What is the oldest functional camera you have?

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Theo Sulphate, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    By functional, I mean operating properly and, if film is or were available, you could make a photo with it.

    Mine aren't too old: Exakta VX from 1954 and Ciné Kodak Magazine 16 from the late 1940's.
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Leica II, 82 years old and still working as Oskar designed it.
     
  3. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Member

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    Leica III (1936) with 5 cm Summar collapsible lens, serviced in 2002, fully working with a nice uncoated lens too.
    Beautiful piece of machinery of 78 years old. Gives me beautiful aura in contrasty B&W situations.
    And yes: I'm still using it occasionally.
     
  4. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    1933 Foth Flex (81 years old) - I had the cloth shutter replaced, and the lens is a bit 'smoky', but other than that it works perfectly.

    Marc!
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    1910s Gundlach Wizard 11x14. Not functional at the moment, but not far from it, is the W. Watson & Sons 12x15. That's from 1880-ish.
     
  6. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Member

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    This thread is gonna be a nice collection of old and mostly never seen (by most people anyway) cameras.
    So - if possible - please post an image of your camera as well.

    My Leica III looks like this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Leica-III-p1030016.jpg
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Oldest is a Gundlach Korona 5x7 dating from c1910. Also have a Rochester Optical Premo from around 1900 which still has it's original lens. The shutter in that one is functional, but needs work, the camera is in good working condition though and 100% original.
     
  8. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    My oldest camera is a 1938 Rolleiflex, oldest lens is an 1849 CC Harrison petzval serial number 886. Still makes incredible images.
     
  9. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    I've got a very early Rolleicord with a Triotar lens. "Working" is a bit of an ambiguous term, but it focusses, the aperture moves, the shutter fires, the film winds on, and the pictures look good, so I'd call that 'working'.
    Oldest thing I own is probably my Gundlach Turner Reich Convertible Anastigmat, 12/21/28" in a Betax 4 shutter, could be 80-100 years old by now. Only thing wrong is that all speeds are 1/50s (it's missing a spring) but between 1/50 and B and T I can get some good 8x10 shots.
     
  10. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    My oldest functioning camera is a 1917 Kodak Autographic 1A Special (on the left). I use it a few times a year, and have gotten some nice images from it. I had Carol Flutot work on the shutter, so now the speeds are pretty consistent.

    I've occasional light leak issues that I haven't quite figured out, so when I use it I drape a changing bag over it.

    My best light leak proof Kodak folder is a Kodak 1A Pocket folder (on the right) from 1926-1932 which I use more often.
     

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  11. trythis

    trythis Member

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    Much better "what was the..." thread idea.
    No. 2C Brownie
    Made 1917 to 34
    Ok, so 130 film is not available but I did use 120 film and it worked a few weeks ago.
    IMG_8494.JPG
    You can see my manual advance instructions since the window counter doesn't line up with anything.
    A 6x 12 photo from said camera:
    14-76-004.jpg
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    1880s or early 90s western manufacturing company "cyclone #3" +"cyclone #5"
    and an 1896 sears delmar 4x5 plate camera

    i use them all, and post images from them all here on apug :smile:
     
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  13. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I have 2 Kodak No. 1A Autographic Jr. cameras, both about 100 years old ( they are loaded with paper right now, otherwise I'd look inside to get the last patent dates ). One has light leaks in the bellows and the other seals pretty well, but like Chrismat I keep them wrapped up inside a black tee shirt and just pull the lens out to shoot.... no light leak problems that way.

    I also had an incredible stroke of luck. I purchased a Kodak 3A from the Goodwill website with the intention of taking the lens off to use in a homemade camera. I paid $16. What came in the mail was an absolutely pristine Kodak 3A Series ii, made in 1937. This is a beautiful camera, and I really enjoy using it, and the lens gives amazing results. I don't know how to describe it but the photographs have a kind of "glow" like they are lit from within or something.... and if you hold the lens up and look through it you can see this effect. It is just lovely. I use this camera every few months but I really should do more with it. The only downside is that my enlarger cannot handle such big negatives ( 122 "postcard" size: 3.25 x 5.5 inches. ). I mostly use paper negatives in it, but sometimes I cut sheet film to fit. I use all these cameras "1-shot".
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    4"x5" 1928 Graflex Model D
     
  16. AgX

    AgX Member

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    A Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-16 from the 40's (though it imposes due to its design as if from the 20's).

    I'm not into age anyway, but rather into design. So I could show it next to Canon Ixus.
     
  17. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    I have a Leica Standard, a Leica II and a Contax II that were built in the mid-30s and they all work like like little charms.

    The oldest (I think) is a Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak. It would have been built sometime between 1915 and 1926 but I have never really tracked down exactly when. It works great but has a mild light leak through the loading side or through the number window. Since it really doesn't cause huge trouble I don't worry about it too much. It takes amazing pictures and I love working with it. I am impressed with the build quality of these little cameras and comparing it against most of the pocket cameras of our day illustrates the sad decline in pride of manufacture.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd guess my oldest is the 11x14" American Optical, I'd guess from the 1890s. I got a new, longer bellows from Camera Bellows UK (now called "Custom Bellows"), adjusted the back to take standard 11x14" filmholders and routed the front standard to take Sinar-type lensboards. Photo in Central Park a few years back by Bob Ciccone--

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    Hmm. I have a 1902 Kodak Brownie, 1905 Century Camera Company No. 46 (4x5,) 1908 Kodak Panoram #2, and a 1914 Kodak Special No. 1. All those are beat by my Watson & Son half plate tailboard camera, c.1880s though.


    Kent i SD
     
  20. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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  21. frank

    frank Member

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    1936 or so llla.
     

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  22. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    I don't have any that are really old...

    A Brownie Holiday (127) is floating around somewhere, and I'm sure it will still work (not much to go wrong).
    In 35mm I have: Zeiss Contessa folder, Voigtlander Vitessa barn-door folder, and Realist 45. I use them all periodically.
    A Polaroid The 800 that works (expired film, plus I have used some 4x5 in it).
    A fairly basic Sears Tower folding 120 camera that I can't find any info on. The shutter is iffy, but fires sometimes. I hope to fix it.

    They all have manufacturing runs that are similar or overlapping, so I don't know which is the oldest.

    I also have an 8mm movie camera (not handy, so don't know the model, but looks like a Keystone Model K8). I don't know how to find out if it works. It winds up.

    All except the Vitessa and Realist 45 came from family members.
     
  23. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    Sands & Hunter's Exhibition Camera 5x4 (1882/1883) from Nadar's Office Général de Photographie, Paris. I replaced the original lens with the R.J. Beck 5x4 Rectilinear 7 inch focus. It was originally found with a RD Gray Periscope No. 6, which may have be fine for portrait work, but not suitable for landscape. It has it's original three plate holders. The plate holders will accept dry plates, photographic paper, and modern sheet film. It also came with special holder inserts. When the camera was found the inserts were still loaded with hand-coated paper negatives that had been loaded "wet". I use the camera regularly.

    From the book titled "The Studios of Europe", printed 1882 . . .

    "As to photographic apparatus, said M. Nadar fils, touching upon another point, you have it all your own way in England. "I am coming to London in a little while, and for no other reason than to purchase instruments and apparatus." "But don't you find our apparatus rather more expensive than what you buy on the Continent?" we naturally asked. M. Nadar did not think so. "Your work is so good that it always pays to buy it." So our opticians and camera-makers need not despair yet, and we hope sincerely that they may long continue to enjoy the same reputation. That they have been in the van for years past is well known. Ten years ago, when on a visit to Dr. Vogel, in Berlin, we well remember the ecstatic delight with which one of the worthy doctor's pupils spoke about the new camera that was coming all the way from England. We often think of him now, when we see the shining mahogany, and its brass and ivory fittings, and wonder if our sanguine friend in Germany was satisfied with the apparatus which gave him so much anticipatory pleasure."

    M. Nadar fils would have been Paul Nadar. The Sands & Hunter's Exhibition Camera that I am currently using was most likely a result of that trip to London.
     
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  24. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Century 8x10 from the early 1900s. Has an Anthony lens from late 1800 centurywithAnthonylens.jpg
     
  25. OptiKen

    OptiKen Subscriber

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    Functioning doesn't mean I use it, right?
    I have both the Cyclone Senior and Cyclone Jr falling plate cameras which were made between 1896 and 1905

    There isn't much of a trick having an old box camera that is still functional. Just about the only things that can go wrong are the single spring in the shutter or termites.
     
  26. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    a box camera from the 1880s, the name of which escapes me but it's rather large format, about 4 by 5, and is a company that was swallowed up by Kodak a few years later.

    Can still take pictures with it, too, if I don't mind the left and right edge being cropped off.
     
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