Petrakla Classic Cameras
Excellent! 1900 Large Format 5x7 camera with 180mm HELIAR lens! CLA'd, Freshly Serviced
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
Tripod & Leica NOT included
In this auction we have a very lovely vintage camera. It shows a lot of old world craftsmanship and is built of fine woods and nickel plated trim. It comes with three, double sided wooden photographic plate holders. I’ve been using it as a display item in my shop but it really deserves to be in a collection or the hands of an artist or fine art photographer who will actually take the time to use this fine old camera.
Surprisingly, there is no makers mark on it but this style of this camera was popular around the turn of the twentieth century. I’ve been collecting vintage cameras for well over 45 years and the construction details suggest that this camera is well over 100 years old.
The matt glass / film back is removable and can be placed in either a horizontal landscape or vertical portrait position. I measured the interior of the film holders and I believe that this is a 5x7 format camera. (To be exact, the interior space of the plate holder is 13.2x18.2 cm or 5 1/8 x 7 1/8 inches.) The film holders are designed to hold glass plates. Also notice the quaint way that the hinged matt glass folds up and over the camera, this is typical of late 19th camera technology and is a good indicator of its age.
The lens that’s currently mounted on this camera appears to be newer than the camera itself. (Photographers often updated their lenses to meet their personal tastes or needs.) This is fitted with a Voigtlander f4.5/18cm (180mm) Heliar lens set into a classic dial set Compur shutter. The serial number of the lens dates it to 1921. The dial set Compur shutter has times that range from B,T & one sec – 1/150th. All shutter speeds work well and all speeds are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster speeds are clean and snappy.
This camera would be a great candidate for fine portrait and landscape work. The Heliar is a very lovely, well respected lens however if your tastes run to the exotic, you may want to fit it with a Verito, or Pinkham & Smith.
What I like about this particular camera is that the entire back is designed to be removed and it would be very easy to convert it to any number of film formats or a roll film back, or even some of the new polaroid style films which have become available.
All in all a very lovely collectable camera and I’m sure you’ll be happy with it.