What is the rarest camera/lens you own?

Malibu

A
Malibu

  • 1
  • 1
  • 56
Rockwood Park-4

A
Rockwood Park-4

  • 0
  • 0
  • 46
Enamored

A
Enamored

  • 0
  • 0
  • 106
Kea'au Bike Flower

A
Kea'au Bike Flower

  • 3
  • 1
  • 159

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
180,518
Messages
2,490,986
Members
95,091
Latest member
gigidamico
Recent bookmarks
0

Nokton48

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
2,311
Shooter
Multi Format
Reprint DII Rock Bridge 3 by Nokton48, on Flickr

Not rare but a 58mm Graflex Grandagon, mounted in a custom made Sinar Norma deeply recessed lensboard. This will produce passable 4x5" results if the lens is focused focused hyperfocally, if you look carefully you can see the edges of the circle in all four corners. But it works. I got this idea from an article that Steve Simmons did in VIEW CAMERA on this lens. 9x12cm is more like usuable but this does push the envelope with 4x5".

HP5+ D76 1:1 8x10 Arista #2 RC Multigrade dev
 

TheFlyingCamera

Membership Council
Council
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
11,198
Location
Washington DC
Shooter
Multi Format
While not in working order at the moment, I have a 12x15 (!!!!!) W. Watson & Sons. When I can get it back into working order, it will be a thing of beauty - I think it's mahogany, with gilt brass hardware. All the screw heads are aligned - every single slot points in the same direction. The maker's identification plaque on the front is ivory. It's from the 1880s.
 

lobitar

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
162
Location
Denmark
Shooter
Multi Format
Reprint DII Rock Bridge 3 by Nokton48, on Flickr

Not rare but a 58mm Graflex Grandagon, mounted in a custom made Sinar Norma deeply recessed lensboard. This will produce passable 4x5" results if the lens is focused focused hyperfocally, if you look carefully you can see the edges of the circle in all four corners. But it works. I got this idea from an article that Steve Simmons did in VIEW CAMERA on this lens. 9x12cm is more like usuable but this does push the envelope with 4x5".

HP5+ D76 1:1 8x10 Arista #2 RC Multigrade dev
Yes, I see your point. In the olden days they advised to 'close the corners'. The Grandagan seem to do that nicely for you. Like always a very nice B&W.
 

Nokton48

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
2,311
Shooter
Multi Format
Yes, I see your point. In the olden days they advised to 'close the corners'. The Grandagan seem to do that nicely for you. Like always a very nice B&W.


Thanks Lorbitar! :smile:
 

Dan Fromm

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
6,293
Shooter
Multi Format
Yes, I see your point. In the olden days they advised to 'close the corners'. The Grandagan seem to do that nicely for you. Like always a very nice B&W.
To follow up on this, for all that we carry on about coverage and cos^4 some images aren't much harmed, might even be helped, by dark corners.

FWIW, there's not strong agreement about f/5.6 Grandagons' coverage. I haven't tested -- remember, the largest format I've shot my 58 on is 6x12 and I haven't shot my 80 yet -- but I've decided to believe 100 degrees.

Dan, if you want to put a center filter on your 58, Schneider’s Center Filter III, Rodenstock’s + 1.5 E67/86 Center filter and Heliopan’s 67mm ND Center Filter 3X should all work properly on it. I recently lucked into a CF III for a reasonable price, haven't used it yet.
 

Nokton48

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
2,311
Shooter
Multi Format
To follow up on this, for all that we carry on about coverage and cos^4 some images aren't much harmed, might even be helped, by dark corners.

FWIW, there's not strong agreement about f/5.6 Grandagons' coverage. I haven't tested -- remember, the largest format I've shot my 58 on is 6x12 and I haven't shot my 80 yet -- but I've decided to believe 100 degrees.

Dan, if you want to put a center filter on your 58, Schneider’s Center Filter III, Rodenstock’s + 1.5 E67/86 Center filter and Heliopan’s 67mm ND Center Filter 3X should all work properly on it. I recently lucked into a CF III for a reasonable price, haven't used it yet.

Graflex Grandagon on Norma Board by Nokton48, on Flickr

Here is my custom made Norma 58mm Grandgon. At the time, the widest lenses that would cover were the 65's, I have a few of them. Needed something even wider and this was about it. Focused at fifteen feet of course increased the circle a small amount. Even then it dosen't cover the corners, A Watchmaker friend welded the aluminum board for me (absolutely perfect) and we used JB Weld to attach the release socket (it's only come off once and re-epoxied no probs. A somewhat fragile but satisfactory arrangement.

This was not an insignificant project for me. I was working for Architects at the time and need 4x5 chromes
 

paulbarden

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
1,758
Location
97333
Shooter
Large Format
I don't know which of my cameras is THE most rare, but this one is likely one the rarest of the lot: a 1936 Kodak Retina No. 126, serial number 55160K. (apparently first sold to a customer in Switzerland) fitted with a CZJ Tessar lens, whose serial number indicates it was manufactured on June 8, 1936 (Information courtesy of Dr. David Jentz).

retina.tessar.jpg


The shutter and film transport was serviced by me in February of 2019 and is in perfect working order. Sample photos made with this camera can be seen here:

https://flic.kr/p/2eEd9fi
https://flic.kr/p/SwG64q
 

Dan Fromm

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
6,293
Shooter
Multi Format
Here is my custom made Norma 58mm Grandgon. At the time, the widest lenses that would cover were the 65's, I have a few of them. Needed something even wider and this was about it. Focused at fifteen feet of course increased the circle a small amount. Even then it dosen't cover the corners, A Watchmaker friend welded the aluminum board for me (absolutely perfect) and we used JB Weld to attach the release socket (it's only come off once and re-epoxied no probs. A somewhat fragile but satisfactory arrangement.

Ah. So you kept yours in the original infernal Compur #00. Mine came in that shutter. The control levers bent easily and were on the way to breaking. I had to have skgrimes extract the cells and calibrate another slightly less infernal regular #00 for them.

For those of you who don't know the Graflex XL's 58/5.6 Grandagon, it was mounted on a Graflex XL lens cone in a Compur #00 shutter that had long levers for setting aperture and shutter speed. They were needed 'cos the front cell is so large that reaching the normal short levers was very difficult. And the shutter used has no cable release socket or "T" speed. The cable release, such as it was, was part of the cone the lens mounted in. Separate the lens from the cone and away went the cable release.
 

Dan Fromm

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
6,293
Shooter
Multi Format
I never mentioned it even though until today I'd seen only the one I have, but years ago I bought a small barrel lens engraved Anastigmat 1:2.8/75 Germany from a seller on eBay. It appears to be a modified tessar type, with a biconcave element between the front pair of singlets and the diaphragm and a cemented doublet behind the diaphragm. It is coated. I've never been able to find out who made it. It doesn't cover 2x3 so I've never used it.

Today I saw its brother here https://www.japancamerahunter.com/product/burke-james-lens-vault-anastigmat-75-2-8/ Same lens, with a B&J label attached. Does anyone know who made it or for what application?
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
1,326
Location
Maine!
Shooter
Medium Format
Probably my Hy6 Mod 2 with the 80/2.8, 50/2.8, and 180/2.8. Sad that they're considered rare because they are still in production and can be bought new.
 

TheFlyingCamera

Membership Council
Council
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
11,198
Location
Washington DC
Shooter
Multi Format
Update to the "rarest" category. I now have an R. Beard marked Daguerrian lens made by T. Slater, London. CA. 1855. Not pretty, but amazingly enough it still has the rack and pinion gear intact, and working!. Hanging out behind it is my new-to me Cooke 10.5 inch f4.5 Series II, and the 11" f5 Hermagis Eidoscope #3.

img_2668.jpg


And there's also the Voigtlander that I bought in the same auction lot as the Cooke. An 1864 Petzval, 11" f3.4. This thing is a veritable brass cannon, with the front element clocking in at 80mm in diameter and weighing something on the order of 5 lbs.

voigtlander1864.jpg
 
  • Ian Grant
  • Ian Grant
  • Deleted
  • Reason: duplicate

Ian Grant

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
22,212
Location
West Midland
Shooter
Multi Format
Rare as in I can't find anything on another, other than a vague description a Thornton Pickard "Time" shutter 2½" push on front fitting (to lens/hood). It probably dates to 1887/1890, although the Pickard on the name plate means it was made/sold after he joined the company in 1888.

This differs from any other Thornton Pickard roller blind shutter having an external spring rather than one inside the bottom curtain roller.

upload_2020-8-23_16-51-2.png


upload_2020-8-23_16-50-11.png


This is the unusual spring mechanism. It is working I replaced the loose piece of cotton thread, the knot had pulled through its locator, it has T and I, the shutter runs very smoothly more so than other TP models. The Instant speed is around 1/15 to 1/20, there is a small adjuster where the spring is located that makes a slight difference to the speed but not very significantly.

upload_2020-8-23_16-52-4.png


The air bulb release has perished, they always have, however I have spare release arms so can tap one to take a modern cable release. At some stage it's had a new shutter curtain. It fits 3 of my RR lenses.

So a rare shutter to go with vintage lenses.

Ian
 
Last edited:

ic-racer

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
12,708
Location
USA
Shooter
Multi Format
Edixa Reflex (West Germany). With 24mm Lithagon. One of the first retrofocus lenses available.
Edixa 24mm Lithagon.jpg
 

jnk

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
90
Location
here
Shooter
Hybrid
8x10 multi speed Graflex Focal Plane Shutter and a fan-front Hyperion
 

xkaes

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
813
Location
Colorado
Shooter
Multi Format
Rarest thing I have is some rolls of Ektar 25 in my freezer. Everything else I own is pretty standard mass produced.

I agree with you there. Mine is right next to my stash of Agfa Agfan 25 -- in 35mm and 4x5. My rarest camera is my Vanta G-5. Something doesn't have to be old to be rare - very hard-to-find.

vantag5minolta.jpg
 
Last edited:

jimgalli

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
4,045
Location
Tonopah Neva
Shooter
ULarge Format
Why, I have drawers full of RARE lenses! Either that or the ebay sellers were lying? Probably my 12" Struss.
Since someone has revived this, perhaps my latest most rare lens would be an f3 Aldis Portrait lens of 12 1/2" focus.
 

Don Heisz

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
2,650
Location
Ontario
Shooter
35mm RF
My rarest is likely a adapted Sonnar 1.5 - it's LTM. I got it screwed on a Leica IIIb that had probably been on a shelf for decades. I've never seen another like it online anywhere.

LeicaIIIb.JPG
 
Last edited:
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom