Discussions (402)

Vintage Cameras in Movies

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carlmaloschneider says:

n8photo1's post prompted me to post this:

The other day I was watching old 8mm silent movies on the old projector I got from *bay. I was watching 'Destination Moon' (circa 1950 possibly, although all the references I can find cite the colour version), and noticed one of the astronauts using a Rolei (not sure if a 'cord or 'flex). My son and I get quite excited when we see a Rollei in a movie, just thought I'd share this, that's all...
4:45AM, 25 June 2009 PDT (permalink)

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Nesster says:

Yes! The old James Bond movies have some nice cameras... in From Russia with Love he has a trick Rollei with a miniature tape recorder in it. And don't forget Funny Face - Astaire as Avedon with a couple of Rolleis and a big view camera.
Fred Astaire - Funny Face

The Big Sleep (Bogart) has a beautiful Zeiss Super Ikonta hidden in a pedestal.
ages ago (permalink)

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PhotoShop Guru says:

I try to identify cameras and even flashes when I can on DVDs, but often the image isn't clear enough, or too much of the camera is blocked or shaded. I like to see if they are using the correct vintage in period films. But for historically accurate cameras in film, nothing beats The Public Eye, loosely based on the life of Arthur Fellig and other 40's press photographers. Lots of cool gear. I lived in California when this was released, and was told by Fred Long, who used to run the camera swap at the Alameda Hotel, that Fred supplied the lab gear in Joe Pesci's trunk.
ages ago (permalink)

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Gary Hubbs | The Scale Gallery says:

Speaking of Weegee, I think the Graflex and other similar-looking cameras (outfitted with flash, of course) have appeared in more movies than I can remember. A favourite with prop people, classic camera.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Gary Hubbs | The Scale Gallery edited this topic ages ago.

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PhotoShop Guru says:

I always think of the "star" of "Call Northside 777" as the unseen press camera that shot the 4x5 negative, which . . . oh, that would give it away.

I've also been watching Charles Bronson's 1950s TV show "Man with a Camera" on DVD (from Netflix). Mostly, he uses a Super Speed Graphic with Grafmatic holder, Leica M3, sometimes a Rollei, Minox, or a camera disguised as a cigarette lighter. Someone showed him how to look as though he knew what he was doing.
ages ago (permalink)

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Chet4 says:

In Martin Scorse's Raging Bull (1980) various press cameras Graphlex are a sort of signature for all the movie

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiVOwxsa4OM

But speaking about vintage cameras in movies, what immediatly comes in my mind is James Stewart in Rear Window, by Alfred Hitchcock, with his primitive reflex. May be it's an Exakta but I'm not shure



The image comes from this site

moviechutzpah.wordpress.com/2008/07/

please delate it if non allowed.
ages ago (permalink)

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n8photo1 says:

yeah I've always wondered what camera jimmy stewart had

heres another discussion that might be helpful

photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/009F9p
ages ago (permalink)

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Kema Keur says:

I also have started trying to recognize cameras in every movies, especially in classics and period pieces. Last one was "Avanti" with Jack Lemmon, italian guy was telling him about the Polaroids (spoiler) advantage in blackmailing(No negatives!), funny. Then we see a 300 series Land camera when he is spying.(spoiler) La Dolce Vita has many good cameras in it as I remember, and there is Palermo Shooting with Plaubel Makina.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Kema Keur edited this topic 109 months ago.

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n8photo1 says:

I wonder what that SLR that rebert de niro used in "heat" when he is up on the crane taking pictures of the cops
ages ago (permalink)

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Chet4 says:

Yeah, La Dolce Vita is full of Rolleiflex and Graphlex

www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5g26WMFpdM

interesting to note that the word Paparazzo comes from the name of one of the characters (a news photographer) in this movie.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paparazzi

Another nice movie with a very interesting camera is Roman Holiday (1953) by William Wyler
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Holiday
were is possible to see a miniature cigarette lighter/camera, the Echo 8
www.submin.com/8mm/collection/echo8/index.htm
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Chet4 edited this topic ages ago.

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Airchinapilot says:

Re: Read Window: A photo.net thread on it.
photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/009F9p
ages ago (permalink)

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Airchinapilot says:

To add to this thread, in the recent movie "The Sparrow" about a Hong Kong pickpocket and his crew, he uses a Rolleiflex in his hobby.

You can see Simon Yam using it in the trailer (halfway through)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzxhA85rgmE

Looked really nice; almost made me want to go out and get one.

Good movie too!
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Airchinapilot edited this topic ages ago.

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antiuser says:

Gwyneth Paltrow in "Sky Captain" uses an Argus C3
ages ago (permalink)

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Neil Kesterson says:

I love trying to figure out the cameras they use in the old movies and TV shows. In the Rear Window discussion link, they talk about how he is holding it wrong. I'm a trombone player, and it drives me mad to see actors holding the trombone wrong (it's very specific with the index finger pointing up resting on the mouthpiece). Jimmy Stewart is resting his middle finger on the shutter button - yikes!

Did anyone notice the old Nikons they used in the HBO series "The Wire"? It actually makes sense because of gov't agencies holding onto equipment for as long as they can. Anybody know if police agencies still use 20-30-year-old cameras?
ages ago (permalink)

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n8photo1 says:

oh oh oh,
this would not be movie but, does anybody know the camera Magnum P.I. is always using? I know its a nikon and it was really fancy at the time
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
n8photo1 edited this topic ages ago.

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Билл says:

That Jimmy Stewart still is left/right reversed. The release is that little round thing on the FRONT of the camera. It is actually on the photographer's left side.
ages ago (permalink)

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n8photo1 says:

does anybody know what camera peter parker was using when he gets bit by the spider in the first spider man?
ages ago (permalink)

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Airchinapilot says:

kestersonn, I'm a big fan of the Wire but never really paid attention to their cameras. I just remember that they are so hard up that when one of them lost a video camera it was a big thing in his career.
ages ago (permalink)

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.suh-lest. says:

in the movie he's just not that into you there is a slew of vintage cameras that make their appearance for a good 2 seconds, what they are i have yet to identify
ages ago (permalink)

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carlmaloschneider says:

This is a picture of the camera I was making reference to:

TLR in 8mm Silent Film, 'Destination Moon' by carlmaloschneider

I don't think it's a Rollei now, maybe a Seagull?
The emblem on the hood looks wrong...
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
carlmaloschneider edited this topic ages ago.

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antiuser says:

The main character in "City of God" gets a Kodak Retina Reflex III from a drug dealer, then upgrades to a Nikon F.
ages ago (permalink)

parsimonious connection [deleted] says:

I understand that Pecker has a Canonet in Pecker.
ages ago (permalink)

earthy turkey [deleted] says:

Destination Moon: Might be a Kodak with geared lenses?
ages ago (permalink)

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carlmaloschneider says:

Hi anachronist_user, I agree, looks like a Kodak reflex 1a possibly:
www.ozcamera.com/k-duraflex-tlr.html
ages ago (permalink)

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Chet4 says:

In Apollo 13 the Hasselblad was the right one





history.nasa.gov/apollo_photo.html
ages ago (permalink)

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Kema Keur says:

OK I will be compiling these from time to time, first one Argus C series camera from "Philadelphia Story"


Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Kema Keur edited this topic 119 months ago.

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Andre Easter says:

Best movie showing a lot of vintage cameras; TLRs, Crown Graphics, etc.?

Try watching "The Notorious Bettie Page"
ages ago (permalink)

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obi1kenobi1 says:

Road to Perdition is a great movie for vintage cameras. Specifically, the main villain, a hit man/photographer who likes to take pictures of dead people, is constantly carrying around his Graflex {mumble} Graphic (I'm not sure which one it is).

And, while not necessarily vintage, the cameras in 1997's The Fifth Element (which takes place in 2263) seem to be nothing more than external flashes, which I assume is a joke about cameras getting smaller and smaller.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
obi1kenobi1 edited this topic ages ago.

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Arkku says:

re. Road to Perdition, it's a Speed Graphic, and yes, featured quite prominently. =)
ages ago (permalink)

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Voxphoto says:

Try watching "The Notorious Bettie Page"

Well, I almost mentioned that film... but despite being filled with vintage cameras, it got so much wrong that I found it infuriating. Anachronistic cameras. Camera-club geeks shooting indoors with Brownies. Not advancing between shots. Someone's even holding a stereo camera vertically.

But then I'd need to admit I was the guy who watched that movie and freeze-framed to look at cameras. And that would be too embarrassing.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Voxphoto edited this topic ages ago.

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obi1kenobi1 says:

Speaking of problems, the one problem I had with Road to Perdition was a scene where the villain uses the focusing screen on the Speed Graphic, but in the very next shot the screen is closed and the film is in the camera. At least they knew the screen would be closed to take a picture, but in my experience it takes more than a split second to load film into a press camera...
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
obi1kenobi1 edited this topic ages ago.

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Ilaria ♠ says:



Blow up, Nikon F.
120 months ago (permalink)

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Chet4 says:

James Mason in 5 fingers (1952) by Joseph L. Mankiewicz uses a pre-war Leica model with 50/3.5 Elmar and a 100w light bulb to copy secret documents.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0044314/



www.mediafilm.ca/fr/films-detail.sn?Id=32529
Originally posted 120 months ago. (permalink)
Chet4 edited this topic 120 months ago.

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PhotoShop Guru says:

Last night, we watched "A Lady Takes a Chance," on DVD, starring Jean Arthur and John Wayne. It's a 1943 film, but the story is supposed to be 1938. Jean takes a tour bus to the "West." She snaps shots with an an Argus A3, which was introduced in 1940. It's has a really cool streamlined look.

We once tried to watch "The Notorious Bettie Page," but it was such a badly done film, with awful dialog and acting, that I never got to see all the cameras. I think we watched less than 10 minutes.
116 months ago (permalink)

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fedglass fauxtostream / clicheographs exposed says:

Infamous(2006). The is an Argus C3 atop a dresser in the bedroom of Kenyon Clutter.
116 months ago (permalink)

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guruveee says:

How about the Dennis Hopper Nikons in "Apocalypse Now"?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdWzxdhoyX4&feature=related
Originally posted 116 months ago. (permalink)
guruveee edited this topic 116 months ago.

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geowelch says:

Clint Eastwood's collection of Nikons in "Bridges of Madison County", and Russel Crowe's Pentax Spotmatic in "American Gangster".
116 months ago (permalink)

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obi1kenobi1 says:

I just got around to watching an episode of New Amsterdam, a short lived Fox TV show about a New York police officer who is 400 years old, and one of the plot points involved him using an antique wooden large format camera (I assume it was glass plate) to take a picture of Times Square, which he had done every few years since the late 1800s (they even show all of the pictures on his wall at one point).
116 months ago (permalink)

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keltic_tom says:

The Vietnam movies are loaded with the Nikon F with a few Yashica TLRs tossed in for good luck.
116 months ago (permalink)

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SQUIRREL400 - photographingsquirrels.com says:

The other day on TMC i watcher the 1939 movie "Everybody's Hobby" it was a smpile movie about a newspaper man and his family .. hisson is into Ham radio and he is given a camera by his lodge .. thecamera is a Univex Mercury and had with it a flash and a telephoto lens .. the man quits his job and goes camping with his son and their hobbies. a forest fire almost destroys the camp ground but the pre set nature camera catches the arsonist red handed ..

I love the Mercury camera .. it had a strange round spring shutter that spun around like fan infront of the focal plane .. here is my Merc..

Univex Mercury Camera

if you get a chance to see the movie the camera is seen several times almost like the camera company paid for the placement of the gear in a few scenes and they may have .. who knows !
116 months ago (permalink)

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SQUIRREL400 - photographingsquirrels.com says:

another movie camera is the Argus C3 Matchmatic used in the Harry Potter movies ..

ARGUS C3 matchmatic  - a squirrels best friend
here is my Argus C3
or you can click here to see a still from the movie
geek.juraver.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/harry1.jpg
Originally posted 116 months ago. (permalink)
SQUIRREL400 - photographingsquirrels.com edited this topic 116 months ago.

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Билл says:

I think I spotted a Retina and an Olympus XA in "Four Weddings and a Funeral".
114 months ago (permalink)

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Wayne Stevenson says:

In the first few Batman movies, I seem to recall them using some old press cameras.
114 months ago (permalink)

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Билл says:

Colombo episode "Dagger of the Mind" 1972. Colombo's camera is an Argus C3.
110 months ago (permalink)

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waex99 says:

I recently watch "Le mans" with Steve McQueen, and it's a real treat it you fancy picking up the cameras shown in a movie. Countless versions of Nikon F's, a few Leicas here and there and I think I recognised a Hasselblad somewhere towards the end of the movie
110 months ago (permalink)

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Nesster says:

Natalie Portman, in Where the Heart Is, becomes a photographer, using a Rolleiflex
110 months ago (permalink)

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Jeroenc71 says:

I've been seeing a lot of the Fringe TV-show lately.
In episode 19 of the 2nd season someone asks for an Argus A2B 35mm.
110 months ago (permalink)

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fedglass fauxtostream / clicheographs exposed says:

Jeroenc71, I caught that too. While watching that episode my wife asked what an A2B was and I just pointed to a shelf. :-)
110 months ago (permalink)

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Билл says:

Rocketship XM (1950) This clip, about 6:00... is that a Leica II?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LiqcG1hhX0
109 months ago (permalink)

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H*B says:

In the original Omen film David Warner uses a Nikon F2 Photomic. It's why I never develop my own F2 negatives!

Austin Powers seems to always use the F. I guess Magnum would have used an F3??
109 months ago (permalink)

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Charles H. says:

Some time ago I saw a James Cagney movie called Picture Snatcher, where he plays a crook turned photographer for a cheap gossip tabloid. A cheap gossip tabloid that gives him a brand new Leica!

I also remember a scene in the original A Star Is Born where Fredric March gets fed up with a news photographer and smashes his Speed Graphic. That is after saying something along the lines of "I'll shove that number 2 brownie down your throat!".

(P.S. - Hello, I'm new 'round here!)
109 months ago (permalink)

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Danielle D. Thomas says:

This isn't a movie, but there is a great Elvis photo from the 50's where the audience is composed of teenage girls, all with plastic 120 film cameras. The cameras were given out beforehand.
109 months ago (permalink)

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kitsaplorax says:

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" had at least one scene with a lot of press cameras.
109 months ago (permalink)

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LNorrisPhotography says:

Anyone know what the little 35mm camera jude law is loading in the diner in Road To Perdition?
107 months ago (permalink)

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PhotoShop Guru says:

I just checked, I think this is the scene:
www.filmsnmovies.com/video/8010/the_road_to_perdition_din...

It's not 35mm, it's a roll-film camera, probably 120 or 620, possibly a folding Kodak like a Six-20 Junior. Couldn't really see it too well at this resolution, and he doesn't open the front of the camera. I suppose it could be an 828 Vest Pocket Kodak, but it looks too large.
Originally posted 107 months ago. (permalink)
PhotoShop Guru edited this topic 107 months ago.

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Nicholas Middleton says:

Love that fake added-on winding noise.
107 months ago (permalink)

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Meleager says:

It's obviously a medium format folder, and a roll film camera, because he loads it with roll fill right in front of us, but it's bogus. He doesn't switch the empty donor spool and put it in the takeup position, he doesn't thread the end of the paper through the takeup spool, and he doesn't look at the markings on the paper to see whether he has correcetly lined up his first shot.
107 months ago (permalink)

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LNorrisPhotography says:

Cool, cheers for that, as much as it would be nice to see them loading cameras properly in films i get the feeling that it may interrupt the flow, and lets be honest most people wouldn't notice. Although i'm fairly new to roll film and... well, anything older than a Vitomatic. my weapon of choice most days is an FT3, nice and simple.
107 months ago (permalink)

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PhotoShop Guru says:

I noticed that he had no clue how to actually load it, but it probably is a real camera of some kind. Chalk it up to not having any competent technical advisor on the set. I see this all the time with at least 3 things with which I ma familiar: cameras, firearms, and printing presses. I was watching a Highway Patrol episode from the 1950s, and someone was making counterfit car registration certificates with a toy press that uses little rubber letters. I had the same press, around the time that episode originally aired. When they show counterfitting of US $, they would never show the correct press, which is probably something the Treasury would disapprove. In "Catch Me if You Can," Frank is running a huge multi-head press suitable for books, posters, or maps to print individual checks. Nonsense.

Firearm and camera use on TV and in motion pictures is usually radically separate from reality, especially laws of physics.How many old-time photographers have you seen in films, who put a sheet-film holder in a view camera, then look under the dark cloth "through" the camera when making the exposure?
Originally posted 107 months ago. (permalink)
PhotoShop Guru edited this topic 107 months ago.

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Neil Kesterson says:

He's obviously loaded it umpteen times because the leader is all wrinkled. Probably shot several takes because he's never loaded a camera like this before.

I'm a sound designer for films among other things. We often don't use the actual sound because it's, frankly, boring. This sounds like an old metal wind up toy sound. Or possibly rubbing a nail across the grill of a flour sifter. Who knows, but it adds sparkle to the movie. It would sound lifeless if there was no wind up sound. The designers probably debated that for 15 minutes, then took another 30 minutes to find the right sound, then another 20 or 30 to foley it in, plus another 20 to adjust the timing, edit it, and equalize and level it. All that for a "wrong" sound. There is so much poetic license with everything in movies that it's really a game to find out what they did "right" instead of what they did "wrong."
107 months ago (permalink)

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Magnety Marelly says:

www.flickr.com/groups/starringcameras/
101 months ago (permalink)

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NAH-NAW says:

anyone know what this camera is?
28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lowgefifWT1qkpg0vo1_500.png
99 months ago (permalink)

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Chet4 says:

Hard to say, but it looks like a Nikon FM, FE, FM2 or FE2. maybe even a Nikkormat.
nikon fm Nikon FM2 Nikon FE and its Nikkor 50 F1.8 Nikon FE2 front Nikon FM2n Nikkormat EL
Originally posted 99 months ago. (permalink)
Chet4 edited this topic 99 months ago.

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Kema Keur says:

looks like Asahi Pentax Spotmatic to me and the film is Napoleon Dynamite : )
Originally posted 99 months ago. (permalink)
Kema Keur edited this topic 99 months ago.

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edjpgcom says:

My guess for NAH-NAW is the Canon AE-1 (or AT-1) with original auto-winder: the vertical line of the left (right side of the camera) is a reflection off the battery door lip. If you look closely, you can also see some extra chrome stacking right where an AE-1 shutter dial would live. The prism profile is also correct for that camera. And finally the autowinder rules out Spotmatics and most Nikkormats. Since the winder lacks a grip, also the FM/FE series.. (BTW, Nikons and Pentax Spotmatics also tend to have black rewind knobs and/or shutter dials.)
Originally posted 99 months ago. (permalink)
edjpgcom edited this topic 99 months ago.

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rollmastr says:

The flash also looks like my Canon 133A
99 months ago (permalink)

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PhotoShop Guru says:

Watched "You Know My Name" last night on a DVD. It's a 1999 Sam Elliott film based on the life of legendary lawman Bill Tilghman (probably made for cable TV). At 00:10:14, a camera sits on a trunk behind 2 actors conversing. The scene takes place in 1924. The camera is a top RF Pacemaker Speed or Crown Graphic with a 3-cell battery case and 5" flash reflector.

The Pacemaker Graphics were introduced in 1947 and top RF added in 1955. The 5" reflector is for "midget" bulbs, which were introduced some time after wire-filled bulbs were first offered in 1936, and the first foil-filled bulbs were offered in 1928. The camera is beyond DOF, so the lens & shutter aren't discernible, but it is a rim-set shutter like a Rapax or Graphex, as you'd expect on a 50s Graphic.

The night before, we watched an episode of Poirot on Masterpiece Mystery. A crime-scene photographer used a correct-for-period pre-anniversary Graphic. It was only seen briefly and looking over the shoulder of the photographer, but it was identifiable by the shape of the black wire sport finder.
96 months ago (permalink)

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PhotoShop Guru says:

Back to the OP question of Destination Moon: I don't think that's a geared lens Kodak Reflex. It looks like a moving lens plate. The Kodak Reflex has a raised circle on the VF cover like the one in the clip, but it does not connect to the sides with the cross segments that appear to be on the camera in the clip. The Kodak has a flash connection on the (user's) left side near the vertical center, but this one has something level with the taking lens. That VF cover looks familiar, but it isn't like an early Rollei.

The Kodak Reflex II has a small red circle Kodak emblem in the center of a flat panel on the VF hood.

Here's a shot I found of a Kodak Reflex I from a similar angle:
www.davidrichert.com/50 contest/Kodak Reflex web.jpg
96 months ago (permalink)

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