Sep 30, 2011

All the old Kodak catalogs

Early Kodak catalogs are quite rare and contain lots of information. So it's not very strange that they sell for a nice bundle of $$$. For all those who do not have a full set of original catalogs a DVD is available now, with all the catalogs from 1886 up to 1941. It is produced by Rob Niederman and Milan Zahorcak. Read all about it at Rob's site. I am going to order one and I will get back on it here. Below the cover of a 1906 catalog from my own collection.

Today I also pre-ordered the Adobe Premiere Elements 10 software for editing videos. Until now I worked with the free Windows Live Movie Maker. I noticed that I like working with video, so I gave it a go. The software will arive around October 11, just in time for my holiday week.

What's going on at eBay? In the past weeks two Eastman Plate Cameras were sold. The No. 4 size was a nice set (see below). The No. 3 was just the camera. I didn't bid on them because I thought they were not good enough, the No. 4 missing the screws on the side of the body and the finder, and the No. 3 also missing the screws and having scuffed leather. Both sold for US$ 122. They pop up regularly, so I will find mine.

At the moment there is a No. 1 Kodak box and a 1889 instruction booklet for sale. As you can see, the Kodak box is rather damaged and the pull string is missing. Only 1 day to go. The book has 3 days to go. Not much bidding yet, but that will come.

Sep 10, 2011

No. 2 Bullet Special and No. 2 Bull's-Eye Special

Last weekend I shot two videos of my No. 2 Specials and this weekend I uploaded them to my website. Both cameras date from the period 1898-1904 and were better grade box cameras for the family photographer. The difference between the regular Bullet and Bull's-Eye being that the Specials have a better lens (Rapid Rectilinear) and shutter. This Eastman Triple Action shutter has Bulb, Instantaneous and Time setting (B, I, T). The I setting has three speeds: slow, medium and fast. There is also an iris diaphragm.

The first video shows the No. 2 Bullet Special. See the black insert in the back of the box? This was used when the camera was loaded with roll film, to fill the empty space in the back and to prevent light coming through the little side door and spoil the film. When the camera was used with double glass plate holders, the insert was taken out and the side door then permitted to insert the plate holder.

The second video shows the No. 2 Bull's-Eye Special. It can only take film, so there's no side door. Both cameras are fixed focus, meaning that the pitures where sharp from a few feet onwards. Not having to focus the camera made the instrument more simple to use. It is clear that these models were intended for the amateur who only wanted to take some snaps. The instruments were more expensive, US $ 18 and $ 15, than the regular models, and were aimed at the buyer with a bit more $$ to spend. The "poorer" snapshooter had to do with a camera with meniscus lens and simple rotating shutter.

A couple of days ago I received an invitation from the Fotogeschichte journal to write a small article about Theodor Scheimpflug. The journal is aimed at the professional photographer and photo historian and I am going to add some information about the context of Scheimpflug's work and inventions.

Sep 4, 2011

A mystery Bullet and some news on Theodor Scheimpflug

Lets start with the pink colored Beau Brownie from my last blogpost. It was sold for US $ 1525 and received 21 bids. It's nice to see that some fine cameras are still valued by collectors. Congratulations to the winning bidder! S/he surely has added a magnificent item to the collection.

Maybe, just maybe, later this year there will be some sort of event in Vienna to commemorate Scheimpflug's 100th dying day. I got that message from a professor at the Technical University of Vienna, and he will keep me informed. It certainly would be nice if the event took place. Also there is a chance that additional information on Scheimpflug will surface. I'm curious what it will be.
I uploaded the first part of my Scheimpflug article to the 'Scheimpflug File' on my website. It is in Dutch. I still have plans to translate it in German or English, but I have so many plans.... A day should have 48 hours!

Then there is a question about a rare and early Kodak box camera from 1895. It is the original version of the No. 2 Bullet camera, an Eastman copy of the historical important Boston Bull's-Eye box from 1892. According to literature the Bullet was only made during a short period, say 1895. In 1896 it was replaced with an improved model.
I received a question from a collector who has a 'normal' Bullet model and a Bullet model of '98. That is very strange, because in 1898 the original model was long replaced by the improved model. My idea is that the bottom of the camera, with the text about the model, was later replaced with a panel from the improved version. But... that is just a theory. Question: who has another No. 2 Bullet of the first version, with a Model '98 designation inside?

On the right the 'normal' model of the Bullet '95, with no text printed on the panels. On the left the mystery model. Both have Tisdell shutter, D-shaped red window and screw in the bottom to attach the mechanism to the box.
B.t.w., I'm still looking for a nice example of the orginal Bullet. I have one, but it has fake crocodile leather that is not original. Anyone wanting to sell his Bullet?