Identifying an old camera

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ro_irving, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. Hi, I have recently aquired my grandfather's old camera.
    Unfortunately I have no idea what it is! If some kind soul could help
    me identify it I would be most grateful.

    The camera is a basic folding camera (horizontal format) that takes
    6x6 format photos.

    The only identifying marks on it are the lens (which is a Carl Zeiss
    Jena No 224451 Triotar 1:6.3 with a focal length of 75 cm) and the
    shutter (which says D.R.P COMPOUND DGRM, has speeds from 1 sec to
    1/300 sec and has "No 371939" stamped on the shutter speed dial.

    The camera body has D53013 stamped inside (on the bit that the bellows
    attach to).

    It looks like it takes 120 film (I am hoping it does as I want to use
    it :)

    The lens/shutter and bellows are in great condition (no fungus of
    light leaks) but the body is rusty, the letherette is peeling and the
    bellows have seperated from the body.

    I would like to renovate it myself but don't want to mess it up if it
    might be valuable (I doubt it is but just in case...).

    Many thanks in advance for your help.

    Hopefully this camera will start me collecting classic cameras (I
    already have a Lubitel and a Canon AE-1 which I use to take B&W
    photos) as I seem to have caught the bug from reading this forum.


  2. I believe it's from the late 1910's, but it's difficult to say who manufactured the camera. Can you take pics of the camera and post them here?
  3. Probably a couple of pictures would help in this task, do you have any?

    This is one of the folding Zeiss Ikons, probably from the 40s.

    Look in the pacificrim camera website
  4. Sorry, no pics. Can't take any until I get some more developer next week.

    While cleaning it i found a small brass plate with all the lettering work off. However underneath the plate is says "Watch CARBINE Pocket". Does anyone know anything about these?
  5. Aha! Butcher's made a couple models of Watch Pocket Carbine, including a 2 1/4" square format model starting about 1912 (and yes, it's 120 film). It seems to me that Butcher's and Houghton merged somehow into Ensign, who also produced a Watch Pocket Carbine for a time. The Triotar and Compound shutter suggest you have a 1920s or later model, and D.R.P. is the tween-wars version of the abbreviation for Germany -- I see the same designation on the Compur shutter of my pre-1926 Ica Ideal. The f/6.3 lens suggests 1920s or early 1930s; by 1935 or so most smaller cameras like this had f/4.5 or faster lenses available, though they were often also sold in less expensive models with slower lenses and usually less versatile or reliable shutters. The Compound was a competitor of the Compur, and a good one, and the Triotar wasn't a cheap lens (CZJ didn't put their name on cheap lenses, generally), so yours is probably too old to have had f/4.5 on a consumer level camera.

    So, most likely you have a late 1920s to early 1930s version of the Watch Pocket Carbine, which would have been made under the Butcher's name. If you can get it back in shape, it should be a decent shooter; the Triotar is similar to a lot of the other triplets of the day, and quite adequate when stopped down a bit. You may be able to narrow the dates a bit more by tracing the serial number of the Triotar; Schneider lenses have an online database for this, but I'm not certain about Carl Zeiss Jena.
  6. D.R.P. means Deutsche Reich Patent and I believe it was in use between WWI until the end of WWII. The 40's Zeiss Ikon cameras with triplet lenses I have seen always have the Novar (made for Zeiss), not the Triotar (made by Ziess) but I'm no expert in this field.
  7. Bad German grammer - that's "Deutsches". Was there another used during Nazi Germany?
  8. The 7.5cm focal length suggests that the camera may have been meant to produce 6x4.5 format images, possibly with the aid of a removable mask.
  9. Not very likely, Mike -- 6x4.5 was an "off label" format prior to about 1938, since none of the film sizes that eventually merged to become modern multi-format 120 had 4.5 cm spaced frame markings until about that date; 6x4.5 cameras made before WWII almost all had dual windows on the 6x9 framing track. The Certo Dolly models had this dual format, and had three windows to support it.

    However, 75 mm isn't uncommon on Zeiss 6x6 cameras, either from the 1930s or even the 1950s; I've seen a couple different Ikonta B models with that focal length that had only a single central framing window for 6x6. There's really little difference between 75 mm and 80 mm anyway; like the difference between a 50 mm and 55 mm lens on a 35 mm camera, it's more a matter of personal taste than one being "normal" and the other "wide" or "long". And with Butcher's buying the lenses from CZJ, they might well have gotten whatever was going onto the Zeiss B model at the time. In any case, most -- if not all -- dual format cameras of this type (including both my Moskva-5 and my Wirgin Auta 6.3) have a lens sized for the larger format, and just accept a slight tele effect on the smaller.
  10. Hello,
    is difficult identified the camera without picture.
    The lens nr. from ZEISS tell its round about 1926 years.
    Well, any 6x6 rollfilmfolder have an 75mm lens. The best example is the Rolleiflex, but is not a folder camera.
    A 6x6 and 4,5x6 rollfilmfolder have two ruby windows, and only the 75mm lens.

    I think is not a german camera. Zeiss sell the lenses for other plants taked with ZEISS lenses.
  11. I have the Dolly, which is what made me think of the 6x4.5 possibility, but as you note, it does have three red windows. And, I also forgot that my Ikonta B has a 7.5cm Novar that shoots only 6x6. So, it appears that while all 6x4.5 are 7.5cm, not all 7.5cm are 6x4.5. Whadayathinkaboutthat?
  12. Peter4711 wrote: "The lens nr. from ZEISS tell its round about 1926 years."

    No, it was made earlier than that. According to the Zeiss serial numbers in Rollei Report 1, it was made before 1920, and according to this page this lens was made in 1913:
  13. Mike Kovacs wrote: "Bad German grammer - that's "Deutsches". Was there another used during Nazi Germany?"

    No, they still used DRP. First after 1949 or so, it was changed to DBP, Deutsches Bundespatent.
  14. That's what I thought Patrick, not just between the two wars. I guess by 1949 it was clear that the Soviets were never going to hand their zone back hence the formation of Bundesrepublik Deutschland (West Germany) and reorganization of all government including the patent office.
    Does anybody know the German patent abbreviation prior to WWI? I think they also used D.R.P. (sometimes you see D.R.P. A. for Angemeldet, literally "applied for" or patent pending as a looser translation)
  15. Hello,
    a Zeiss lens over 2 millions an earlyer lens from 1913?
    Sorry the Rollei Report 1 from Udo Afalter are not pr䳩ce enough.
    A german scientist classified all Zeiss lenses with numbers:
    Hartmuth Thiele "Fabrikationsbuch Photooptik Carl Zeiss Jena".
    380 pages, price 50,- EURO, in Lindemann Verlag Stuttgart.
    The nummbers of all Zeiss lenses after the world war II beginn over 3 millions.An lens over 2 millions are not produced pr䭷orld war I.
  16. Hello Mike,
    in fact is DRP in german: "Deutsches Reichspatent" and DRPA is rare. In german history run the first Reich from 1870-1919, the second Reich from 1919-1933, and the third Reich is a Nazi construction frun from 1933-1945. In the end of world war II and with uncontitional surrender the Reich exterminated. Only the Eastern Germany railroad run under the name "Reichsbahn" and in the year 1999 the name change in DB=Deutsche Bundesbahn.
    Is astonished West-Germany think is an heir from Reich, but is an republik and change the name in DBP=Deutsches Bundespatent in the year 1949 are your opinion is absolutly correct.Some rangefinder screw mount Leica is new engraved DBP for example.
    But for "Nazi-cameras" determinated is difficult witout year are produced. All cameras to prae war I to end of world war II engraved DRP.
  17. So, it appears that while all 6x4.5 are 7.5cm, not all 7.5cm are 6x4.5.
    Well, not quite even that, Mike. I'm pretty sure I've seen at least a couple 6x4.5 folders with 70 mm lenses (again, including Zeiss, who seemed to be a leader in putting slightly wider lenses on many of their cameras), and the Holga (originally 6x4.5) is (I think) 65 mm. There are also a number of 127 cameras shooting 4x6.5 ("full frame") that use lenses shorter than 75 mm.
  18. I can tell you a little about the Butchers Watch Pocket Carbine cameras. They were made in two sizes, 6 x 6 and 6 x 9cm. The 6 x 6 cameras came in three models, the I, II, and III. Model I came with a Lukos shutter with speeds of 1/25, 1/50, and 1/100 second. available lenses for this model were the Aldus Uno anastigmat, f:7.7 and the Zeiss Triotar, f:6.3. The Model II came with a Compound with speeds of up to 1/250 or 1/300. Lenses available for this model were: the two lenses listed above or Beck Mutar f:4.9, Cooke IV, f:5.6, Dallmeyer IV, f:6.3, Ross Homo, f:6.8, Zeiss Tessar, f:6.3, Zeiss Tessat, f: 4.7. The Model III was available with the same lenses as listed for Model II, plus the addition of a plate back adaptor taking 2-5/16 x 1-3/4 inch plates. To determine the age of your camera you should look at the shutter serial number stamped on the side of the shutter It should be a number in the 23xxxx range. I have a WPC with a serial number of 36xxx and a shutter number of 224xxx. I believe this camera was made in the early 1920's and cost about 45/.
  19. Peter4711, the serial number on the Triotar on Ro Irvings camera is 224.451 so it's far from 2.000.000.
  20. Hello Patric,
    I'm guilty not read correctly the number from Triotar.
    I take back my report from number.
    Many thank's

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