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Nagel, Recomar 18, 6 X 9cm plate view camera, c1931

A lovely little Recomar 18 plate camera from Nagel, no model name is marked, but the precise identity of folding Nagel cameras can be found pressed into the carrying handle, in this case, Nagel 18. Aside from the No.18 Recomar, there was also a larger No. 33 quarter plate version. The camera features rise/fall and cross movements on the lensboard and double extension bellows allow one to one reproduction on the negative. Construction consists of a box folded from sheet aluminium with thin metal plate carrier rails riveted to it. The lens bed and front hatch are from a thicker plate aluminium, recessed to hold the decorative natural leather covering, whilst leaving the edge exposed as further decoration. Onto this is riveted two rails to carry the focus and double extension slide, driven by a lockable rack and pinion. The straight cut pinion is machined directly into the underside of the slide. The lens standard itself slides along this assembly to allow the camera to fold away, the standard being cast aluminium. The standard automatically locks at infinity, to release it the user must clasp the two upright knobs and squeeze them together, this releases the catch so the camera can be collapsed later. Once locked on infinity, closer focus is achieved using the rack and pinion. Within the left hand uprights a worm drive is installed to drive the rise and fall motion of the sheet steel lens board, running in thin channels. The lens standard also has cross movement, this being moved by pushing sideways on the standard uprights after unlocking using the knurled wheel in the centre. The finish is mostly gloss black enamel and nickel plated bright parts, the covering being of natural leather. The lens bed support struts are identical to our Model 16 Librette, so Nagel must have been keen to have at least some commonality amongst the production process. The bellows follow convention being natural leather over card stiffeners and linen liner. Although technically a plate camera where the image is inspected for focus on a ground glass screen, the camera is also fitted with a wire frame finder and a waist level finder to allow use as a hand camera. Glass plate usage persisted well into the 30s and 40s despite the widespread use of roll film by this time. These cameras could be used either with plates or with roll film adapters, the model 18 camera is convenient in this respect as it will accept 120 roll film adapters and our example is thus used. Despite the perceived wisdom that Nagel cameras were precision and well made instruments, they often have quirky oversights. Although a "serious" camera, this version of the Recomar is almost impossible to use with a cable release as it fouls the lensboard supports. Oh well, nobody's perfect. However Kodak thought sufficient of the two models to continue with them after the acquisition of Nagel, and the Stuttgart factory continued to produce them until it was taken over for munitions production during WW2.

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Nagel, Recomar 18, 6 X 9cm plate view camera, c1931

Body No. 7018
Shutter, Dial set Compur, serial 510627, T, B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 & 250th sec.
Lens, Dr.. August Nagel, Nagel-Doppel Anastigmat No.233702 - f/4.5, 105mm
Condition, 5F

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