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Anthony's Climax Multiplying Camera

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    Posted 4 years ago

    (1 item)

    Antique shop find (Elkin, NC) in rough, but not nonredeemable shape. Local camera shop went out of business back in the 70's, apparently the owner had a few boxes of odds and ends. This was one of them. Very interesting tambour film holders; never seen that type before. Shoots 5x7 dry plate. Plan is to restore and use it again.

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    1. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Yes ... this is definitely a Climax Multiplying Camera and a good find. It's a bit rough and some extra hardware was added to hold a dark cloth and other things (etc.), but that's okay. In honesty, I like the look of worn cameras and consider rougher, well-used finishes as badges of honor. Granted, it isn’t pretty but that’s the lore and legacy of the camera.

      Keep in mind this is not a rare camera but an uncommon one. As such, try not to look at this as an investment because there are enough complete, good quality examples in the market to satisfy most collectors’ demands. The question of restoring vs. preserving (cleaning and keeping the worn appearance) is personal. Yet I’ve seen some really nice restorations that look great but not ‘factory original’ in appearance.

      In regards to collectability, most wood and brass camera collectors avoid restored apparatus. But I know many that look for cameras similar to yours for the purpose of restoring. My posted Climax camera is in original condition. Cleaning / restoring your camera will reduce collectible value. However, what makes your camera interesting is the plate holder. They are not often found. My camera doesn't have a plate holder but I wish it did.

      As noted on my post, Climax Multiplying cameras were originally sold with a single lens. You would probably need to have a lens board made and then look for appropriate lenses on eBay or at camera shows. In reality, a good quality [period] lens will cost more than the camera’s value. That’s because there are a lot of photographers shooting similar cameras and competing for decent lenses. Multiple lens sets were added by the working photographer. Finding a multiple lens array, such as a 4-tube set with properly matched lenses, is very expensive. But either option might be what you want. Personally, I love the softer look of uncoated early lenses, especially nicer Petzval formulas. (Look for my post about Petzval lenses here on Show & Tell.)

      In regards to value based on the two pictures and not actually handling the camera; given the condition and having the plate holder, IMO the value ‘as is’ would be less than $325. Adding a really good period lens would increase the value slightly but the cost of restoration will not be recouped. Again, it’s a personal preference and your desires. It’s a good camera, so enjoy it!

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