Mackenstein camera

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by Rein Muuluka, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Rein Muuluka

    Rein Muuluka Member

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    Hi,

    Accidentally found a 5x7 (or most probably 13x18cm) camera for cheap. Having used a relatively modern 4x5 with paper positives for a while now I'm excited about this larger find, probably manufactured in the end of the 19th century.
    So, the specs, the text I've been able to read. The sign on the camera reads: "H. Mackenstein Fab't a Paris. Bruno Laenger (Saenger?) & CO. St. Petersbourg."
    The lens: "Tessar Zeiss 1 : 4,5 F - 18 cm Bte E. Krauss Paris No. 148885 (?)".
    It seems to be difficult to find info on Mackenstein cameras online and even a search on this forum did not bring up anything. I would be thankful on any information regarding it.
    It seems that the camera has been sitting on a loft for a while - the front is dirtier than the other sides and the apparatus has a quite strong unpleasant old smell to it. It is otherwise in good order: bellows do not seem to leak, everything kind of moves, the back rotates, an image is produced on the ground glass onto which other format guidelines have been drawn hinting the possibilites. The aperture moves smoothly although the ring is not attached to it anymore, but this seems to be easily fixable. A lot of questions regarding the restoration arise though: how to clean the outside of the lens (soda and lemon juice?) and whether the inside can be done at home too or would it be to difficult? Would it be with a possibility that I won't be able to reassemble the lens or are these generally simple lenses that I can just start unscrewing from the "logical" point? Is it possible to attach a shutter which it seems to miss right now?
    I'm still in the beginning of hopefully turning the camera into a beaut so there's a lot of info to be read regarding restoration... Still, wanted to make the thread already so that if anyone with info regarding the camera knows anything - please do write!
     

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  2. spoolman

    spoolman Member
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    Try this website:www.collectiblend.com and click on the letter "M" and Mackenstein is the first or second name on the list.

    There are only 2 camera descriptions for a 13x18 camera.

    Doug
     
  3. Andy38

    Andy38 Member
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    Welcome to Apug.

    This camera is on this page : Collection-appareils.
    It's a Série III A, on the right with rear tilt.
    You can unscrew the lens, it's easy to reassemble. You clean the faces with special lens cleaning paper and some humidity (your breath) ; be careful...
     
  4. Brian Schmidt

    Brian Schmidt Member

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    Lenses scratch quite easily. Treat it like you're trying to get a bug out of your eye.

    There may have been a shutter that slipped over the lens at one point. Look up "Packard Shutter". Or it may have been used with a very slow emulsion and they simply removed and replaced the lens cap.

    That tag looks sort of new-ish to me. What is it made of?

    -Brian
     
  5. OP
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    Rein Muuluka

    Rein Muuluka Member

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    Thank you all for the additional info and recommendations.
    Can't really make anything out of the tag. Feels slightly plasticky yet doesn't look like it too much. Can't really guess.
     
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