OK... please explain this... (link)

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by Ricochetrider, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. Just keeping an eye on LF cameras periodically, as I do, I came across this interesting camera on ebay.
    Seems the chimney/lens thing is a viewfinder, but how do the 4 lenses work?

    I like different stuff- by thatI mean I wouldn't necessarily want show up with the same gear as everybody else... I'm calling THIS different. Apologies for the link only.

    Exc++ WISTA FL 8560-S 4 Lenses Reflex Large Format Camera w/Fuji Instax Back | eBay
  2. It is an ID camera that makes 4 separate images at a time of the person on a sheet of instant film. Not sure about the separation but possibly enough to be making unintended stereo pairs.
    Ed_Ingold and Jochen like this.
  3. Unless it has been modified, that is not an Instax back either, but a back for Polaroid/Fuji packfilm, which is discontinued.
  4. Just like Chauncey says, but I dunno why four.

    In the US and Canada it was common for mass market studios to have what they called "passport cameras," making two simultaneous images on Polaroid film. Only two images were required. They were supposed to be "identical," but the powers that be decided that two nearly identical shots, taken simultaneously, were good enough.

    I would guess that some countries had a further image-count requirement, thus giving rise to the 4-up camera.

    In the US one of the more common passport cameras was called the Simul-Shot, and as i recall Polaroid also sold several models. I don't know that you'd find any real use for the cameras today. Passport photos have specific requirements for head size, among other things. Meaning that these cameras had to be used at a specific distance, more or less, and the lenses are spaced to work at that distance. They'd still have to be internally baffled to put crisp edges on each frame. These cameras kinda went defunct when outfits like Sony started making digital passport cameras with companion dye sub printers; it became possible to take several shots, letting the customer choose and then printing the one they wanted.
  5. They were also police cameras. Some took 3 up and some took 4.
  6. I suspect there was probably a mask for that camera that allowed for two of the lenses to be blanked off. Then one sheet of polaroid could be used for two passport pairs.

    Rigs like that were so popular at one time that special cutters were made to punch out passport-size prints. They used to be regularly advertised in professional journals, like 'The British Journal of Photography'.
    Modified? That's hopeful, from an ebay chancer that describes a passport/ID camera as 'large format'? :confused:
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  7. We had something similar (Laminex 2+2) where I work and used it until going digital in the mid-1990's. When we stopped using it, I put the camera in it's box and saved it. I don't believe that box has been opened until today.

    As rodeo mentions, ours does have places for 4 lens, but two are blanked out. There is a switch to select between one or two images. The back is a Polaroid and rotates 180°, so after taking the first exposure (pic 1 & 2) you can rotate the back 180° and expose again to get pics 3 & 4.

    We also had the punch rodeo mentioned to cut out all 4 images in one motion. One went on the employee's ID badge, one went to the Security office Rolodex, one went to HR's Rolodex, and the final one went on a laminated lock-out / tag-out type card if the employee was in Maintenance.

    Bonus: It has a full pack of film in it but I have not figured out how to trigger the shutter. It has what looks like a PC (Prontor-Compur) port and a 120vac outlet on top.
  8. Thanks, everyone! Learned something new today.
  9. The 120v 'outlet' might actually be an input to fire the shutter. Needing perhaps 12 or 24 volts to energise a shutter solenoid. Or it could just be a flash-sync terminal, where a household plug&socket were commonly used.

    It'll probably be a press-type shutter, where the cocking and firing action is combined. Alternatively the shutter timing might be controlled by the duration of an electrical pulse.

    All sorts of weird and wonderful designs were used. Although Sinar's combined electronic shutter and mechanical iris takes some beating in the weirdness and oversized categories.
  10. But why "chancer" ?
  11. The above is part of the usage of the word 'chancer'.
    It's more generally used to describe anyone that wheels and deals using misrepresentation, or not really knowing much about what they're selling - being more interested in a quick profit than the product they're selling or customer satisfaction.

    Come to think of it; that could apply to quite a lot of companies and individuals around today.

    "That politician is a bit of a chancer!" - Is a phrase that could easily be used with quite a few people in mind.
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  12. My question was not about the meaning of the word (which I gave, in any case), but about its appropriateness in terms of forum behavior, as I would think you would know.
  13. I have a box camera that was modified by my grandfather, maybe in the 1920's, to flash sync.

    One with a rotary shutter, which somehow has contacts on it, and connect to two 120V outlets.

    As well as I know, you plug a table lamp into one of them, and put voltage into the other one.
    Flashbulbs like the #40 will flash at up to 120V. I inherited it from him, so too late to ask how it
    was supposed to be used.

    The #40, and some other flashbulbs, have regular lamp socket base on them.
  14. Ah, come on JD.
    I've been insulted far more than that on these fora, as you well know.

    And having been cheated and missold quite a few items on eBay, I feel that 'chancer' is quite a mild description for some of the sellers on there.

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