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What is this camera?

jdubyoo

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Hi all,

Today my grandpa gave me some of his old photography stuff. It was a lot of flash lights, and some film nikon cameras. It was cool, but the neatest thing he offered was this old 46mm camera. He didn't give much information on it, but that when he started using it, it was 10-20 years old. There's a notcard taped to the inside that has notes on repairs that were done in the mid 70s, so it's most likely around 50 years old. I assume its a photography camera, but again I'm not too sure.

The reason I'm looking for help identifying this camera is because there is no manufacturer label anywhere on the camera that I can find. That makes it extremely hard to try and serach online. I'm interested to see how old it is, its worth, and stuff like that. From my searches online, i can't find anything that looks like it. For all I know, it could be homemade.

Below is an imgur link to some photos I took of it. If that's not allowed, I can attach the photo files to the post.

 

MikeB

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Very cool. This looks to be a purpose-built twin lens reflex camera designed and built by Roberts Studio that uses reel film to take portrait photos - lots of portrait photos, like individual photos of students. Studio cameras do not need to be lightweight and portable. Most studio cameras used a bellows to focus the lens, but if you are taking one kind of photo only, such as head shots, then you can use a simple fixed-focus camera such as this.

The camera has two objective lenses of the same focal length. The Wollensak Series II, f/4.5 Raptar lens with Alphax shutter is the photographic lens, the nondescript lens on the upper left (facing the camera) is used to verify focus. The camera had a fixed focal distance of between 43-44 inches.

I'm not sure what the 46mm refers to. It could be the film (127 type), but then the sprocket for advancing the film confuses me. It may use standard 35mm film.

The Wollensak Series II Raptar f/4.5 lens was marketed from 1951 onward so I assume that the camera was built in the 1950s. Your grandfather may have purchased it used.

As far as value, probably not much. The lens itself probably has the greatest value but even that is limited and it may need maintenance as the shutter appears stuck. It would have greatest value to the heirs of Roberts Studio or to the local museum where the studio was located. As a camera, I wouldn't touch it and its too big for a paper weight.

Here's information on the Wollensak lens

 
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