Vintage and Classic Cameras
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Vintage larger format SLR cameras.

The Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera existed long before its 35mm descendent became almost ubiquitous. So, by "larger format" - I simply mean larger than 35mm film size. The name is derived as the camera has one lens, both to take the image and to project that image via a reflex mirror onto a screen so that the photographer can judge what is in frame and how it's focussed. The earliest SLRs were large wooden boxes, but do not qualify as "box cameras" as they have a more complex means to compose the image. The main advantage of the SLR is the ability to compose and focus the image right up to the moment you decide to release the shutter, the next important consideration is that the depth of field can be seen exactly as it will appear. The downside is that when using smaller apertures the projected image was very dim and hard to see, since this was also true of the traditional plate camera the overall benefit of the SLR remained. Prior to the invention of the prism mounted in the viewing optics, these early SLRs showed a reversed image in the viewfinder, making panning shots a challenge. In the 1930s the bulky wooden boxes were replaced by finely made cameras from Germany and the 6 x 6cm square format SLR predominated thereafter, generally referred to as medium format, later ones using prisms in the optics to present a true view in the viewfinder. Although we don't have any examples in the collection, as they still command high prices, the format remains in use amongst professional film uses in 2020 principally using Hasselblads and Bronicas.

Larger format SLRs in the LICM collection are listed here in date order, starting with the oldest. Thumbnails are not to scale.


Thumbnail CameraGraflex 1A, Folmer and Schwing Division, Eastman Kodak. 116 Rollfilm, SLR., c1915
Thumbnail CameraThornton Pickard Junior Special Ruby reflex, quarter plate SLR camera, c1924
Thumbnail CameraHoughton, Ensign Focal Plane roll film Reflex, 120 SLR, c1925
Thumbnail CameraIhagee, Exakta VP Model B, 127 SLR camera, c1935
Thumbnail CameraKochmann, Reflex Korelle B, c1937
Thumbnail Camera KW Pilot Super, 120 roll film SLR, c1939
Thumbnail CameraAgilux, Agiflex I, 120 roll film SLR, c1947
Thumbnail CameraPentacon, Praktisix, 120 roll film SLR, c1957-62

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