The Photographic Historical Society of Canada

Show and Tell 2009
Various Members
Program date: December 16, 2009

Clint - Master of Ceremonies
Clint - Coordinator

Ed's camera
Ed's Video Camera

Bob Carter and Zeiss books
Bob Carter - Zeiss

Robert Gutteridge
Bob Gutteridge

Carbide Lamp
Carbide Lamp

Carbide Lamp diagram
Diagram

John Linsky
John Linsky

Ansco Clipper
Ansco Clipper
Ansco Clipper

Mark Singer
Mark Singer DC50

Attentive crowd
Crowd by W Gilbert

Manuel Nunes
Manuel Nunes

Clint and Gordon
Clint and Gordon

Christopher Lansdale
Christopher Lansdale
Christopher lansdale
Christopher Lansdale

Les makes a case
Les makes a case

Our traditional December Show and Tell program with the gift exchange included a silent auction for the second consecutive year. The silent auction was held up a bit when Clint got stuck in traffic bringing the lots to the meeting. Once the lots were dispersed. People were able to inspect and bid. Clint introduced the evening’s program and moderated our annual show and tell which was followed by the gift exchange and the wrap up of the auction.

This evening Ed demonstrated his video camera and copy stand setup. It is a copy stand with two lights added to the top bar. A video camera is mounted instead of a still camera. Ed put this apparatus together so small objects can be projected for viewing by the bidding audience at our annual auction (coming this spring on March 21, 2010).

Bob Carter. I had the pleasure of starting the Show and Tell with a brief talk on Larry Gubas and his goal to write three books on Zeiss - Binoculars, Microscopes, and Cameras. The first two have been published and I brought them with me. Larry published the book on binoculars first. It is illustrated with advertisements from the 1920s and 30s. The challenge Zeiss faced was introducing a scientific instrument to the general public. The Zeiss history part of the book concentrates on the parts relevant to the binoculars. His second book on Zeiss microscopes adds to the history of the company emphasizing its contribution to the design and quality of these fine scientific instruments. Zeiss made significant contributions to the art of management and the social well-being of its workforce. The company encouraged close relationships with the academic world. It shared its research freely with other companies in the industry. And its staff created lens designs beyond the capability of known glasses and then searched for people to create formulas to make glass with the desired characteristics. In this way, Ernst Abbe at Zeiss created the first apochomatic lenses in the late 1800s (lenses that could bring three different wave-lengths of light to focus at the same point. The third title, on Zeiss-Ikon cameras is underway with the first two chapters completed. Both the published books are of interest to camera collectors for their extensive material on the early history of this cornerstone of the German optical industry. We published a review in the current issue of Photographic Canadiana (35-3). Anyone wishing to purchase a copy of these informative and well illustrated books can contact Petra Kellers at Camerabooks in Oregon.

Robert Gutteridge. Robert always has an interesting story related to early movie equipment and tonight was no exception. He brought with him two models of the Ikonograph, an early home movie projector. These projectors use 17.5 mm film. As an aside, he noted the size is exactly half the standard 35mm film width. Later projectors designed for safety film used the 16mm format to prevent projection of the dangerous nitrate based film. The main interest was the model D Ikonograph (popular around 1900 - 1910). This projector has a large circular hole in the back wall. Bob discovered that the aperture was intended for a carbide lamp - like those used in mines and on bicycles of the era (In 1892 it was discovered that calcium carbide pieces dropped in water would generate illuminating or acetylene gas which burns with a brilliant white light). People exploring caves use carbide lights even today with their beautiful clear light. The smaller Ikonograph had a burner and reflector built-in. A hose connected this model to an external carbide gas generator. Carbide lighting systems were ideal for movie projectors in the era of limited home wiring and lack of standards. As the films for these projectors predated safety film, most have deteriorated and been destroyed. Little remains today.

Reav view without lamp
Lamp missing
Front view of Ikonograph
Front View
Carbide Lamp installed
Rear of Ikonograph
Ikonograph and carbide lamp
Carbide Lamp
Small Ikonograph
Small Ikonograph
Small Ikonograph
Small Ikonograph

John Linsky took us on a trip back along memory lane, not with expensive or rare cameras, but inexpensive models like the Ansco and Agfa he used as a young budding photographer nearly 60 years ago. His first example, an Ansco Clipper still in its original box, was a gift. This simple camera cost $12.95 when new. It uses 616 film and has an unusual metal “bellows” that slides open for use. The camera was available with a flash for a dollar more. Unfortunately, its picture quality is poor. Next John showed an inexpensive Agfa camera (Ansco and Agfa were associated at one time). It is a 2 1/4 square model with a 3 element Apotar f/4.5, 85mm lens. John couldn’t afford the pricier model with an uncoupled rangefinder, but this one took decent pictures. In 1954, John took it to the coastal waters in Massachusetts during hurricane Carol and snapped workers in the pouring rain. These slicker covered volunteers were fighting to keep boats from crashing against the rocks along the shore line. John showed us the old ball bearing Kodak shutter and lens which he scavenged from his mother’s camera. Moving up to a better camera, John bought a twin lens Ciro-flex made in the States. Ciro-flex was eventually bought up by Graflex USA. Meantime, the company made 4 or 5 different models using Wollensak shutters and lenses that produced fine pictures.

While going to school in Maine, John tried taking movies. He was offered a new Yashica-8 with one lens for half price - $40. The original owner returned it complaining about picture quality. John had 35 rolls of movies he took with the camera converted to VHS just before the digital era and easy computer editing arrived. John described his cameras and tales as sentimental stuff, but they gave us a picture of the average family snap-shooter in the mid 20th century.

Mark Singer reminded us that the digital era has been around long enough that some early digital cameras are potential collectibles. He showed a c1996 Kodak DC50 which was touted as the first digital camera offered for under $1,000US. The camera is a rebadged model made by Chinon. It has a tiny built-in 1 Mb memory and accepts a 4 to 40 Mb ATA memory card in the PMCIA slot - small in capacity and massive in size compared to today’s CF and SD cards. It has a low res LCD screen that displays the camera settings - a live viewing screen was too expensive at the time. The user has to be content to view his results (maximum size - high res - is a tiny 756 x 504 pixel image) after a laboriously slow download to a Windows or Mac computer via the serial port. The camera has auto-focus and auto-exposure with a shutter speed of 1/15th to 1/500th second. It takes a picture every 5 seconds, longer with flash.

Mark's DC50
DC50
DC50
DC50
DC50
DC50
Mauel Nunes
Slide copier
990 Copier
Slide copier
990 Copier
Slide copier

Manuel Nunes demonstrated his technique for copying slides and negatives. Manuel modified a dollar store variety slide viewer to attach to a Nikon Coolpix 990 digital still camera. The 3.3 megapixel 990 is ideal for this purpose as all lens movement is internal to the camera. Manuel improved on the basic slide viewer by adding a brass connecter threaded to fit the camera to the back of the viewer, and a salvaged slide changer to the front. To copy slides, he inserts the slide into the holder and points the 990 at the sky or another even light source. Since the slide/negative holder is firmly attached to the camera, it can be hand-held even at very slow shutter speeds.

Clint brought his Gordon camera which was the subject of an article this September in issue 35-2 of Photographic Canadiana. The audience heard first hand the background to the search for the camera and the discovery of a model which would have been passed over but for earlier discussions between Bob Lansdale and Clint. The Gordon is not yet listed in McKeown’s but it does appear in tiny ads in vintage magazines. Research is continuing, including tracking down other examples. This evening we had an opportunity to inspect first hand the design, features and rather modest construction of this camera which was originally sold as a business opportunity for aspiring photographers. Clint patiently took us through the steps needed to make a direct positive print with the Gordon.

Christopher Lansdale, Editor Lansdale’s enthusiastic 10 year old grandson was delighted to escape a school play this evening to very capably present his version of the Gordon camera - the Hoover camera. Constructed primarily of cardboard and wood, this larger camera seemed more solid than the Gordon. Christopher explained that he actually used the Gordon before making his version. The Hoover is based on features from various models of the Gordon along with his own innovations such as dual arm sleeves for handling the sensitive material inside the camera body - he noted the original Gordon was awkward to use. The Hoover camera is equipped with an old brass lens (not for sale :-). Christopher's Hoover is nearing completion. He can focus and snap a photograph, load and unload the sensitive paper or film, but must take the Hoover to a darkroom to remove and process the exposed material as the camera’s internal processing mechanism is not yet ready for testing.

Les Jones wrapped up the show and tell with two very interesting daguerreotypes from the 1840s and 50s. First was a cased image bought for him by a friend while visiting Massachusetts. Les noted while the image is run of the mill, the case is not. Upon careful inspection, Les noticed that the case was signed “M. B. Brady” and it proved to be a very rare example from Brady’s days as a case maker (this is the only known example of this design) before he became famous as the American photographer of the 19th century civil war era. The moral for the collector is to look at the case and not just the image when seeking out photographica. The second cased image is a very rare stereo daguerreotype, complete with a built-in viewer. It is an example of the Baker Stereoscope case. The image appears to be of a British soldier whose helmet in the background suggests he saw service in India. Les speculated that the case may be of English origin, with Baker the maker or seller. Bob Wilson later provided more information courtesy of Paul Wing’s book “Stereoscopes: The First One Hundred Years”. Wing states that the viewer is a “very nice case based on Claudet’s patent” and that Baker was “a lesser known photographer, who at one time resided in India”.

M B Brady
M B Brady signature
Run of the mill
Enclosed image
Baker Stereo Case
Baker's Stereoscope
Baker Stereo Case open
Stereo case open
Doug Napier - Auction coordinator
Doug the auctionman
Meeting by Wayne Gilbert
Meeting - W Gilbert

After the Show and tell, the silent auction drew to a close and the gift exchange ended the evening with some interesting bits and pieces changing hands. NB. One of the younger (youngest) participants tonight managed to negotiate a nearly complete Omega D3 enlarger for the cost of taking it away.


This page was designed in Dreamweaver CS4 on an iMac running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Unless otherwise noted, images on this page were taken with a Sony F828 digital still camera and subsequently adjusted in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom V2.3 and Photoshop CS4. Images and content unless otherwise credited are ©2009 by the Photographic Historical Society of Canada and may be used freely provided the source is clearly indicated. Picture of Bob Carter is a Nikon shot by Bob Lansdale while the two crowd scenes and portrait of Doug Napier were taken by Wayne Gilbert with a Canon. Contact PHSC at info@phsc.ca if you would like more information on the items discussed on this page.

Bob Carter

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