|Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:32 am Post subject: Zeiss Maximar B 9x12cm with 13.5cm Dominar lens
|I picked this up, as usual, in a lot.
This is a 1920's vintage Zeiss Maximar plate camera, which was quite a serious piece of equipment at the time, and Zeiss made some of the best of this type. The idea with this thing is to focus with the groundglass (which has a pop-out leather hood), remove the groundglass and slide in a plate-holder (or film holder, film pack, or roll film holder) to take the picture. Alternately there is a scale focus device and a couple of viewfinders (wireframe and "brilliant") for use off a tripod.
As a sort-of view camera, it has rise/fall and shift movements, and a triple-extension bellows. This was capable of some rather close focusing indeed ! Unlike American press cameras and true view cameras though, this thing is extremely compact and portable. In fact, the most famous of these is one that belonged to the great mountaineer and photographer Bradford Washburn -
His Zeiss Maximar (later rim-set Compur version) was carried into space on one of the Hubble missions -
The shutter is a standard top-of-the-line dial Compur of the day, but the lens is interesting. The "Dominar" was actually a Tessar clone made by Huttig, one of the component companies of the great Zeiss-Ikon merger. The Dominar had a reputation as a premium lens and the Zeiss conglomerate continued it for a few years on Zeiss brand cameras. This was not a cheap alternative; this camera has the premium parts.
Also very fortunate, this came with the proper Rollex 6x9 120 roll film back, which can be hard to find. A previous owner very helpfully masked out the 6x9 frame on the groundglass !
Its in great shape for a user camera of this age, The leather is mostly excellent, the lens is clear (just needs a bit of light cleaning), the shutter works (thank goodness), the mechanics are clean and move well, and the bellows, hood, etc. seem perfect.
I plan to use this for a while, and then sell it.
I like Pentax DSLR's, Exaktas, M42 bodies of all kinds, strange and cheap Japanese lenses, and am dabbling in medium format/Speed Graphic work.