once in a while a wood finished Kodak is offered for sale on eBay. Again one appeared, this time it's a No. 1 Panoram Kodak with the leather stripped off. There is no such thing as a wood finished Panoram, just as there are no wood finished Bull's-Eyes, Bullets, Cartridge Kodaks etc. The only wood finished Kodaks are the Ordinary Kodaks (see them on my site). The rest is historical nonsense. Don't buy any of them if you are a collector.
At least the seller of the No. 1 Panoram is honest and mentions all the things that have been altered. Not all selllers are so honest.

Dec 4, 2010

Eureka View camera

Last night I added a new old camera to my collection. At 3 in the night a fine Eastman Dry Plate & Film Camera Co Eureka ended on eBay and I happened to be the highest bidder at US $ 524.
The camera is an Eastman but not a Kodak. It was made during the period 1887 - 1891 in small numbers. The picture size of this camera is 5 x 8 inch, and of these 310 cameras were produced. This example can be dated to the period before 24 December 1889, when the company name changed.

The camera above comes with fitting lens and shutter, plate holders, ground glass, black cloth, bulb and original case. It still has its original cloth bellows. The completeness of the set is one of the reasons why I went for this one.
When it arrives I will show some more pics.

Dec 2, 2010

eBay watch

Again there are some nice antique Kodaks for sale on eBay. If you want a 3B Quick Focus Kodak you can choose between 3 models. One the left is the first model. Starting price US$ 85. On the right a very nice example of a later version of the first model, starting at $ 150. The one with the open front door is a later model, starting at $ 225.

A hard to find camera in complete condition is the No. 4 Bullet Specail model of 1898. It has its ground glass and two plate holders. Starting price is C $ 99. Not to much for this camera I would say.

Last but not least there is a Mickey Mouse Brownie. The seller knows what he has and a number of bidders also know it. 7 bids at the moment, $ 405 and reserve not met. Still 3 day to go.
I still wonder if these Mickey Mouse cameras are a fake or not. They always look like new.

Nov 25, 2010

No. 3 Eastman Plate Series C camera

I received a question about the No. 3 Eastman Plate Series C cameras and here is what I could find.
It is a folding camera for 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch glass plates and was produced from 1902 to 1904. The camera could also be fitted with a Cartridge Roll Holder to take pics on roll film.
There also is a series D, which has an extra long bellows extension. 1600 cameras were made in each series. Serial numbers start with 501.
See the HCCC site for a description of the model.

The camera is a typical apparatus for the 'serious amateur', the man or woman who wanted to make perfect pictures, not snapshots. The Eastman Plate cameras are well equiped for this. The picture could be focused and composed on the ground glass, which was more accurate than a little reflex finder and distance scale, and the lens panel could be moved up and down and sideways. For an explanation on this, with videos, see this page on my website.

One was sold on Ebay in June, fetching US$ 420. I do not know its condition.

Nov 21, 2010

Photographica fair in Houten (NL) & Google Books

Today is the traditional November photographica fair in Houten in the Netherlands. I can't give you an impression, I can't take a snap with my phone and show it here. I'm not there. I used to go in the 1980's and 1990's. For weeks I looked forward to it. It was a bit like Santaclaus of my youth. But gradually the antique cameras and other stuff disappeared. They were replaced with 'modern' cameras and accesories from the 1960, '70 and '80. I read in society journal PHT that it is getting worse every year, with second hand radios and such things. It is no fun anymore and that is why I am not there now.

Enough grumbling for today. Here's some positive news. I discovered that I can make my own library in GoogleBooks. The only thing you have to do is search for the title and click a button to add it to your library. You even can make different 'bookshelfs'. What is best: you can search your library full text (!!!!). You can find every word in all the books you have. Wow!
Click the link on the right to go to my Google Library. There are 56 books at the moment, but more will be added.

Nov 13, 2010

eBay watch

What happened to the items I mentioned before? The Pascal box with motor drive wasn't sold for the € 900 asking price and is now relisted at € 500. Quite a difference. Let's see what is going to happen.
The No. 4 Folding Kodet Special went for $ 52. Not much, but it is a real restauration project. The fine and early red Pocket Kodak was sold for almost $ 230. Nine bidders were in the race for it.
Then there was the No. 4 Eureka box. It went for almost $ 170.

New on eBay is a Vest Pocket Monroe from around 1900. It's a compact camera for plates with red bellows and brass struts. Price now is $ 25. I wonder what it will do. Still 4 days to go.
Also new are a couple of detective cameras. Interesting is the no name box on the left. Starting price $ 600, no bids yet. On the right is a Tisdell box. already 5 bids now, price at $ 285, and 4 days until the end.
Click here to Enlarge

Nov 6, 2010

Addition to my collection & other things

The Stereo Brownie and Stereo Kodak Model 1 in the pic are part of my collection since many years. New is the specimen photo that is made with a No. 2 Stereo Brownie. In 2D it is a bit of a dull picture of two people standing on a rustic bridge in a forest. In 3D it comes to life in a wonderful way.
Besides early Kodak cameras I collect their instruction booklets and photos made with the cameras. The specimen photo is the latest addition to my collection.

eBay watch: there's a Pascal box camera for sale. It is the first camera with automatic film advance, dating from around 1899. Starting price is € 900. No bids yet. I wonder what it will do. In Photographica World 2010 no. 1 is an article about motordrive cameras. Le Pascal is one of the cameras described.

Sad news is that my mother probably has to move to a service appartment. She lives in a rather big house now, with lots of room for the stuff of her children. I will have to find a new home for a very fine Durst M605 black&white enlarger with Componon S lens. I haven't used it for 15 years. Also I will have to find a place for a scale model of a 1870s daylight photographers studio which I have made in the late 1980s. I have no room for it in my private museum, but I also don't want to sell it.

Nov 2, 2010

No. 4 Folding Kodet Special

There's a No. 4 Folding Kodet Special for sale at eBay. Lens is missing, as are the 2 doors. Leather is in bad condition. Two bids at the moment, highest bid is now $ 52. Still 5 days to go. A nice restauration project. If someone knows where to get the right leather, please let me know. I've got a No. 4 Folding Kodet Junior that could use some.

Oct 31, 2010

eBay watch

What happened to the items in my previous blog? The Kamaret is not for sale anymore. The auction ended after an offer was declined by the seller. Will we see the Kamaret again in some time?
The Eastman View camera sold for US$ 1675 after 6 serious bidders had battled for it. A nice price, I think, for a camera with no lens and a replacement lensboard.
The No. 4 Eureka in fine condition ended at US$ 168. Not really a high price, but like I said before, it's a camera for a limited group of collectors. I'm sure it is a fine addition to the collection of the new owner.
The set of 26 photos made by a No. 2 camera went for US$ 50. There was 1 bidder.
My favorite BLAIR FOCUSING WENO HAWK-EYE NO. 4 CAMERA is still there. No bids yet, no offers made. Is the $ 500 price way out of line? I have no idea.
The No. 4 Folding Kodak with Asbury Barker shutter ended at US$ 1195. Five bidders had been playing around at $ 500 when a sixth one took it away for the Buy it now price.
The naked No. 4 Folding Kodet found a new owner for US$ 181. I hope it gets restored properly now.

Any new interesting items on eBay now? Yep, a real nice red Pocket Kodak with battered leather case. At the moment 3 bidders are skirmishing over it. Highest bid now is a meagre $ 31.50. Still five days to go.
The model has the Tisdell shutter attached to the lensboard, indicating it is the 4th version of the 1895 model. But is also has the felt film guides, which belong to the earlier versions. Ralph London explaines in his article The Pocket Kodak (in The Photographist, nr 100, Winter 1993/1994) that the version with attached shutter & felt guides could well be the absolute first version of the '95 model. Meaning that this example on eBay is a very fine specimen of the very first Pocket Kodak version.

Oct 23, 2010

eBay watch

No busty ladies here, sorry, only old cameras. The Kamaret I mentioned earlier is still for sale. Price dropped to US$ 439. It is a historical interesting camera since it was (one of??) the first to use film spools in front of the film plane, the so called front roll design.
There's also a giant Eastman Dry Plate & Film Co. view camera from the years before the Kodak. It's a 18 x 22 inch machine. At the moment it has 4 bids and the price is $ 565. Still 4 days to go.
More humble is the No. 4 Eureka Kodak, a shoe box type camera for the specialised Kodak collector who wants to have all the models. The camera is not so often seen. This one is in fine condition and has the ground glass and two plate holders. Starting price $ 150, 3 days to go and no bids yet.

In the photo section there is a set of 26 mounted Kodak photos in the No. 2 size (3" x 3"). They date from the period 1896-1900. A nice addition to any No. 2 Bulls-eye, Bullet, Falcon or Flexo.

My favorite I have saved for the last. It's no Kodak, no, it's a Blair Focusing Weno Hawk eye No. 4. With this camera you could focus on a ground glass and still take your photos of a roll of film, like with the Screen Focus Kodak. It is a beauty and I want it, but I have to be strong and let it pass. I am a collector of early Kodaks, at least until I have them all. Then, and only then, I will go for the other beauties.

Oct 19, 2010

Asbury Barker shutter

I can't find much about the Asbury Barker shutter. There are two Asbury Barker patents on pneumatic shutters in Google patents. See patent 477588 and 491794. According to "A century of cameras" by Eaton Lothrop the Barker shutter is a between the lens, two-blade scissors  type. The 477588 patent shows such a shutter. If not the same, I think this shutter in the patent is closely related to the one on the Folding Kodak.

The 1892 Kodak catalog mentions the shutter. You can download the catalog as a PDF from Charlie Kamerman's site. Below is the piece about the shutter.

Oct 18, 2010

Satchel Kodak with Barker shutter

Wood Brass No 4 Folding Kodak Camera c1892

Again there's an interesting early Kodak for sale on eBay. This time it is a 1892 No. 4 Folding Kodak with a rare Asbury Barker shutter. Because this shutter didn't work well, it was often replaced by another model. Therefore examples with an original Barker shutter are quite rare today. In total there were only 3750 No. 4 Folding Kodaks produced. Buy it now price is US$ 1195. Better hurry before I change my mind and buy it myself.

Oct 17, 2010

Article index & rare Kodet camera

My index of 2500 photohistory articles and patents is working again, not with the old DOS program, but with Excel. The Excel filtering options work well and I can search on every word and combine searches using logical (Boolean) operators. So, now I could start indexing the pile of journals that I haven't indexed yet. I could... but I think they will have to wait a little longer. Indexing journals is not really a job I like.
Enough about that.

There's a interesting camera for sale on eBay: a No. 4 Folding Kodet (vertical model) from around 1895. Alas it is 'restored' and now it really needs retoration. All the leather is stripped off and the wood is lacquered. The complete camera is mounted on a brass plate. Awful! But if you can find the right leather it is a rewarding job. The camera is worth the trouble, as it is not seen often.

Oct 13, 2010

New computer trouble

A few weeks ago I bought a new computer. A beautiful, fast and versatile machine. But... the program I have used since the early 1990s to index all the articles in photohistory journals does not work anymore. 2500 articles are described in it. It was a hell of a job and I even didn't like doing it. But with a simple search it reveiled where I could find articles in the many journals I have kept since 1983. I was not amused when it refused to work!
Now I am spending my evenings to convert a file with all the descriptions to an Excel program. I'm quite handy with Excel and I know that I will succeed, but will it be as fast and simple as my old DOS program? But it's a solace that I like to tinker with Excel!!!

Sep 30, 2010

A walk back in time

This is a photo I made in June 2009 near the castle Groot Buggenum where there was an art fair. The two maidens in historical dress took a walk, back in time, so it seems.

Sep 26, 2010

Another photo of trees

I started taking photos around 1970 and continued to do so until the early 1990's. A few years ago I bought a Sony Alpha 700 with the best lens available and started again with my old hobby. I don't spend very much time on it and the results that pass my judgement are few.
Here I have a photo I took somewhere in the 1980's with a home made pinhole camera. It is one of the few pictures from my 'early period' that I still like to look at.

Something else: the auction of the original Folding Pocket Kodak has ended. It ended at a meagre $ 227. Only 6 bidders tried their luck. Indeed, we (the collectors of antique cameras) are on the verge of extinction. Well, to hell with it, I still like my hobby.

Sep 25, 2010

Beautiful photos & article I am planning

Today I found some very beautiful photos on the blogs I'm following. When I see such pictures it stimulates me to get my camera and try my luck (or creativity). Here's a little example of what I have done before.

Before I start writing a new detective novel I want to write an article about early Kodaks. I'm planning a story about the simple shutters of the 1890's and why Eastman Kodak made them as they are. It's all about making photography simple for the snapshooting amateur. Well, there should be a nice story in that.

Sep 22, 2010

Wow! People are reading this blog

I had look at the statistics in Blogger and to my surprise people from all over the world are reading my blog. There were readers from the USA, Canada, Australia, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands (where I live) and even China. That's really nice. I feared the contents of my blogg disappeared into the big black nothingness, but I'm glad that this is not the case.
Now I have to wait for the first follower. Maybe it's you.

Sep 19, 2010

Alcohol & the Eureka Jr and some interesting items at eBay

When I was changing the display cabinets in my private museum I noticed some mildew on my No. 2 Eureka Junior camera. I took a soft cloth, moistened it with a bit of alcohol and wiped of the mildew. This works very well on black leather. But the Eureka Jr is covered with some kind of leatherette and this material got sticky when it was moist with alcohol. I concluded that the alcohol could dissolve the leatherette and I stopped immediately. Not much harm was done, but I won't use alcohol on that camera again!

The Todd Gustavson book arrived and the first impression is very positive. Lots of color photos of wonderful old cameras and no full pages of text. (Is that the bad influence of the internet?)

Last but not least: there are two important Kodaks on eBay right now. The first is an original 1888 Kodak with case. It looks very decent and is a must have for every collector of Kodaks or important cameras.
The second one is the original version of the Folding Pocket Kodak of 1897. It meets all the criteria of the real first version and also is a must have for a collector of early important cameras.

Sep 14, 2010

No. 4 Folding Kodet on eBay

A very fine and rare No. 4 Folding Kodet with its leather case is on eBay now. It is described as a No. 4 Folding Kodet Junior, but this is not correct. Asking price starts at US $ 1100. I wonder what it will do.

Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to DigitalThis weekend I ordered Todd Gustavson's book: Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital. According to a review it should have information about the cameras, their marketing and users. That's just what I am interested in. It didn't arrive yet, but when I have it, I will write a little review about it.

Sep 4, 2010

Cartridge Kodaks in Dutch collectors journal

Today the newest edition of the Dutch photographica collectors journal 'Photohistorisch tijdschrift' dropped into my mailbox, and there it was: my article about the Cartridge Kodaks. Four pages with the photographs in color, whow.
I had written it in June, after adding a beautiful example of a No. 3 Cartridge Kodak set to my collection. It has film and plate backs, 3 plate holders, 3 sheet film holders, ground glass, case and a superior Cooke Anastigmat lens and it looks like new.
In the article I tell why the Cartridge Kodaks were the amateur's workhorses. They were sturdy, versatile and could be equipped with high grade shutters and lenses. They could handle most kinds of serious work.
Writing the article was fun, as it always is. This time I especially enjoyed taking photos of the ground glass of the No. 3, to show the effect of moving the lens upwards and double bellows extension.

Aug 29, 2010

New rotating photo

Between heavy clouds and rainshowers I managed to photograph my No. 4 Folding Kodak for the purpose of making a new photosynth. Here it is.

This is a very early example with serial number 77. If you rotate the photo until you can peek into the back, you can zoom in to see the number. Also notice that there is no key or knob in the top lid. All the other Folding Kodaks I have seen have a key or knob on top. I think that only the very first cameras don't have a key on the lid and that soon after introduction of this model, it was changed.

Aug 25, 2010

Rare Kamaret camera

There's another interesting and historical important camera on eBay just now. It's a Kamaret from 1891. This camera is the first one with the front roll design, meaning that the spools for the film were not placed behing the plane of the image, but in front of it, just behind the lenspanel. This way the camera could be 30% shorter than the contemporary No. 4 Kodak, which took the same size of photos. It was a major innovation in camera construction.
It would be a nice addition to any collection of antique cameras.

The naked No. 4 Folding Kodet Special of a few days ago went for $ 141, not to much for such a rare camera. But it needs new leather and that will not be very simple to find. The C Daylight with roll holder went for $ 450. Also not much if you consider the rarity. But prices have dropped quite a bit during the last years. Very nice if you collect for the joy of it, like I do.

Aug 22, 2010


In Photographica World 2010 no 3 John Marriage writes about Photosynth, a way to create multi perspective views of a scenery or object. I had to try it and so I took my No. 3 Folding Kodet, put it on a tripod and shot 50 photos from all angles. After uploading them I had created my first Synth. Have a look for yourself (It seems to work with Windows only):

Aug 20, 2010

A busy day

Today I have shot a film of my newest camera, the C Daylight, and added it to my website together with a description.
Also I took some pictures of my collection and mailed them to the webshop were you can buy all kinds of old fashioned brass screws. I think they will appear on the customers page of that site.
There are a couple of fine old Kodaks at eBay at the moment: a No. 4 Folding Kodak, a No. 4 Folding Kodet Special with the leather gone, and a C Daylight with roll film back. I wonder what the Kodet will end at. Only 8 hours to go.

Aug 19, 2010

C Daylight

Here's a photo of my C Daylight with plate back. The two finders are a replacement which I made myself. I took the construction and size from my C Ordinary. I think they look quite well.
I'm still waiting for the string to arrive. By the way, the little brass screws to attache the finders with I bought at a screw webshop in Eindhoven They have all kinds of brass screws and if you want to restore a old camera you should have a look at their site.
Today 2 square feet of morroco grain black leather arrived, which I have bought. Alas the grain does not fit the old No. 4 Folding Kodet Junior I want to restore. So the search for the right leather continues.

Aug 18, 2010

The first message in this blog

Why this blog? Just for the fun of it. For my work I had to learn how to write a blog and I liked it so much that now I have started a private one.
My blog is about collecting antique Kodak cameras, and, if I find it interesting enough, about all other photographica. So, what am I doing today? Most interesting is that I am fixing a C Daylight Kodak that I have bought at an auction in Melbourne a few weeks ago. Its pull string is broken and now I am looking for a gut string to replace it. Searching the internet I found a shop that sells strings for musical instrument. One of the ladies there is a cello player and she is going to send me a used string from her cello. Nice, isnt it? It saves me about € 100 for a set of new strings.
Next time I try to put up a photo of the Daylight camera here.