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What Film Size & Camera

Discussion in 'General Photography Discussion' started by Eddie43, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Eddie43

    Eddie43 Premium Member

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    IMG_2898.JPG My great-grandfather was an avid photographer. In 1920 he and his family took a cross-country tour of the US. He left an album of very good photographs, which I have, along with the negatives. The prints are 5-1/4" x 3-1/8" as are the negatives, so the prints are most likely direct contact prints.

    I am trying to figure out what camera he might have used. I'm pretty sure it was a folding camera with a very good lens. It was probably an f/8 or f/11 fixed lens. Focus and DOF are very good in every image. Most images are properly exposed, with good contrast.

    Any help identifying the film size and possible camera model he might have used would be greatly appreciated. An example is posted above. I don't have any means of making prints from the negatives right now, but my X100 does a good job of copying the prints.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    mugmedia, Dirk Offringa, PAE and 7 others like this.
  2. runswithsizzers

    runswithsizzers Premium Member

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    Cool! I'd love to see more of those!
     
  3. Woodworth

    Woodworth Premium Member

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    There were a whole lot of cameras in many different film sizes available at the time that picture was taken. I'd say that it was almost impossible to be able to identify it. The actual dimensions don't correspond to a standard format but the closest would be 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch (postcard format) which would be 122 roll film such as used in a Kodak 3a camera or available as cut film for a plate camera. The actual dimensions as measured in film was not always very precise, for example 6x6cm often actually measured 5.6 x 5.6cm if you were to measure the negative with a ruler. The actual width of the film would be 6cm or very near but the actual negative area would be smaller (with a bit of clear film around it).
    If the negatives are stiff, clearly factory cut and single, they were cut film for some kind of plate camera, if the film is flexible and either on a strip of negatives or hand cut into individual negatives, it was roll film, probably 122 roll film.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  4. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    (deleted)
     
  5. shinbone

    shinbone Member

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    What an adventure that must’ve been.
     
  6. Eddie43

    Eddie43 Premium Member

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    That's it--post card size. I re-measured, and the negatives are 5-1/2 x 3-1/4. The negatives are thin, and handcut. So 122 roll film. I will check out the Kodak 3A and other 122 roll film cameras. My guess is that he would have used a Kodak. Thanks!
     
  7. Eddie43

    Eddie43 Premium Member

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    0F0039E8-6396-45C7-8F81-C6DB221EF144-40793-0000234824C0CC20.jpeg Here is a vintage ad for the Kodak 3A
     
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  8. Woodworth

    Woodworth Premium Member

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    Pleased to be of help.
     
  9. Eddie43

    Eddie43 Premium Member

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    IMG_2900.JPG IMG_2901.JPG Here are two more images from my great-grandfather's album. In the first image, the route between San Diego and Yuma, the paved road gave way to dirt, then a plank road, and finally sand, as seen here.
    The second image was taken in Idaho near the end of their trip. Click on the images to enlarge.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  10. Jbat

    Jbat Premium Member

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    Wonderful photos of what had to be a great adventure. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  11. Eddie43

    Eddie43 Premium Member

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    I found this old contact printer in an antique shop yesterday. I am seriously thinking of using it to print a new set of prints from my great-grandfather's negatives. It needs a little work, but I can get paper and chemicals at B&H Photo.
    It's been 30 years since I've done any wet processing, but it might be fun.

    IMG_2930.JPG IMG_2931.JPG
     
  12. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    Ah, I finally understand what exactly these were for! I have a couple of these lying around and never imagined what contraption they were supposed to be part of, now I know! (sorry, crappy no-light phone pic)

    IMG_20180317_084258.jpg
     
  13. Eddie43

    Eddie43 Premium Member

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    Does yours have a light box? Some were meant to use the sun or an external light source to expose the image.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018

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