Help Identifying Camera from the 30s

pachipachi

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Hello,

I have a difficult question and I hope that even if I will not be able to get an answer someone here can help me a little with forming a clearer idea about it.

I have an album of photographs from a relative from the years 1935-36. The photographs were taken in Africa, but the camera used for them was bought in Italy. The camera itself is lost. The prints are sized (in cm) 4x5.5, 5x5, 4x6, 5.5x8, with the smallest sized photos being contact prints. I have a very blurry detail in one photo of the person who took the pictures wearing what I assume is the camera case, which looks like the case of a folding camera, but as I'm no expert I am not sure if the case can be of any use to identify the camera.

I am including the detail so that you can see it.


crop_camera_case.jpg



I know this is very little information, but any clues about which model may have taken the pictures based on age of the photographs, prints size and on camera case will be more than welcome, thanks!
 

IanG

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You've no chance, except for the format if the smallest prints are contact prints it's a 6x4.5 camera taking 120 or 620 film, it won't have been a 127 camera. The only other thing that you can be fairly sure of it was a folding hand camera.

Of course not all the negative may have been made with the same camera, the shape and dimensions of the case seem to indicate a 6x9 camera, and not a 6x4.5. that's based on similar cases I have, should add with no built in range=finder that would affect the shape. There were so many manufacturers you can't get any better idea.

Ian
 
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pachipachi

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Thank you for the reply. I also noticed there is some discrepancy with the size of the prints and the shape of the case, so I assumed some of the photos may have been taken with a different camera, even though perhaps not necessarily his own.
 

compur

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This reminds me of the people on eBay who try to sell vintage cameras displaying photos that only show closed camera cases with, presumably, the camera inside. They don't bother to take them out of the case for the photos or even open the case to let us see any part of the camera and expect people to buy or bid on them. A pig in a poke, anyone?
 

tirediron

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I'm not even sure that is a camera case; The pouches below appear to be pre-WWII-era rifle ammunition pouches which would make them about ~4" tall x 2 1/4" wide. Even accounting (generously) for parallax error, that would make the case in question too small, IMO, to be folder of that time period.
 

bogeyguy

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I'm not even sure that is a camera case; The pouches below appear to be pre-WWII-era rifle ammunition pouches which would make them about ~4" tall x 2 1/4" wide. Even accounting (generously) for parallax error, that would make the case in question too small, IMO, to be folder of that time period.
I agree. ammo cases, not sure what the longer case would be, but military fro sure.
 
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pachipachi

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I understand the doubt about the size. The case appears, but much less clearly because of the posture of the person which hides almost entirely, in another photograph. In others you can only see the strap, not the pouch itself. I assumed it's a camera case not only for the general shape, but because the person is often seen with the thing slinged around the body, even in pictures where the military apparel is not being worn at all, so it means it's from something that he was constantly taking with him (which I thought would make sense with a camera?)

As for the ebay reference, haha, well at least I'm not trying to sell anything. As I said, the camera itself is long gone. I was just trying to do some historical research on the photographs and trying to understand which camera may have been used to take the photos.

Thanks all for the inputs.
 

Derrel

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The case in the lower left hand corner looks a LOT like the Bell & Howell Filmo Straight Eight movie camera cases of that era. The case seen near the shirt pocket does not look like a camera case of that era, to me at least.
 

webestang64

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Do you have a local History or Military Museum? Someone there might be able to help identify the objects in the photo.
 

compur

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There were folding cameras that used 127 film and produced a 4x6.5 image in the 1930s (and earlier). They were quite small. Not much larger than a deck of cards when folded. For example, the Zeiss Piccolette and others from Germany, Japan and USA. Kodak called folding 127 cameras "Vest Pocket" cameras. Image formats varied from 4x6.5 down to, I believe, 4x3.
 

IanG

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There were folding cameras that used 127 film and produced a 4x6.5 image in the 1930s (and earlier). They were quite small. Not much larger than a deck of cards when folded. For example, the Zeiss Piccolette and others from Germany, Japan and USA. Kodak called folding 127 cameras "Vest Pocket" cameras. Image formats varied from 4x6.5 down to, I believe, 4x3.

4x5.5 is the image are of a 6x4.5 negative, just as 5.5x8 is the image area of a typical 6x9 camera.

Ian
 

compur

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4x5.5 is the image are of a 6x4.5 negative, just as 5.5x8 is the image area of a typical 6x9 camera.

True but I don't think there's a 120/620 sized film camera in that little case.
 

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