Mar 28, 2011

Scheimpflug update

All the searching and mailing is starting to show result. Yesterday I received a high quality scan from a collector of postcards in Vienna of the sanatorium in Vorderbrühl where Teodor Scheimpflug died in 1911. Today I got a reply from the Technical Museum in Vienna that they have the 8-lens panoramic camera that Scheimpflug used for his experiments. I'm trying to get a good colour photo of the instrument. They also mailed an example of a photo taken with a earlier 3-lens camera.
Still no photo of the Sternwartestrasse 39 in Vienna, but I did get two good suggestions how to try to get one.

Mar 27, 2011

Hilfe, ich suche ein Foto der Sternwartestrasse 39 in Wien

Für meinen Artikel über Theodor Scheimpflug, verstorben am 22. August 1911, suche ich ein Foto von seinem Haus in der Sternwartestraße 39 in Wien. Theodor hat da gelebt von etwa 1900 bis zu seinem Tod in 1911. Wer wäre bereit dieses Haus zu fotografieren und mir das Bild zu mailen? Bislang habe ich nur eine schlechte Kopie aus einer Zeitschrift (siehe Bild).

Theodor Scheimpflug ist vor allem bekannt wegen seine Forschungen im Bereich der Fotogrammetrie. Seine Luftbilder, aufgenommen mit einer Spezialkamera unter einem Drachen oder Ballon, versuchte er auf fotomechanischer Weise zu einer Landkarte zu verarbeiten. Obendrein hat die Scheimpflugsche Regel seinen Namen bekommen. Diese besagt, dass bei einer optischen Abbildung die Bild-, Objektiv- und Schärfeebene sich in einer gemeinsamen Geraden schneiden.
Weil Theodor Scheimpflug dieses Jahr vor hundert Jahren verstorben ist, möchte ich in einem Artikel für die Niederländische Zeitschrift der Fotohistoriker sein Leben und seine Arbeit beschreiben. Über seine Arbeit ist ausreichend Information vorhanden, aber sein Privatleben bleibt weitgehend im Dunkel. Deshalb suche ich u.a. Bilder von den Orten wo er gelebt und gearbeitet hat. Darum meine Bitte: wer möchte und könnte mir ein Foto von seinem Haus in der Sternwartestraße 39 in Wien per Mail zuschicken?
Meine Adresse:

Mar 22, 2011

A naked Kodak in the making & other stuff

There is a very worn Flexo box camera for sale at eBay right now. The leather is mostly gone. Nevertheless the camera has received one bid, and I know from whom. No, not me. I predict it will be reïncarnated as a museum quality naked Flexo and be sold for about ten times the amount it will fetch in a few days.
We will see.

The wood and brass group is a very nice community of antique camera lovers, with a number of veterans in it. During the past days I learned that there are at least two other 2 digit serial number specimens known of the No. 4 Folding Kodak, next to my no. 77, one with number 68 and the other with number 82. Some of the very low number specimens have no wheel on top (for winding on the fim) and others do. Maybe some cameras were updated with a wheel at a later date by their owners. We know that the Eastman Co. did advertise the updating of their cameras in case of the use of plate holders.
In one of my messages for the group I mentioned the Victor Moyes list. Half an hour later I received a mail from Michael Pritchard, yes THE Michael Pritchard, to tell a bit more about this list because it sounded interesting. It is interesting! Victor Moyes was a director of the patent museum of Eastman Kodak Co. and in 1921 he typed a list of all production numbers of Eastman / Kodak cameras. The records he based this list on do not exist anymore. In his lists he gives an overview per camera model of size, date when a batch was ordered and numbers that were ordered.
In the group I proposed that we put together all the pieces of this list we can lay hands on and share it. We will see what happens.

Last but not least, there is a Boston Bulls Eye for sale at eBay. It is a wooden version that still looks very nice. Fault is that it has two extra holes in the back and that the seller wants to sell it for too much money. Again, let us see what happens.

Mar 20, 2011

The Wood and Brass group

Today I made myself a member of the Wood and Brass group, a community about cameras from the period when they were made with wood and brass. The number of messages is not very high, but I prefer serious stuff above b.s. (bull shit). The first message I posted was a reply about the serial number of early satchel Kodaks. I have a very early No. 4 Folding Kodak with serial number 77 on both camera and roll holder. I wonder if there are earlier specimens around.

Today the weather was good enough to open my open air daylight studio again and shoot two videos. One of the Eastman Interchangeable View camera and one of the restored No. 4 Folding Kodet Junior. Both can be seen om my website.

Mar 18, 2011

Ruud Hoff collection

In 1983 I started collecting old cameras and that year I visited the photographica collectors trade fair in Amersfoort (now in Houten) for the first time. There I bought (as far as I can remember) a No. 3 Folding Pocket Kodak from Ruud Hoff. Even in those days Ruud was one of the leading Kodak collectors. Since then I have bought many Kodaks from Ruud and visited him a couple of times in Amsterdam, once to get the No. 6 Folding Kodak I had bought from him. The collection I saw there was overwhelming, with every Kodak camera I had only seen in books or just read about. For many years I have regretted that Ruud had no website where his collection could be seen. Now this has changed! So if you want to see an unbelieveable collection of early, rare and/or beautiful Kodaks you click this link:

What's going on at eBay? Well, there are a few nice cameras for sale, like a No. 5 Folding Kodak with wing shutter. 7 bids already and 2 and a half day to go.
Also there is a No. 2 Stereo Brownie for sale. You can get it for US $ 400. I paid much more for mine, a number of years ago.

Mar 17, 2011

Theodor Scheimpflug continued

I'm in the middle of a vacation week and I could have made a video of the restored No. 4 Folding Kodet Junior and of the Eastman Interchangeable View camera, but I haven't done so. Instead I have hauled 8000 kilograms of sand and gravel into the garden in 3 days time. An average of more than 2.5 ton a day. After that I did not feel like setting up a table in my open air daylight studio (the lawn), install the turntable on it and attach the electric drill to the turntable to provide the power for turning it round at an even speed. Maybe this weekend, if the weather is good enough....

After parking the shovel and wheelbarrow in the shed I just had enough energy left to search the internet for more information about Theodor Scheimpflug. And I did find some very interesting articles, one with a number of photographs. Shall I share one pic with you right now? Well... Ok, one half and a bit, the whole pic I keep for my article.

What you see here is a special camera devised by Theodor to take 8 photos simultaneously from a balloon of the landschape below. With another apparatus, of which I also have a photograph, he corrected the perspective of the photos, so they could be used as a source for drawing maps.

My search for more information continues. I am waiting for some scans the  Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen in Austria is going to send me and I'm going to ask the city archive of Vienna if they can help me. Also I have requested copies of articles at my library and a book via international interlibrary loan. Wonder what turns up.

Mar 11, 2011

Theodor Scheimpflug

If you read this and you don't know who Theodor Scheimpflug is, there is a big chance that you do know what the Scheimpflug rule is. If you even don't know that, you will have to Google a bit.
Theodor died in 1911, exactly one hundred years ago on August 22. I believe that is a good moment to commemorate him in an article in the Photohistorisch Tijdschrift (Dutch photohistorical journal), and that is just what I am preparing right now.
Searching the internet yields some information, mainly about his work and only a bit about his person. I could find one portrait. But there is some published printed material I am trying to get hold of. Also I mailed to two Austrian institutes, one of which has his archive. If I get a copy of the printed sources and if the institutes are willing and able to help me, I believe I can write a nice story that contains some rare material.

The No. 4 Folding Kodet Junior arrived at home today. I haven't seen it yet, as I am not at home. ASAP I will show some pics here.
The customs had an unpleasant surprise: import taxes for antiques are increased from 6 to 19 % from January 2011. There goes the advantage of a strong Euro for Dutch collectors.
I didn't have to pay this for the camera, but for the cost of restauration and postage. The camera was mine already, and paying taxes on the restauration I can understand, but paying taxes on postage!!! That is rediculous, but I know, I live in a tax paradise (for the government that is, not for the tax payer).

Mar 5, 2011

Photohistorisch tijdschrift and other things

Yesterday issue number 1, 2011, of the Dutch photographica collectors society journal, called Photohistorisch Tijdschrift, dropped on the door mat. Again it contains a nice mixture of articles. On the cover a color photo of a charming simple boxcamera build it yourself kit, the Starr Cora. Inside (among other articles) a story on the (un)wanted sharpness in CdV's. Also an article on high speed photography, with a number of interesting photographs of bullets flying through playing cards or nuclear explosions. The operation of the special cameras is well explained. Also the intriguing photos of 3 artists: Fieret, Tichý, Heyboer. Then there is my own article on the Eastman Interchangeable View camera and the article on the 1949/1950 Starr Cora kit. All in color! If you don't speak Dutch I can only advise to learn it, so you can read our journal.

My No. 4 Folding Kodet Junior is back in the country again, but the customs are holding it because they don't understand what is going on. I'll call them monday and see if I can explain that the camera is on it way back to the owner after it has been restored.

I haven't been able to find a good answer to the question about the mysterious printing frame. I even asked Captain Kodak (ol' time Kodak collectors will know who it is), but he didn't know. What I could find is a hint in a 1896 Catalog (thanks to Charlie Kamerman's website). Here's a snippet view.
So maybe it is a 'special' but I really don't know.

At eBay there's a Eastman Pinhole camera for sale. Still 2 days to go. The camera was built from a kit that was sold, I believe, around 1930. Years ago I had an unassembled set in my collection, consisting of a big yellow envelope, a number if carton pieces, a pin to make the pinhole with and an instruction booklet. It was a nice and rare kit, but I have sold it because it didn't fit in my collection. Here is a pic of the camera on eBay.