Show & Tell Night, December 20, 2006

Member Presentation

Show and Tell evenings are always of interest. Members hear interesting stories and see many unusual things. Our evening opened with two large displays of cameras courtesy of Shelton Chen and Bill Kantymir.

Shelton Chen

Shelton Chen

Dummy Cameras & Cut-a-ways
Shelton Chen is a well known member of the PHSC. He is a regular at our fairs and runs a popular camera store, Hit Camera. Shelton brought some of his dummy cameras and cut-a-ways noting that dummy cameras - bodies without working lenses or shutters were offered to salesmen and retailers by many companies. The fakes reduce the risk of theft and lessen the capital tied up in displays. Two of the dummies, a screw-mount Leica and an Agfa Silette were giant display models. Shelton noted that he won the Agfa Silette on eBay for $47.00 from a person in Germany only to discover that shipping was $350.00 - by boat! Two of his examples were cut-a-ways. One was a full size Nikon SLR cut in two - someone in the audience suggested it was a half frame model. The other an over size model of a Switar f/1.4 25mm movie camera lens. Shelton even had dummies of inexpensive Kodak cameras.


Switar lens cut-a-way model
Shelton with his giant Agfa Silette model dummy models of digital cmeras giant Leica scew mount camera model inexpensive Kodak camera dummies
L to R: Agfa Silette, digital
dummies, Leica, Kodaks

Bill Kantymir

Art Deco Kodaks
Past president Bill Kantymir, another regular at our fairs, can always be relied upon for  interesting cameras and gadgets. Tonight he provided an expanded Kodak Art Deco collection representing Kodak's "colour period" of camera designs. The display ties in with an article in the current (32-3) issue of Photographic Canadiana on the Art Deco cameras and designer Walter Dorwin Teague. Bill noted that many of his examples are labelled "Made in Canada" although current opinion is that the more correct designation would be "Assembled in Canada" with parts sent to Kodak's Mount Dennis campus from Rochester for assembly. Packaging may have been produced in Canada. (The historic buildings on Eglinton Avenue in the west end of the city are now empty - a victim of the digital revolution.) Bill singled out many models for special remarks including the rare Super Kodak Six-20, the first camera to have a coupled light meter. This "clam-shell" design was nicknamed the "boomerang" - once sold, it kept returning to Kodak... for repairs! Only 714 were made. In closing, Bill reminded the audience that for many models the original packaging and instructions were often worth more than the camera.

Bill kantymir showing the Art Deco article
Bill Kantymir
Bill Kantymir with a favourite Kodak art deco box
Bill Kantymir with an art deco box camera Bill Kantymire with a CKC box Green Kodak Petite folder marked CKC Lavender Kodak Petite folder marked Kodak USA
Bill Kantymir showing colourful Kodak box a rare Super Kodak Six-20

Robert Gutteridge

Robert Gutteridge

The Kinora Movie Viewer
Robert Gutteridge, our movies aficionado, brought an unusual little "flip-book" viewer called the Kinora. Bob Lansdale wrote an article on this bit of photo history in Photographic Canadiana 31-5 and used cover photos of Bob Gutteridge's two books about the Kinora. At the 2005 Daguerreian Trade Fair in Rochester auction-house proprietor Bryan Ginns brought one along from England. Bob Gutteridge related how he contacted Ginns after missing out on an auctioned Kinora. Mr Ginns had a second model which he brought to this year's Daguerreian Trade Fair for Bob and we saw it tonight. Bob estimates that the Kinora was briefly popular from 1911 - 1915. The viewer was designed in France and the patent sold to an Englishman who for his own reasons chose to label the little viewers with the name and address of the London retailer - Bond's. He also made a Kinora movie camera that creates the 640 individual frames in a Kinora reel. Like modern day movie systems, you could buy ready-made movies on various subjects or take your own movies - Bob had examples of both.

Kinora instruction book
Kinora viewer
Kinora viewer close up of a flip book attached looking through a Kinora viewer Kinora viewer name plate Kinora detail of flip book label in a case holding an amateur flip book

Victor Wong

Restored View Camera
Victor who is a teacher in the GTA, brought a restored 5x7 Gundlach Korona view camera (Rochester NY) with an old brass lens and a not so old looking Packard shutter. The beauty and finish of the camera belies its condition when Victor bought it on eBay. Like some other members, Victor enjoys the challenge of restoring a camera and taking large format images. His find arrived covered in some unknown goo and bits of gauze - attempted repairs by a previous owner. Liberal use of "Goo B Gone" removed the gauze and goo, then "I stripped the old varnish off the wood, sanded it with steel wool, coated it with a bit of oil and using a chamois, rubbed Conservators Wax into the wood and bellows". The lens was another find and is complete with good glass and a working multi-leaf diaphragm. The brass barrel required an external clean-up and a careful blackening of the interior surface (lampblack) with a smoky candle. Made by Perkin-Rayment, it is an Optimus f/4 to f/22 Petzval design. Victor noted the Petzval lenses are undergoing a revival these days with the large format crowd. To try the camera out, he mounted the Packard Ideal shutter on the front of the lens. The shutter is controlled by a bulb and hose with the photographer controlling the exposure - anything from a speedy half-second on to the really slow speeds. Victor used his lap-top to show a couple of images taken with the camera. You can see more of Victor's large format images on his web site.

Victor Wong with his restored Gundlach Korona view camera
Victor Wong
Gundlach Korona view camera
Packard-Rayment Optimus f/4 lens (Petzval design)
Packard-Rayment Optimus f/4 lens (Petzval design)

Packard Ideal shutter
Stan White holding a Canon Rebel with a Loreo stereo lens attached

 Stan White

The Loreo Stereo Adapter
Stan White brought a stereo device that is "not really historic... yet" He began with a bit of personal history, noting that his interest in stereo goes back to 1948-9 when he was in England working for a firm that used full plate cameras. Stan was a junior and got to use "what was left" to take his photos. He does his stereo in digital these days using two Canon Rebel 300D cameras on a home-made stereo bar. In another twist, the Canons are modified to shoot in near infra-red. They are so sensitive he can shoot at speeds of 1/2,000th of a second. Tonight, he presented his most recent acquisition, a Loreo stereo lens. Similar to the Leica STEMAR, the Loreo has two short focal length lenses mounted side by side in a barrel with a canon bayonet fitting. The front of the Loreo has a hood containing a dual mirror assembly used to increase the stereo distance between the lenses. It has two stops, f/11 and f/22. Optimal focal distance is six to eight feet. After using the Loreo for a while, Stan hopes to carefully remove the mirror housing so he can take macro shots with the lenses. Stan will have an article in this spring's edition of PhotoEd on his experiences with digital infra red photography.

Stan White
abandoned truck - taken by Victor Wong with his Gundlach Korona
Canon and Loreo stereo lens
vacuum tube study - taken by Victor Wong with his Gundlach Korona
Canon digital
with Loreo device
sample images taken
by Victor Wong with his Gundlach Korona

Felix Russo holding his mystery case open diascope case showing the Autochrome

Felix Russo

A hundred year old raspberry
Program director Felix Russo brought a brown case and said his presentation was more "show and ask". The case held an Autochrome colour image that popped up when the case opened allowing light to fall on the built-in mirror, illuminating the positive image. This case-viewer is a Diascope as discussed in a couple of recent Photographic Canadiana articles* (27-4, 28-2).  The picture turned out to be a century-old raspberry - a little baby sticking his tongue out at the photographer! Felix acquired the image at the Daguerreian Trade Fair this fall. *the articles show light falling on a milk glass in the frame and viewing the image via the mirror - the reverse of this. The wear mark on Felix's case suggests the spring frame is in upside down. Reversing it would place the mirror the viewing path.

The Autochrome, invented by the Lumiere Brothers in France, was one of the earliest successful colour processes. It is an additive colour process - like your computer screen. The surface is covered with a random distribution of tiny red (orange), green, and blue (violet) filters. The filters are made from dyed granules of potato starch spread evenly over the glass of an ordinary black & white emulsion. The plate is exposed through the granules and then developed and reversed to make a positive image. Projecting light back through the granules and positive image results in a colour image. Autochromes were softer and slower than the black & white plates of the day due the effect of the filter layer.

The case is signed "Thomas - West Baden - Springs". West Baden Springs, Indiana featured a popular health spa built on sulphur springs. The spa failed in the early 1930s. The West Baden Springs Hotel is a famous structure currently undergoing restoration after decades of decay and neglect while a court case was evolving in California. The hotel closed in 1932 and is expected to reopen the spring of 2007.

open diascope
Felix Russo
Autochome close up to show soft grain
Felix Russo with his Diascope opened
Autochrome close up
Autochrome before and after colour cast removed in Photoshop CS2
Diascope open
Autochrome of baby with tongue stuck out
removing the colour cast

Robert Wilson

Palmer Cox and the Brownies
Robert Wilson wrapped up this evening with a Christmas themed reading of "Brownies in the Toy Shop" from a Palmer Cox Brownies book. The tie-in is Kodak's decision to use the famous little Brownies created by Cox in the advertising and packaging material for its Brownie line of low cost cameras targeted at children. The first of the Brownie Kodak cameras went on sale over a century ago in 1900. Our March 2007 speaker Wayne Morgan will give the history and inside story of the Kodak Brownie camera series.

Palmer Cox was a native of Granby, Quebec. He moved to New York City in the 1870s and sold his first Brownies story in 1883. The first Brownies book was published four years later in 1887. Cox allowed the Brownie name and images to be used free on a great many items. An interesting site on Palmer Cox and his brownies is posted by the BC and Yukon Masons of all groups.

Robert Wilson reading from his copy of a Palmer Cox Brownies book An older edition of the book owned by Robert Gutteridge
Robert Wilson
An older edition
of the book
Robert Wilson reading from his copy of a Palmer Cox Brownies book The two Roberts discussing the Plamer Cox book
Robert Wilson &
Robert Gutteridge

Unless other wise noted, images on this page were taken with a Sony F828 digital still camera and subsequently adjusted in Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Lightroom Beta 4. Contents and most images are ©2007 PHSC and may be used freely provided the source is clearly indicated. Contact PHSC if you would like more information on the items discussed on this page. The black and white images are ©2006 Victor Wong and taken with his Gundlach Korona View Camera.

Click on most of the small images to see a larger version in a separate window.

Bob Carter

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