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please help identify this Penrose process camera.

urbantuckerman

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Hi there. I recently purchased this antique [process?] camera at an auction, with the intent of putting a glass table top on it as a coffee table. However, my brief research has me worried that I might be committing photographic heresy (and TBH it's a little taller than ideal for that purpose).

Can anyone tell me how old it is? and whether it should be sold to someone who will appreciate it? I suppose that if it does end up on ebay (it's too big to keep as a curio) I would like to be able to describe it accurately. It is marked "Penrose and Co, London" on the front and has another tag on the side which reads the same and also "No 209, Provisional Patent No 4348" along with some graduations. The total length of the camera is 130cm inc lense etc, and it is 62cm tall. There are a couple of small, mouse nibble sized, holes in the bellows, otherwise they seem ok.

Any help much appreciated, thanks.
 
It's what's called a Field Camera. It's part of the large format family. You might want to try posting over at LargeFormatPhotography.info.
 
I think you're mistaken Sparky, I think that really is a process camera, albeit an older one than I have ever seen, but it's definitely NOT a field camera (note the lack of adjustments) and the unusual bellows arrangement. If you've got the name, I'm not sure that there's a lot more identification left. Penrose was, IIRC, a British concern.
 
Aha! thanks again. According to my (limited) research Penrose became Hunter Penrose in 1927, so I reckon it predates that.
 
OK, so the link within that History link showed a Penrose camera turned into a coffee table. So I think the OP is good to go ahead with his original plan of a coffee table.

Also, the link on that page to the Collector has the photo of the coffee table and then with the glass taken off the top and the bellows extend (I guess for his camera collector visitors). The website was strange, the second "i" in the title is the link to Interesting Real Cameras.
 

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