Aug 4, 2012

eBay watch, a Flat Folding Kodak & two articles

One could fill a couple of blogs about all the interesting cameras that pass by at eBay, but I don't have the time for that, nor the knowledge. Nevertheless I picked a few that I like to put in the spotlight. Let's start with the bad one:
A naked No. 4 Cartridge Kodak, pre 1900 model with wood lens board and brass fittings. There are lots of them around and if you are patient enough, you can find a very nice one without trouble. So, if you are the unlucky owner of a bad one, there's small chance of selling it at all. What to do? You can strip off all the leather, take the brass fittings off, sand the wood and paint it with colorless lacquer, polish the brass, and put it all together again. Then there is a big chance of selling it for US $ 150 and upwards... It looks nice on a bookshelf, and who cares that it's historical bullshit....

After having said that, let's go to the really interesting stuff. What about a Adams & Co. disguised book camera? It looks very much like the 1892 Scovill & Adams book camera, but the book titles, the shutter mechanism and the access to the plate holder are different. Value? I have no idea, but the better known Scovill & Adams book camera was sold recently for about € 30,000 at Breker auctions.
The eBay auction ends on August 11, price at the moment is UK pounds 151. Try your luck ;-)

Another beauty is the Camp Fire Girls Kodak, a special version of the Vest Pocket Kodak Model B. The Camp Fire Girls Kodak was manufactured from April 1931 until January 1934. I do not know much about it, but it seems to be rather rare. Have a look at the George Eastman House info and at the amazing collection of Ruud Hoff.
The auction ends in two days, price at the moment is $ 602.

The last one is a No. 1 Panoram Kodak model D with its original case. The camera is not very rare, but the case makes it an interesting item. The No. 1 Panoram was introduced in April 1900 and discontinued in May 1926. The Model D entered the scene in August 1907. The former rigid box like back was replaced with side and back doors. The camera that is for sale can be dated between November 1917 and 1926 because of the serial number and the levels.
Price now $ 185 and only a few hours to go.

So far so good for the cameras that are still for sale. One that is not for sale anymore is the latest addition to my collection: a Flat Folding Kodak. I already had one, but this is a slightly different model. Read more about it on my site (link above). The one with the shutter speed lever in the center below the lens is the new one.

The camera was in quite a bad state when I got it. The bellows was very dry and faded and the back panel was separated from the roll holder mechanism by force. I have glued the parts together and treated the leather with a mixture of creams and oils. First I used black Rapide leather oil that was recommended by a fellow collector. The oil was absorbed very well by the dried out bellows, but blackening power was not enough. So I tried to mix it with Venetian Cream, which sometimes is too wax-like. The combination worked miracles. I could paint it on the leather with a soft brush, it was absorbed perfectly and it restored the black color very well without making it too black. The old soaked leather is very vulnerable, so let it dry for at least one day before you touch it with a cloth to polish it a bit.
For the bellows this treatment was not sufficient. The leather was still as stiff as cardboard. I applied a firm coating of Tana colorless leather cream with a finger, rubbing it in gently and taking care that it reached all the corners and folds. The bellows responded very well and looks 99% better than when I received the camera.

This week two of my articles were published in print. The first is the English translation of my Scheimpflug article. See it in Photographica World No. 141, 2012 issue 3, the journal of the PCCGB. It was first published in the dutch Photohistorisch Tijdschrift Nos. 3 and 4, 2011.
If you are not a member of the PCCGB you should reconsider that. The journal is well worth the money as are all the activities of the PCCGB.

The second one about the extremely rare 4 x 5 inch Bulls-Eye camera made by the Boston Camera Mfg. Co. in 1893, is in Dutch and published in Photohistorisch Tijdschrift, No. 3, 2012. It describes the camera and contains the sparse details that are known about it.