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1860s Carte de Visite Studio Camera

In Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell.
Antique Multi-Lens Cameras16 of 18American Stereo Wetplate Camera by John Stock - late 1860s1860s American 'Multiplying' Wet Plate Camera
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (307 items)

    Lots and lots of Carte de Visite (CDV) images appear on Show & Tell; so I thought everyone (especially the image collectors) might want to see an example of an 1860s - 1870s style CDV camera.

    The camera shown here is referred to as a 4-tube Multiplying Camera (American Unknown Maker - possibly Peck). It is definitely not portable and the heavy construction was meant to deal with the caustic collodion chemistry that invariably dripped on everything. Photographers could set up the camera with different lens combinations. Lens boards could hold anywhere from one lens to 16 'tubes' and sometimes more.

    The 4-tube set shown here is standard configuration for CDVs or cabinet cards depending on the plate size. Higher numbers of lenses (i.e. 9 or 16) made smaller images called 'gems.' Lenses are mounted in simple brass tubes with the preferred petzval optical formula for portraits. Because lenses always had minor variations in focal length (keep in mind they were hand-ground), makers spent many hours matching the optics so that everything focused at the same plane.

    For the setup shown here, four pictures were made at the same time on a single glass or tintype plate; however, some photographers crafted wooden 'flap shutters' to shoot stereo pairs (top pair / bottom pair).


    1. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks officialfuel, miKK0, and Eric!
    2. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks Phil and Sean!
    3. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, blunderbuss2!
    4. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks gearpunk, trukn20, and sanhardin!
    5. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Longings!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, AntigueToys!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, miike!
    8. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Scott!
    9. courtenayantiques courtenayantiques, 3 years ago
      Amazing piece! Thank-you for sharing the information on this, I had no idea what this was.
    10. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago

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