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Ihagee Parvola, type 1350, 127 collapsible roll film view camera, c1933

Ihagee Parvola, for eight 4 x 6cm images on 127 roll film. Since the 1920s, Ihagee had been making a range of folding cameras that variously contained the name "Ultrix". The model 1350 was introduced in 1931 initially under the name Klein (small) Ultrix, but only very briefly. A certain amount of supposition on my part, but Ultrix didn't really fit as they were all folding bellows cameras, and the model 2850 Auto-Ultrix was a conventional folding model to be shortly introduced in exactly the same format and capabilities. So Ihagee were duplicating a format in their camera range. In fact the model 2850 shared much of the tooling of the model 1350s die cast body and shells, albeit drilled differently. As the model 1350 was significantly different from the Ultrix folder's it acquired a new name, becoming the Parvola. Contemporary adverts for the Parvola 1350 state 4 x 6.5 cm format, however the aperture at the focal plane is only 6cm long on this example. There were two further models of Parvola - both using 127 roll film, the 3 x 4cm format model 1450 with 50mm focal length lenses giving sixteen images, and the compromise dual format model 1550, with masking inside the film chamber. The distinctive features of the Parvola are the two concentric helically threaded barrels that serve both to rapidly deploy the lens and also focus the image. The barrels are arranged so that the outer rotates and drives itself out of the body, whilst the inner is restrained from turning and so is driven out of it's opposite thread machined into the outer barrel's inner surface. These barrels would have been tricky to make with their 24 threads but are nicely machined from a bright metal and not plated, as that would be prone to peeling - jamming the mechanism. Although not double extension, they bring the lens out far enough to focus down to 50cm. A sprung lever locates into a slot in the barrel to provide a positive restriction when the camera is focussed at infinity. Looking at Ihagee's product range, much of it is fairly conventional, but there are these gems where it appears the design department had a free hand just to try different ways of doing things - even to the point of duplicating a format, as in the Parvola's case. The basis of the rest of the camera was a zinc "pot metal" die cast body wrapped in pressed aluminium shells, one riveted to the body casting, the other removable, forming the back hatch, these components forming the basis of the later model 2850 Auto Ultrix. The rest is conventional with brass nickel plated components and the camera finished in black leather and a pop up direct viewfinder screwed on top (Also shared with the model 2850). Parvolas mounted either rim set Compur shutters or dial set Gauthiers. A range of lenses were available from the Ihagee Anastigmat of f/6.3 up to a Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 for the model 1350, or a Biotar f/2 for the smaller format model 1450. The helical extension was subsequently used in simplified form on the scintillating Ihagee Exakta VP of 1933.

Ihagee Parvola Camera
This Parvola joined the Living Image in May 2018, and was in a dire state, definitely one for the donkey sanctuary. It had clearly been neglected, apparently water damaged at some point, the leather painted black and nickel plating severely oxidized. The Compur shutter was the worst I have seen for debris inside, although miraculously was still releasing. The neglect was reversed, natural wear retained. Water damage and paint had relaxed the leather making the Ihagee logs indistinct, so the leather was replaced. Sheep skin skiver from Hewits of Edinburgh was used, the pattern is "Hard Grain", the leather had to be pared back to 0.5mm, stained and the Ihagee logo stamps made up, this process being shown in Project 7. Another fiddle was making up a new aperture plate, as the original had helpfully been polished at some point erasing the markings to the point they would not hold paint. Another oddity of the Parvola and presumably therefore the model 2850 Auto-Ultrix is the use of Plaster of Paris as a filler to blend the riveted brass hatch components into the aluminium shells, to prevent a ridge forming in the leather coverings. I'd like to pass my thanks to CJ at www.cjs-classic-cameras.co.uk for making the pencil rubbings needed to create the patterns to save this Parvola.
Body No. 354814
Shutter, Compur, serial 2334905 (Made in 1933), T, B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 300th
Lens, serial 47435, Ihagee Anastigmat, 70mm f/4.5.
Condition, 6F
 

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