Photo News – Spring 2018
Toronto. Last Tuesday morning as I opened my Globe and Mail over breakfast, I was delighted to see Norm Rosen’s latest publication was a free insert for subscribers.
It was especially welcome as it featured some Macro Photography special articles, a favourite pursuit of mine. Keep an eye on the website for Photo News as this issue will show there too. Previous issues are already online.
Norm was a speaker at the PHSC last year, discussing publication in Canada.
Leitz Parvo slide projector
Toronto. From its earliest years the famous little Leica camera was offered with a companion projector. Various models were made to project black and white positives and especially film strips. When I was a school boy in the 1940s I operated a tiny SVC film strip projector to illustrate classes in grade school.
When Kodak came out with Kodachrome colour slides in the late 1930s, Leitz produced a home projector like the little SVC. The Leitz VIIIc was manufactured from 1938 through 1961 when it was replaced by various semi automatic projectors using slide trays rather than the manual slide changer or optional film strip mechanism. The VIIIc was variously designated as the Parvo (my version), Gnome II, and finally the Prado 100/150. My projector has a 100mm f/2.5 Hektor lens with a round black paper/cardboard lens box. I bought the Parvo, lens, manual slide changer and 5cm condenser set back in 1992 from Larry Boccioletti.
If you want an inexpensive branch of Leitz to collect, consider projectors – like flash guns, they are very inexpensive to amass. Unlike the cameras, lenses, and some accessories, the projectors have little background information readily available.
1888 catalogue Illustration
Toronto. Well before the young George Eastman established his glass plate manufacturing business and later the famous Kodak camera, the Anthony’s had established a thriving business selling photographic equipment and materials. Our treasurer and head of the PHSC Press, John Morden, recently scanned and produced a pdf version of Anthony’s 1888 catalogue.
This version was originally labelled as the “Illustrated Catalogue of Amateur Photographic Equipment and Materials” in a typically British tradition of rather long winded titles. This edition of the E & H.T. Anthony & Co. catalogue was titled inside as Anthony’s Illustrated Catalogue and sold by the retailer James C. Cummins, 106 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD.
Download a copy here and enjoy its historical material (the Anthony business in time became known as Ansco, and later was sold to GAF – General Aniline and Film – before disappearing from the scene. GAF is still in business today selling roofing shingles etc. My roof has GAF shingles)
1942 – 2018
Toronto. He wasn’t known as a photographer but as an author and physicist. Stephen Hawking contracted ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) while doing his doctorate at Cambridge. It was diagnosed when he was only 21 but progressed so slowly that he was able to continue work as a cosmologist.
He once joked that his was an ideal occupation for the disease since one only had to sit and think about the universe. In the late 1980s, my daughters bought me one of his books intended for the general reading public A Brief History of Time. His death on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 was noted by publications around the world including the science journal, Nature. The Globe and Mail carried this column from the New York Times news service datelined London.
If you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory on TV, you may have seen him there. He was of particular interest to me as I have a (rather ancient now) degree in Mathematics and Physics – and my father-in-law died from ALS when he was barely 65 years old.
Leica Null Series
32nd WestLicht Auction
Toronto. The 32nd WestLicht auction ended March 10, 2018 and a null Leica (Leica-0 series) in great shape sold for nearly $3 million dollars US!
According to WestLicht, ” Only approximately 25 of these cameras were produced to test the market in 1923, two years before the commercial introduction of the Leica A. The camera is in beautiful and fully working condition, all parts including the paintwork are original, with the matching lens cover and the original folding finder. The Leica 0-series is one of the major rarities in camera history – the camera no. 116 sold at WestLicht Auction in 2012 was the most expensive camera ever sold – this camera comes from the famous collection of Jim Jannard.”
Not too shabby for a little camera that has an f/3.5 fixed focus 5cm lens and a non-capping shutter! No slow speeds and roughly shutter speeds of 1/20th to 1/500th using a tiny rubber soaked fabric focal plane shutter with a variable slit width.
May 1948 LIFE magazine ad
for Kryptar Film
Toronto. Last Saturday, George Dunbar asked an interesting question, “Anyone ever heard of this film?” I certainly hadn’t. In 1948 I would have been in grade six and my family used only Kodak products as did most Canadians of the time. George’s question was about a film advertised in the May 1948 issue of LIFE.
A browse of the web with Google came up with little of interest. A photo-finishing service, Lux Eterna, offered a pdf for processing old and obscure films including Kryptar while other sites suggested using ordinary B&W developers and times.
Fiddling with the search phrase brought to light this newsletter written in the fall of 1999 by The Photographic Historical Society across the lake in Rochester. The newsletter then edited by the late Joe Bailey covered the short lived Kryptar Film Corp. that almost died in a fire about the time the LIFE magazine ad saw the light of day. The factory was rebuilt and Kryptar film lived on a bit longer.
Oscar Munoz winner
2018 Hasselblad Award
Toronto. Our membership secretary, Wayne Gilbert, dropped me a note the other day that announced this year’s winner of the Hasselbald award, photographer Oscar Munoz courtesy of the Mynewsdesk site.
After the second war, the Hasselblad camera became famous as a 2-1/4 square professional SLR with Zeiss lenses. It was the camera that a Leica owner might consider as an upgrade. A year after Victor Hasselblad died in 1978, Hasselblad established a foundation in the name of him and his wife.
“After Victor Hasselblad’s death in 1978, Erna and Victor Hasselblad’s Foundation was founded in 1979 in accordance with the couple’s last will and testament. The Foundation aims to promote research and academic teaching in the natural sciences and photography. This is achieved by awarding grants and stipends to the natural sciences and photography, a prestigious international photography award and stipends and grants to research projects in photography.”
Kodak Folder ad in LIFE
for the Vigilant camera
Toronto. As a kid I can remember my father’s Kodak folder. It was a step up from the Kodak box camera he took west with him in the 1920s. If you wanted a better (higher resolution, faster speed, more flexible) camera, you chose a 35mm or a professional instrument like those in the Graflex line.
And of course you could upgrade your Kodak! In an 1948 ad taken out in the April 19th issue of LIFE magazine, Kodak proudly promoted its Vigilant folder as ideal for family pictures – both black and white and colour. The ad shows a middle of the road f/6.3 lens with both faster and slow lenses offered too. And you could even buy a flash gun to use for fill-in flash in bright daylight or to get indoor and low light level shots!
Thanks once again to my friend and fellow PHSC member, George Dunbar, for sourcing this memorable ad from a bygone era.
April 5, 1948 LIFE
Toronto. The Wollensak company in Rochester NY made many fine optical components many years ago including lenses for the screw mount Leicas during the war when authentic Leitz lenses were unavailable. Communication companies like Bell Canada used their products (photographing traffic registers to aid in engineering switch extensions).
They were known for reel to reel tape recorders and movie cameras as well in their heigh days.
My thanks to George Dunbar for sourcing this 1948 advert for Wollensak.