Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New, Old Old Camera

This is a Rochester Optical Company "Universal" Camera manufactured in 1891. I recently bought this 4x5 film camera to begin learning about large format photography. This camera originally made images on glass plate, but at some point someone added a more "modern" film loading mechanism to the back (and even that is still made of wood). This camera came with a Bausch and Lomb 1890 "Rapid Rectilinear" lens. The first lens to offer no distortion in vertical lines. The construction of the lens is symmetrical. Identical groups of lenses equidistantly apart. Its called "Rapid" because it can focus and operate at f/8, which I am sure was quite a breakthrough for 1890. Rochester Optical Company was eventually to become a little company known as Kodak! I am going to have to learn about tilt and swing and putting this camera through its paces before I can remotely claim to have mastered it. I have gotten the camera light tight and have made some test images (see below):


zeitguy said...

What a fascinating thing to play with. I have a Calumet with no charisma but it takes great photos.

Anonymous said...

Yes, new old old. I'm glad you have it. Such depth of everything. Had not read here for a long long time, having a good time doing so.