PHSC Estate Auction Nov 19, 2017

Fall Estate Auction
hosted by the PHSC

Toronto. Our annual fall auction will be an estate auction. While all people are welcome, we cannot accept any more lots. We do have many interesting and exciting pieces for the collector and film using affection-ado.

<<Click the icon to see the details – time, place, etc.

We did a few posts on some of the cameras, lenses and dark room gear (A drum you can’t beat, …beginning to see the light, Black is Beautiful, More Fish than Fowl – Leica IIIg, Seven come Eleven…, Some Canons shoot pictures). There is a slide show of many of the lots. More photos will be added as  they become available.

Some of the Items to be Auctioned this November. Click the icon above, then click the small icon and then any other icon to view a larger set of images for slide show or scroll the little icons.

Come on out and see this fine auction and consider bidding on these pieces for your use or your collection! Admission is free and the parking is easy.

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Shanebrook on Kodak Film

Toronto. November 15, 2017 PHSC Meeting
Robert Shanebrook: Making Kodak Film in 2003

Toronto November 15, 2017  PHSC Meeting

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a tree grows…

Car inside a red cedar tree in Vancouver’s Stanley Park

Toronto. When I was a kid, we bought our own school supplies including books. The prices were a much lower percentage of wages then and Canadian publishers printed our textbooks. I remember walking to Witty’s Drugstore one September to buy my school books, and in particular the Ontario Public School Geography, a large (to my eyes) text by W J Gage & C0. Limited of Toronto. This text was published before the turn of the last century and updated as new data was available.

One photo in particular fascinated me –  two people sitting in an automobile inside a giant red cedar tree in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The above link is to the 1922 edition and the tree is on page 118.

All this came to mind after George Dunbar sent me this link to photos of unusual trees on the NPR Website. The tree photos are in an article by Sasha Ingber back on Sunday, October 15th in NPR’s Goats and Soda column. While the photos and articles are interesting, NPR stands for National Public Radio. It is American and does have an American slant to news items.

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check it out!

Dr Neill Wright’s Checklist for Leica collectors

Toronto. In the 1970s, there was lots of information on the history of Leica cameras, lenses and accessories. The trouble was, this information was widely scattered in catalogues, manuals, patents and magazines. Dr Neill Wright and Colin Glanfield in England set about solving this problem. They did this by publishing a book in manuscript form which they called The Collector’s Checklist of Leica Cameras, Lenses and Accessories, and Leica Biography which was first published in October of 1974, the same year as our society was established. The authors credit Ivor Matanle, Tom Marsh, Sam Tamarkin and many others for assisting.

Later publications provided detailed records of camera and lens serial numbers thanks to the generosity of Leitz and the fact the factory in Wetzlar survived the second world war intact unlike Zeiss Ikon. Late in the war the city of Dresden was totally flattened by allied bombs. After the war ended, Jena, the home of Zeiss, found itself in Russian hands until East and West Germany were reunited with the fall of the Soviet Union. The best source of Zeiss-Ikon data today is Larry Gubas’ massive and beautiful book Zeiss and Photography.

I bought the third and fourth editions of Checklist published June of 1977 (3rd) and March of 1980 (4th). I passed the third edition on to a member of the PHSC and a fellow Leica collector. I still have the fourth edition of some 185 single-sided type-written pages. Neill’s Checklist predated the series of Hove catalogue and manual  reprints  and the more recent coffee table sized Leica books with their high quality illustrations and fonts. Checklist remains one of my go-to books for Leica information.



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end of an era…

OOTGU focoslide for M-seiries cameras

Toronto. The last of the Leitz focoslides was the OOTGU model first sold in 1957 only to disappear a few years later. This model was intended for the M series of cameras and reverted to locking the camera body to the focoslide by its lens mount, just like Willard Morgan’s attachments nearly 30 years earlier.

I bought my example at Simon’s Camera Exchange in Montreal down on Craig Street near St Lawrence Blvd on February 9th, 1979. It came according to the sales clerk with a special 5x focusing viewer, an old nickel LGCOO which fit the OOTGU but was intended for the screw mount mirror box (which was fine with me). The nickel plated LGCOO was much rarer than the LVFOO (I have a few LVFOOs with various  metal coatings from satin chrome to black enamel to the more recent black crackle finish which matches the OOTGU in age)!  I made the buy only after learning a valuable lesson in social graces.

A few months earlier, I had visited Simon’s and seeing the focoslide, I commented strongly to the clerk that his goods were over priced now compared to a few years ago. This was in earshot of the owner, Mr. Mendelson, who calmly took the accessory from his clerk and said politely to me that it was not for sale but was in the display case in error.

With the advent of SLR cameras it became easy to frame a close up object and use  extension tubes, a bellows, or close-up lens elements to bring the camera and its lens into the macro photography range. The traditional focoslides intended for rangefinder cameras were a disappearing breed. The OOBAZ and OOTGU both used lens heads and massive focussing mounts with 51mm threads rather than the usual camera lenses and mounts. These focoslides seemed to be intended  for the Reprovit professional copy stands, not for amateur photographers.

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a new day dawns…

1958 OOZAB (OOGAN) with N 51mm lens mount for the new heavy and large focomounts

Toronto. In 1958 Leitz Wetzlar began to make and market a new massive focoslide OOZAB (some references list the code name as OOGAN) for its Reprovit series of professional copy stands.

It had a smooth rectangular shape and a new lens thread called the N thread with a 51mm diameter. The new device used the honking big lens mounts the size of big Tuna tins. They were offered in various styles depending on the lens head to be used.

This was the last focoslide (1958-1963) to be made for the screw mount cameras which were quietly disappearing from the scene in the face of the Leica M3 camera series and its popularity. I bought my example from Ron Anger in May of 1981.

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Architecture in Photography Exhibitions 1858 – 1861.

Natalie Banaszk

PHSC Meeting, Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Architecture in Photography Exhibitions
Natalie Banaszak, B.A., M.A.

Natalie will present her award winning research on the participation of photographic societies in the promotion, marketing and sale of architectural photography as art and a symbol of national identity.

Ms Banaszak has a BA in Art History from the University of Guelph and an MA in photographic preservation and collections mgmt  from Ryerson. She has spent a few months on the job at the Centre Canadian d’Architecture in Montreal and at the AGO here in Toronto as a Collections Intern for both institutes. She served as a Teaching Assistant at Ryerson, and a Graduate Intern at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.

A second speaker, Ms Dolores Gubasta, Toronto photo editor and owner of KlixPix,  speaks on her intimate involvement with the Don Newlands Archive. Newlands, a well respected Canadian photographer, shot for Maclean’s, Black Star and Paris Match. He was a consummate purist who rejected an industry increasingly reliant on the staged journalistic subject.

Join us at 7:30pm on October 18th in the Gold Room of Memorial Hall, in the basement of 5120 Yonge. The public is always welcome. Go to our Programs page for directions.

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PHSC Newsletter 2017-10

PHSC News for October 2017.

Toronto. Editor Sonja Pushchak issues another yummy episode of her delightful newsletter, this time a scary Halloween special!

The issue begins with Ralph Meatyard’s photo of subjects wearing cheap latex halloween masks, followed by a poster for our annual fall fair featuring all things photographic and featuring those wonderful old cameras of yesteryear.

Next, a page is devoted to our October speakers, and then a mix of articles and columns – Monster Math on the del Toro exhibit at the AGO, the Minox binoculars adaptor, choosing a Brownie, web links, and more. A dozen wonderful pages in total! Click the icon at left or here to read and print this tasty edition of your favourite newsletter!

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Outta da ooze

OOZAB Sliding Focusing Stage or Focoslide c 1955 shown upside down.

Toronto. Willard Morgan’s nifty Sliding Focusing Stage must have been selling well because in 1938 Leitz Wetzlar began to make and market the accessory which by this time had a spring-loaded clamping bar to hold the camera both in the NYC and in the Wetzlar versions.

The Wetzlar stamped accessory was given a new code as well – OOZAB. The OOZAB and the NYC version were both made and sold through 1951 when the NYC accessory was dropped. The OOZAB was modified at that time to an H shaped clamping bar to clear the flash socket of the IIIf.

I picked up my c1955 example from Dave DeShon in September 1978. This version of the Focoslide which used the camera lenses was made through 1957.

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those where the days …

December 1948 Popular Photography Ad for Graflex

Toronto. I think George Dunbar has special spot in his heart for the once illustrious staples of the news photographer –  the Graphic and Graflex cameras. George often finds these unusual ads and passes them to a few of the PHSC members and to Ken Metcalf in  North Carolina. Ken is an editor of and the publisher of the Graflex Journal.

This ad (at left) ran in the December 1948 issue of Popular Photography suggesting ways you could celebrate Christmas by giving your favourite (favorite?) shutter-bug a new Speed Graphic product. As a kid of 11 in 1948, Christmas was special to me, but all the gifts combined in our home did not match the cost of one new Speed Graphic or Graflex camera!

Even to this day the reflex cameras look very old and cumbersome in design – much older than 1948 suggests.

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Stephen Wilkes Exhibit in Paris

Santa Monica Pier, LA by Stephen Wilkes

Toronto. Galerie GADCOLLECTION in Paris, France is featuring an exhibition called “Day to Night“. The exhibit runs from October 12 to November 5th. The images in this exhibition are the work of Stephen Wilkes.

The following words (edited) are from the GADCOLLECTION web site:

American Stephen WILKES was born in 1957. He began to photograph when he was 12 years old, a passion which never left him. WILKES studied at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He graduated with a bachelor of science in photography. Specialized in communication, the school allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the media’s history and uses. He opened his studio in New York City in 1983 and has kept on photographing to this day.

WILKES photographs for commercials, publishers, himself and above all for others. His photos are made to be shown to the largest audience possible. They testify to a high degree of self-abnegation, so much so that he does not hesitate to dedicate his time and effort to photographic projects which he feels are important; works able to change our perception of the world; to provoke reactions. In 1998, a one-day assignment to the south side of Ellis Island led to a 5-year photographic project. This project resulted in a 2006 book called  Ghosts of Freedom. He did a photo and video study about this abandoned place – medical wards where immigrants were detained (they underwent tests there and were quarantined before being allowed to enter America). Broadly speaking, Stephen WILKES’ photos helped to move the lines. Thanks to his work, $6 million were provided to restore the south side of the island.

In a different approach, the recent series Day to night started in 2009. The work gathers in a single photograph the images captured during an entire day. A long and difficult work, each finished image sublimates landscapes and architectures, carefully chosen by Stephen WILKES. Each image in  this  tour de force requires a digital treatment of an average of 100 photos during a shooting session of over 24 hours. Some 1400 photos in all were taken for this project.

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