Fleamarket Monster

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ralf_j., Sep 12, 2021.

  1. A passport photo taker? A school yearbook camera? I would guess this monster would be from late 40s or early 50s, raptar lens is coated.
    Made for Camerz corp.
    It set me back 5$, and the spider webs were free… DCEB3FEC-C424-4BDE-A092-B076D7E5A752.jpeg
  2. According to Camera-Wiki: "Camerz is the brand used for a series of long-roll cameras sold by Photo Control Corporation, founded 1959 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.", going on to say: "Designed for unperforated long rolls, many Camerz models oriented a 70mm film magazine vertically for an image area approximately 6x9 cm. in portrait orientation". Looks as if this beast might fit that description. Apparently they were some of the most popular "school photo" cameras of the era.

    Thanks for showing!
  3. Yes, thanks.
    ralf_j. likes this.
  4. The serial number on the lens dates it to 1965, according to the list on the alphaxbetax web site.
    ralf_j. likes this.
  5. I was off by 20 years :).
  6. Is the lens Ok? I noted the 127 Raptar... this is likely also used on many Speed/Crown Graphics I think if the lens is usable ...it's a bargain . What possibility do you have for film? RD hinted this was the 70mm rolls that have no sprockets... IF you're stuck I may have some magazines that were intended for the Graflex XL.. I may also have the cassettes .. I've forgotten how they're outfitted. I eventually got a Graflok back for the XL from B&H
  7. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Interesting piece. There is no mention of this camera or company in my McKeown's guide. Beattie made a similar type of long-roll camera with Wollensak lens, the Portronic, for school/institutional use.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  8. I was guessing 1950s military surplus--it would look right at home bolted onto a tank, with a remote shutter release operated by someone safely within. School pictures might be a similar application, though.

    I'll second chuck_foreman about the lens and shutter.
    ralf_j. likes this.
  9. At one time I was pretty intimately involved with cameras from both (mainly) Photocontrol and Beattie Coleman from around 1970 on, but never saw one of these. So I'm guessing it's from the earlier 1960s.

    I'd agree it's likely intended for school photos. I say this cuz there's no obvious parralax correction mechanism, suggesting a limited working distance. Fwiw it's a pretty crude camera. Later Camerz cameras included the Camerz "Classic" which was a serious workhorse for any kind of portrait studio work, head shots to family groups. That was a twin lens camera with a parallax correction cam driving the viewing lens, PhotoControl's own shutter, and a numbering device to expose the ID from a sitting card onto the film.

    Photocontrol also manufactured Nord printers which, combined with the specialized portrait cameras, formed part of a "manufacturing system" for portraits. There was no other camera system, made in significant quantities, that could compete with that sort of gear in high volume situations.

    Digital cameras brought about the end of these. As I recall Photocontrol had been working with Kodak on a digital version of the camera somewhere around the year 2000, but things just didn't come through fast enough for Photocontrol to survive.
    ralf_j. likes this.
  10. Many of these cameras used 46mm non-perforated film. 46mm was much cheaper than 70mm plus you really did not need that big of a neg for head shots of 4th graders.
  11. Hi, well some chain outfits did. But I think it was far more common to stick with 70 mm film, but shoot in what they called a split-70 format. This is where the frame is rotated sideways on the film. This way you could have the same film width, 70 mm, for either a large, fancy-schmancy negative, or the much smaller split-70 neg. Most of this sort of work was processed on cine processors, where you want it to be set up for a specific film width. If someone wanted an even smaller neg they could have gone to 35 mm film (and the appropriate cine machine setup).

    But those days are long-gone now.
    ralf_j. likes this.
  12. Hi Chuck - I have not messed with it much, just wanted to show it to you guys, but may get around to using it just for kicks, the shutter is simple and the lens has a lot of crud on it but may clean up, thanks for the generous offer and glad to hear from you as always.
  13. Indeed, I do not think it was made for consumer markets and must have been expensive with the electric motor fitted on the lower right chamber.
  14. Indeed, very hefty chunk of metal, no cheats on this one, back from the time when things were made for real and not mass produced :).
  15. Very informative, thanks, crude sums it up well enough.

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