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This is an atelier camera for “dry” glass plates with a maximum format of 18 x 24 cm, produced in the 1880s by an unknown manufacturer in Germany. The lens is from a later date (an 1890–1920 Aristostigmat 7 6.5/360), produced by Meyer...

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This is an atelier camera for “dry” glass plates with a maximum format of 18 x 24 cm, produced in the 1880s by an unknown manufacturer in Germany. The lens is from a later date (an 1890–1920 Aristostigmat 7 6.5/360), produced by Meyer Optik Görlitz. It is the oldest camera in the museum collection.
In the 1870s and 1880s, massive and large cameras were used in a typical photographic atelier. Due to the low light sensitivity of photographic materials, long exposure times of up to several or even several seconds had to be used. The cameras did not have a shutter, and the exposure speed was adjusted by the photographer with a quick photo and the re-insertion of the lens cap. During this time, the person photographed had to remain motionless, and the camera itself could not move.
The camera body is made of light wood covered with polish and has brass polished fittings. The front and rear section of the camera can be moved on the base. The focusing of the camera was done by moving the rear segment using a gear.
It has a lens in a polished brass frame with the following engraved inscriptions on the side wall: Aristostigma 1: 6.5 No 7 F = 360mm D. [eutsches] R. [eich] P. [atent] 125560 No. [serial] 6456. / Hugo Meyer & Co-Goerlitz.

Elaborated by Marek Maszczak (The Walery Rzewuski History of Photography Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Studio cameras

Studio photo cameras, also called gazebo cameras, were intended for taking portrait photos indoors. This explains the solid and relatively heavy design of the camera and tripod, allowing for the long exposures of photos.
Cameras equipped with cardboard bellows, covered with leather and canvas...

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Studio photo cameras, also called gazebo cameras, were intended for taking portrait photos indoors. This explains the solid and relatively heavy design of the camera and tripod, allowing for the long exposures of photos.
Cameras equipped with cardboard bellows, covered with leather and canvas, appeared in the 1850s, replacing heavier box-type designs of the sliding camera type. The use of lighter cardboard bellows not only deceased the weight, but also allowed for more precise focusing by sliding the front or rear section of the camera through the use of gears. Studio cameras, equipped with bellows of similar design, were still being made by some producers until the 1980s—an unusual phenomenon in the history of photographic technology.

Elaborated by Marek Maszczak (The Walery Rzewuski History of Photography Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

See also:
Stereoscopic camera by Heinrich Ernemann A.G. Company
Atelier camera, R.A. Goldmann Company

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Atelier camera produced in Germany

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