Jan 21, 2012

eBay watch and an old bear

Again there are some nice and interesting photographica items for sale at eBay. First is a No. 1 Kodak stringset camera in reasonable condition. According to the description and the photos the leather has some chips and crackling. Special is the rare green felt plug. Starting bid is $ 1350 or you can buy it now for $ 1795. No bids yet and still 6 days to go.
The No. 1 Kodak was made from 1889 until 1895 and replaced the original Kodak of 1888. The most important difference was the new and simpler shutter. The original RNX shutter of the 1888 model consisted of a barrel that rotated around the lens, which was positioned inside the barrel. By pulling a string the spring in the shutter was wound. The stored energy was enough to take about 4 or 5 photos. After that the spring had to be tensioned again. Notice that the shutter was self capping, which was a great advantage in a snapshooters camera because the snapshooter did not have to remember to cap the shutter when cocking it. It did cost $ 3.10 to produce the RNX shutter, which was about 50 % of the total costs to produce the camera. To reduce costs a sector shutter was used in the No. 1 Kodak. The RNX shutter has 19 parts, while the sector shutter has only 10 parts. Assembling it was simpler and thus cheaper. Another reason to abandon the RNX shutter is the chance that the spring did not have enough energy left to rotate the barrel in the 6th exposure. The barrel stopped halfway resulting in a ruined exposure. As there was no indication how many photos had been taken on one winding of the spring, this was a great risk. The new sector shutter had to be cocked before every exposure, so there was no risk of running out of energy halfway the exposure.
A third reason could have been the wish to stop down the lens. The addition of a diaphragm mechanism was not possible with the lens inside the barrel shutter, but quite simple with the sector shutter.
See these shutters in action on my site.
All this I did not find out myself. It was published in an article by W.P. Carroll in "the Photographist" no. 34 of 1976, pages 10 and 11.
In my previous blog I mentioned the No. 1 Brownie set. There is a nice addition to this one. For sale is a box for 5 rolls of film, still containing 2 rolls. Only one day to go. There are 7 bids now, price at the moment is GBP 26. I wonder what will be the final price, since film boxes are much wanted items and usualy expensive.
A third item is a No. 3 Kodak Junior with roll film back. This camera is not seen so very often and as the leather is reasonably well, it would be a nice addition to a collection. Mind you, the pull string button is missing! The leather is scuffed, but with a coating of Venetian cream it should be very presentable again. Only 4100 of these were made. One day to go. 4 bids now at $ 103. See my own set with plate back and roll film back at my site.
Also there is for sale a whole collection of 4.5 x 6 cm plate cameras. Asking price is euro 40,000. I do not know if this is a reasonable price, but if you want to have an instant collection, have a look at it.
Finally I want to present you my buddy from the 1960's. He, or is it 'she', is about 75 years old and did spend most of the time in clossets in my mother's home. My mother will be moving to a special home for the elderly soon, so I'm taking home the few things I left there. My 'teddy'-bear is one of these. Here s/he is. I swapped my bear for a football sometime in the early '60. I never liked footballs. He was my buddy in the next years, but disappeared into the cupboards when I grew up. Now I took him home. Maybe I will put some Brownie items around him, so s/he fits better into my collection.

Jan 15, 2012

Manuals and other nice little things

The latest addition to my collection is a manual for the C Ordinary Kodak. I noticed the booklet as a 'buy it now' item on eBay, and as the price was high but not too high in relation to my desire to get it, I bought it. Here you see my Ordinary collection with the booklet. In the photo you don't see the bright yellow color of the front.
I try to add instruction manuals and photos to every camera in my collection, so this is a nice addition. A few month ago I bought a set of example photos that were made with the A, B, C Kodaks. Below is a photo made with the C camera.
A couple of weeks ago I addes a beautiful Fiftieth Anniversary Kodak set to my collection, with box, instructions and film. Now there is an other set for sale on eBay, with an instructions manual that has a colored front, while my example has a black and white front. I had never noticed before that there are variations, but I had never paid much attention. In July 2011 a set was sold with colored manual and a green card stating that the person receiving a Anniversary Kodak will not apply for a second one. Here's a pic of it.  

At the moment there is another 1A Speed Kodak for sale at eBay. That is not unusual, but this one has the instructions booklet with it. The camera is in nice condition, with the usual wear. Price now is $ 180, but there are still a few hours to go.
A second nice item is a Brownie in its illustrated box and with the slip on finder in the original little box. Camera and box are clean, but the most interesting item is the little carton with the slip on finder. Starting bid is $ 100, no bids yet and six days to go.

Jan 8, 2012

Woobra and other stuff

At the Wood and Brass community there was a message about the digitisation of the British Journal of Photography Almanak (which is only a plan and far from realisation). I know that many old journals are already digitised and available online, so I tried to find the BJPA at the Internet Archive and Hathi Trust digital libraries. Many years are available full text so I tagged them in Delicious (social bookmarking) with a unique tag: woobra. If you register at Delicious you can search for this tag and you will find my saved woobra links. At the moment I have 3 links to about 25 years of the BJPA, full text!
What is still more interesting is that you can use the woobra tag too, if you find full text photography journals online. Then, when I will search for the woobra tag, I will find your links also. This way we can share a digital library. Below a screenshot of the first page of the complete 1871 edition of the BJPA.

The last weeks there were some interesting items at aBay, like the Kodak Enlarging Camera No. 1 in super condition and with an extra lens to take photos. The beautiful instrument did fetch US $ 750. It was made from 1903 onwards for several years, and was in fact a daylight enlarger and copying camera. See the screenprint from the 1904 catalog below.

Another fine item was a very clean No. 1A Speed Kodak. Often these cameras are worn, with dried out leather and missing pieces of leather. This one was a peach, to use a phrase from its own days. It sold for $ 650.
Surprising was the $ 260 for a cabinet size photo of a gentleman in a studio, with one of the Eastman plate cameras on a tripod next to him. I have paid good money for photos with a rare Kodak on it, but not so much as $ 260!

Last but not least the latest news on my teahouse project. After several weekends of hard labor the stone path around the teahouse is ready. I'm happy with the result and so is my wife. On we go to the next project...