did you hear? the fat’s in the auction!

a beautiful example of a 1931 9cm Fat Elmar in black enamel with both caps

Toronto. The 9cm Elmar was made from 1931 to 1968 – nearly 40 years. It was an early addition to the Leica stable once interchangeable lenses were marketed. The 9cm focal length had a pleasant presentation of head and bust size portraits.

In 1931 and 1932, the 9cm Elmar was sold in the so called ‘fat‘ mount – reminiscent of the mount for the faster 73mm Hektor lens. After 2 years the mount was offered in the ‘thin’ version. Production of the ‘fat’ Elmar lasted 2 years and totalled just under 2,500 made – under 1,000 in 1931. The very earliest 9cm Elmars have neither an external serial number, nor a means to adjust a rangefinder as the focussing mount is turned.

You don’t have one in your collection yet? Well are you in luck, A 1931 Fat Elmar 9cm lens in beautiful black enamel with neither a serial number nor linkage to a rangefinder will be offered in its own brown leather case at the June 25 & 26 Port Colborne auction.

Note. The title for this post is a riff on the old saying (no so in this case), “the fat’s in the fire“.

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as good as a nod

c 1929 Leitz WINKO right angle viewer accessory

Toronto. So called detective cameras became popular once the speed of dry plate technology allowed hand held use in day light. The camera itself was built into or enclosed by various satchels, leather boxes, purses, etc.

At our December, 2003 ‘Show and Tell‘ meeting, an excited Bill Kantymir showed us his very rare 1889 Dr Krugener detective camera that he had picked up on the way to the meeting. It was a wooden glass plate camera housed in a black leather case. While rather large to our eyes, with no tripod attached, people of the era would not suspect it being a camera.

When the tiny Leica went on the market and began the minicam revolution, a need for added lenses and accessories became apparent. To meet the ‘detective’ aspirations, Leitz came up with a fancy right angle viewer so the photographer would seem to look away from his target subject.

The earliest version of this viewer with a large thermo-plastic (Bakelite) black eyepiece was offered in 1929 to fit a none rangefinder Leica. You don’t have a WINKO in your collection? You are in luck, a beautiful c1929 model WINKO in the original leather case will be auctioned at our Port Colborne auction on June 25 & 26!

NB. The title of this post is a riff on the old saying, ‘a nod is as good as a wink‘.

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a view from above

c1932 AUFSU waist level viewfinder for Leica

Toronto. When the novel Leica camera took off in the 1930s, Leitz created a plethora of accessories to allow the tiny marvel to be used for almost every photographic task.

Years earlier, folders and box cameras used a viewfinder where one looked down to see the scene in front of the camera – the ‘belly button school of photography’ later emulated by the twin lens reflex cameras.

To allow a Leica to do this effect, a right angle viewer called the AUFSU was offered in 1932. Improvements were made a few years later and the ‘code’ was changed accordingly.

If you are missing this earliest of waist level viewfinders, then look no further! An extremely rare example without the accessory shoe, or the ‘cross and circle’ focussing aid – just four tiny black rectangles – one in each corner of the view – will be auctioned off June 25 & 26 in our Port Colborne auction.

As a bonus, this AUFSU comes complete with a brown leather case, Both viewer and case are signed “Leitz”. See you in the Port!

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Port Colborne Auction June 25 & 26

Toronto. Our joint journal editor, David Bridge whipped up this tasty poster for the auction weekend we have landed for the end of June. I am nearly finished photographing the Leica stuff (some rather rare pieces) and will post them shortly. Meantime, the post shows how to get there while this link shows a sample of what will be auctioned.

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our boys used it too

a 1944 war letter from Holland

Toronto. Another use for photography was to reduce the size and weight of letters. George Dunbar shares with us an article from the February, 1943 issue of Popular Mechanics titled, “Tiny Films Speed ‘V-Mail’  to Men Overseas“. While the article touts the use of special photographic techniques to reduce the size and weight of letters sent from the States to men fighting in WW2, our soldiers used a similar system to lighten letters sent back home as shown by one example.

WW2 was a tumultuous time filled with both horror and innovation. In photography, we saw many new ideas burst forth as ways were found to improve the art to help the war effort. Many of the ideas came to fruition after the war ended.

This particular idea seems to have disappeared in the mists of time – unless you think of modern day emails and internet and smart phones …

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Port Colborne Auction June 25 & 26 2022

  • Toronto. Hard on the heels of our Spring Fair, we will be hosting our first ever auction OUTSIDE of Toronto. This two day event will be at the Lion’s Club hall in Port Colborne. On auction are many pieces collected by the late father/son team of Bill and John Kantymir. You may have seen Bill or John at our fairs where they had tables filled with unusual cameras, images, and lenses. Many rare and usable items will be auctioned.

We will be holding it on SATURDAY (June 25), and SUNDAY (June 26, 2022) at the Lion’s Club in Port Colborne – free parking and free admission.

This Auction will be simply terrific – rare items and  user items for both film and digital folk – photographs, cameras, lenses, accessories, books, and more. Come out and enjoy this event while adding to your collection or user gear!

Everybody is welcome. Sorry, no consignment lots at the door.  All lots are the Kantymir collection – really good items, many very rare. First come first serve.

Our first sample lot photos (130+ items) and second lot (now 170+ items with lots from Leitz, and one Zeiss lens) are shown below. Included are some rare Leica collectibles like a Leica II, a Hektor 5cm, special viewers, fat Elmar, etc.

This  slide show was compiled with the help of the app Exhibeo 2. We owe a big thanks to Clint for photographing this incredible series of examples. Click on the stereo viewer photo below, then on the lot shown in the upper left and then on any lot icon to see it larger. Your left/right arrows will work to move from one enlarged photo to another. Enjoy!

This beautiful stereo viewer will go on auction June 25 & 26

 

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a cautionary tale

Alan Tessier of Ottawa and his new camera

Toronto.  In 2005, ebay was a popular source of rare cameras and images much desired by collectors of photographic material. Some sellers gained sufficient experience to ‘sell’ their skill to those who had a one-off sale of items. There was the odd ‘bad apple’ amongst the sellers. In one case, a seller ran what turned out to be a ‘Ponzi‘ scheme – the owners of the sold goods were paid from the sale of later goods; the earnings being spent by the actual seller instead of going to the owner of the goods.

In another ‘scheme’ I was made aware of, a person off shore posing as a disappointed buyer would send a cheque sum many times more than the item he ‘lost’ on ebay was worth, asking the seller if he could send an alternate item plus a bank draft for the balance. The so called buyer relied on bank policy of withholding payment for 14 days until the foreign cheque cleared. By the time the cheque bounced as a fake, the ‘buyer’ expected to have the so-called balance of funds in hand and would disappear.

When we still met in person, our then 1st VP who conducted a lot of business through ebay, noted that the rules had changed to offer better protection to the buyer. Unfortunately the swing was so heavy that sellers ended up at serious risk of any given sale being rejected and actually costing them money or worse.

This hit home recently when Les Jones, our past president, etc. sent me a link to a CBC article written by Dan Taekema · CBC News on June 9th and titled, “Camera sale shemozzle puts focus on how eBay policies affect sellers“. So today it is, “caveat venditor” – seller beware rather than, “caveat emptor” – buyer beware.

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one more reason

Lot 0024 = Kantymir Auction June 25 & 26

Toronto. Port Colborne, some 90km from Toronto is a beautiful part of the Niagara peninsula. On the shores of Lake Erie, a short distance from Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and other popular destinations, the Port is gorgeous this time of year. And this year, you have another reason to visit.

Hard on the heels of our Spring Fair, we will be hosting our first ever auction OUTSIDE of Toronto. This two day event will be at the Lion’s Club hall in Port Colborne. On auction are many pieces collected by the late father/son team of Bill and John Kantymir. You may have seen Bill or John at our fairs where they had tables filled with unusual cameras, images, and lenses. Many rare and usable items will be auctioned.

Shown above is just ONE item (lot 0024) to be auctioned off during the last  weekend this June. Be sure to join in the festivities while you take in the beauty of the peninsula this time of the year. COVID has had us cooped up far too long!

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number 27 by ZOOM!

Toronto. Can you believe it? We held our twenty-seventh  executive meeting via ZOOM last Wednesday evening. We welcome Ms Katrin Faridani to the PHSC executive. Katrin is our new Newsletter editor!

The MAY EVENT was held on the evening of May 18 when the Reverend, Dr Max Dionisio, head of the ROM library (Royal Ontario Museum Library) spoke on 19th century Japanese Photography and some recent acquisitions to the library.

Our June event will feature Francesca Strobino speaking from far away Florence, Italy via ZOOM. Link here for registration and full details.

The SPRING FAIR  this year will be indoors where we hold our auction (NEW FAIR VENUE). And it will be a bit later than usual on JUNE 11th (that’s today!). The image below shows the new venue (an old 2013 photo of the hall just west of Brown’s Line).

Hard on the heels of the Spring Fair, we will be hosting our first ever Auction OUTSIDE Toronto. It is a two day event in the Lion’s Hall in Port Colborne. On auction are many pieces collected by the late father/son team of Bill and John Kantymir. You may have seen Bill or John at our fairs where they had tables filled with unusual cameras, images, and lenses. Many rare and usable items will be auctioned. DON’T miss it! 

Our TRUNK SALE is on JULY 16th NOT JULY 9th this year and as usual, it will be outdoors at Trident Hall. Watch for details.

Come out and join us at the June 11 Spring Fair here at the 101 Legion Hall

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a find in old New Brunswick

Robert Foulis c1860

Toronto. Our president, Clint Hryhorijiw, found the time to send me a wonderful link that reminds us that museums are great resources for photographic historians one and all. The New Brunswick Museum posted an article back on May 2, 2022 called, “A Major Gift of Late Georgian and Early Victorian New Brunswick Portraiture” donated by Anne Baker in memory to the Walker Family.

I chose this c1860 print of inventor Robert Foulis to illustrate this post. It is a copy print annotated as, “Robert Foulis, c. 1860 Photographer: Joseph D. Marsters (Canadian, born 1823) Published in: The Canadian Magazine (February 1932) letterpress halftone on wove paper 12.2 x 7.5 cm. Gift of Alice Maude Rainnie, 1949 (1981.11.9). New Brunswick Museum Collection.”

Click on the above link and see what a museum can do for you!

 

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