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Nagel, Librette 65, 120 roll film camera, c1930

Nagel Librette. A neat, if unremarkable 120 roll film camera from the very end of the 1920s. The precise identity of folding Nagel cameras can be found pressed into the carrying handle, in this case, Nagel 65. Construction is largely from steel sheet. A steel inner box is stamped and folded from a single piece to form the main structure and focal plane. To this is riveted one stamped aluminium side panel and also the hinged aluminium hatch, doubling as the lens bed when opened. The back closure is formed by joining a rolled sheet steel back and ends to the other aluminium side panel. It isn't clear how these two differing materials were joined together, but however it was done they remain firmly bonded. The back slides on rails formed by doubling back the steel sheet on itself and a firm closure as achieved with a sliding lock. The lensboard is a zinc alloy casting and mounted various shutter and lens combinations. Only a waist level finder was supplied, with open sides and arranged to collapse when the camera was closed. Focus was against a plated scale. The bright parts appears to be electro nickel plate throughout, except for the exposed metal edge piping, characteristic of Nagel cameras. The bellows were natural leather over card stiffeneras and linen liner, but were replaced on this example. The outer decorative covering was natural leather with embossed piping and logos. Nagel had a brief existence between 1928 and 1932 when it was bought out by Kodak. The founder, Dr.. August Nagel, had originally been employed by Contessa Nettel and subsequently Zeiss Ikon following their acquisition of that company. He left to form his own firm in 1928 but sold the plant to Kodak in 1932, Nagel was retained and the factory continued to make Nagel cameras under his name for a while. Nagel is credited with inventing a cassette to allow daylight loading of 35mm film, the daylight Loading Casette, taken up enthusiastically by Kodak in 1934 as 135 and used for the famous Retina 117, by which time the Nagel marque was no more. It seems likely he must have been a bit of a character as this story is repeated in several places and we have repeated it here for good measure. It may be pushing the boundaries of psychoanalysis, but he may have been a little insecure - as this camera sports no fewer than 6 highly visible Nagel logos stamped into it's various components, a feature that complicated the restoration of this camera by heaps. That restoration is documented in Project 2. Maybe he just felt he had a point to prove to his ex-employer?

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Nagel, Librette 65, 120 roll film camera, c1930

Body No. Unmarked
Shutter, speeds T, B, 25, 50 & 100th
Lens, Nagel Anastigmat, 105mm f/6.8
Condition, 6F

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