Photo restorer Bob Rosinsky of Top Dog Imaging wrote an interesting article describing how he restored a tintype photograph from the 1870s brought to him by a client.
My standard operating procedure is to use an ultra-high resolution camera combined with a top-of-the-line macro lens to photograph tintypes. I use strobe lights to illuminate the artwork. Strobes produce “hard” light, much like the sun on a clear day. In addition to the strobes, I place a polarizer over the camera lens and polarizer gels over the strobe lights. This eliminates all reflections and enables the camera to pick up a greater tonal range along with more detail.
[...] I began the laborious process of restoration, which involved a prodigious amount of retouching.
Reminds us a bit of this 76-year-old Chinese Photoshop master’s work.
Restoring a Photograph from the 1870s (via kottke.org)
P.S. Earlier this week another tintype photo from the same decade sold for $2.3 million.
For part of his MA in Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Brendan Corrigan visited car boot sales — a kind of market where people sell things out of their trunks — and purchased old cameras for about the price of a roll of film. He then had the used film inside each camera developed, publishing the photos online alongside the cameras they were found in (along with the price he paid for the camera). His project is called “Make me an offer“.
Reddit user Bryce Hoeper recently broke an old Zeiss Ikon Contina L he purchased for $7 from Goodwill after it took a nasty tumble down some stairs. After being bummed for a while, he stumbled upon Timur Civan’s experiment with sticking a 102-year old lens on a modern DSLR, and decided to attempt the same thing. He spent a few hours taking apart the camera body to extract the lens, then super glued it to a Canon body cap that he cut a hole in, allowing the lens to be mounted to his Canon 5D Mark II.
28 Camera Drawings is a beautiful drawing by Christine Berrie that features 28 different old-school cameras. It’s available as a limited-edition 14”x11” print over on 20×200 for $50.
28 Camera Drawings (via swissmiss)
With the recent craze on mimicking retro photography through phone apps, it’s only natural that someone would take it a step further and design a retro way to shoot with the phone as well, right? The Slow Photography camera concept by photographer David McCourt is a medium format-style box that lets you use your phone as a digital back.
This is the instruction manual for the Kodak Petite camera, which was made between 1929 and 1933. It shoots 127 film, and came in five different colors.
(via KEH Camera Blog)
Image credit: Photograph by BlondeShot Creative and used with permission
Photographer Chuck Miller got his hands on a roll of Super-XX 120 government surplus film from eBay with an expiration date of May 1959 — film that’s 50+ years old and, as Miller notes, older than the Los Angeles Angels baseball team.
While Nikon Corporation was established in 1917 (as Nippon Kōgaku Tōkyō K.K.), the company was a lens manufacturing company and didn’t make the first Nikon branded camera until 1948. The first camera was named the Nikon I, and started with serial number 60922. On May 28th, Nikon I No. 60924 will be auctioned at the Westlicht Photographica auction. This is the third Nikon production camera ever made, and the oldest known surviving Nikon camera. Bidding starts at €70,000 (~$100,000), and the camera is expected to fetch up to €160,000 (~$230,000). Some lucky (and wealthy) camera collector is going to be the owner of a rare and beautiful piece of photographic history.
19th WestLicht Photographica Auction highlights (via Nikon Rumors)
This cute little vintage twin-lens reflex camera by Chinese stationary company deli is actually a pencil sharpener in disguise. Instead of loading it with film, simply stick a pencil into the top “lens” and turn the handle on the back to sharpen it. It has an adjustable sharpness knob, and the top half pulls out when you need to dump the pencil shavings.
Made in the early 1960s, Fisher Price’s Picture Story Camera was the first “camera” owned by many photo-enthusiasts. They’re built out of paper-covered wood and plastic, and contained a tiny disc with eight different “photographs” that could be seen by looking through the viewfinder — similar to the View-Master, except not in 3D. To change the photo, you simply hold down the shutter and turn the “flash”, a yellow block with pictures representing the four seasons.