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Pigeon camera

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    Posted 3 years ago

    (137 items)


    This is a camera that I found in my father-in-law’s attic while cleaning it out.
    I can’t seem to find much information about this brand of camera.
    It has a flap on one side that slides out and interchanges with the item in the last photo.

    I don’t know how to pull the lense out? Maybe a tool is needed?

    We are very curious as how old it is and was hoping someone might know something about it


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    1. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      What you have is a folding bellows camera in which someone added a viewfinder from a 1950s Pigeon Camera (Shinano Camera Co. LTD. (Japan). In other words, the Pigeon viewfinder is not original to the camera.

      The body should have a drop bed on the opposite side of what you see in picture #1. Look at the strap on the side (top) of the camera and feel the material to locate a circular hump. This is where there usually is a hidden a button. (It could also be on the side of the body but most are near the strap.) Press the hidden button and the drop bed should spring open.

      If you do open the camera, the lens assembly should pull forward. Then take a picture of the open camera and post. I might be able to identify it. You will need to replace one of the images because only four can be posted … I suggest replacing #4.

      Otherwise, the "flap" looks like a ground glass with viewing hood. The photographer composes the picture on the glass (usually done when the cameras is on a tripod). The viewing glass is then removed and a holder with a plate (or cut film) is slid on. The item in #4 looks like a plate holder that was modified for roll film.

      The Pigeon viewfinder might have been added so that the photographer can compose the picture with the holder in place without using a tripod.
    2. pw-collector pw-collector, 3 years ago
      Need to take this pigeon camera to Oracle Park where the San Francisco Giants play baseball. There are plenty of pigeons there:

    3. Gruff Gruff, 3 years ago
      Thanks for the info you smart people especially you pew
      Rniederman I will take another shot and so appreciate you taking the time to write
    4. Gruff Gruff, 3 years ago
      Thanks Rniederman your right

      It slid out on a track just the opposite of the way I thought it would come out
    5. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      This is a German camera. The overall design was very common and several builders copied each others, which makes identification extremely difficult. I've seen a lot of these cameras, and many go unidentified. Regardless, this particular design was popular from about 1927 to the mid-1930s.

      I believe the lens/shutter was also taken from something else and put on the body. Prontor shutters were made later than the camera body. The lens also says "Agfa". While Agfa did make similar cameras, this is not one of theirs. The closest match I can find is either Orionwerk (Hannover, Germany) or Welta (Welta-Kamera-Werke. Freital, Germany). Then again, it could be something else entirely. Sometimes makers inscribed their names on the inside of the drop bed. If you push back the front standard (or completely extend to see the base metal), are there any markings?

      One other thing, facing the camera you will see a bent white-metal bracket attached to the right side of the front standard. This would have held a wire frame used for composing pictures.
    6. Gruff Gruff, 3 years ago
      Thanks again my friend

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