|Bentzin Primar 6.5x9|
My afternoon walk took me by some cottages near Tiguex Park which have undergone a lengthy restoration over the past year. I snapped a couple shots, but the light was past its prime for this subject.
By pure good luck, a summer visitor to one of the cottages happened by and treated me to a quick tour of the furthest west cottage known as The Priest's House. She said that the place was about 140 years old and that it had in fact been a priest's residence at one time.
|click for 100% enlargement|
The place does not look much different today from the outside, but the interior has been done over very nicely. We are thinking we may lodge our daughter there when she comes for a visit from Phoenix.
Folded up, the Bentzin Primar fits easily in the hand or the pocket.
The plate cameras were originally designed to be used with glass plates or sheet film, either in sheet film holders or in film pack adapters. This shows the Bentzin with a couple of film holders to the left and a film pack adapter at the top.
I believe the film pack adapter for this model held ten sheets. After the exposure, a paper tab attached to the sheet was pulled to move the exposed negative through rollers to the back of the adapter and to make the next one available for use. The film packs were fast and convenient, but expensive as they needed to be factory assembled by hand.
Sheet film is no longer available in the 6.5x9 size used in my small plate cameras. It is still possible, however, to get 9x12 format film for the larger plate cameras from some European sources.
The only practical way to make photos with the small plate cameras like mine today is with a 120 roll film adapter like the Rada or the Rollex. The roll film adapters work well in these cameras, though they add some bulk. When putting the film adapter or the ground glass back onto any of the plate cameras it is important to do so only with the bellows extended. If the back is slid on or off the camera when it is folded up, the back can snag the folds of the bellows and damage them.
All my compact plate cameras.
|Kodak Recomar 18, Zeiss Ikon Maximar, KW Patent Etui, KW Patent Etui (w/Trioplan), Bentzin Primar|
Now, these old folding view cameras seem quaint and a little awkward in use. In the 1920s and '30s, however, they were a big deal; perhaps the equivalent of today's iPhones and Androids.