Cinephon 35mm motion picture camera
It’s been quite a while since the last Neverseen post. Subscribers will have noticed that there have been a lot of “curios” and not too many books on the site this past year. More books soon – but in the meantime, here’s a scarce curio – a 1930s Cinephon 35mm motion picture camera set, made in what was then Czecho-Slovakia. As we progress at speed through the digital revolution, celluloid film is fading away – apart from its use as an archive medium, where it’s still enormously important. It seems to me that there is an increasing sense of affection and respect for the ingenious products of analog technology – from Dansette record players to antique typewriters. Both of those examples can still easily be used, although a 35mm motion picture camera requires more determination to actually operate. But anyone can admire such machines. For those of us who grew up with film, there’s a certain nostalgia. For a new generation too, there is perhaps a sense of loss at what we’ve left behind, and for some a keen interest in these relics of a world they never knew.
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Cinephon BH camera, c.1939. Cinephon Co., Prague, Czecho-Slovakia
Manufacturer (Vaclav Ryšán, Prague) delivered 03.04.1941 to UFA Berlin.
[information from V.Vait]
Cinephon PRAH – IX – 187
Inside: “BH 349”
Three-lens turret. Lenses:
ASTRO-BERLIN No.35432 GAUSS-TACHAAR F:2 75mm
ASTRO-BERLIN No.30335 GAUSS-TACHAAR F:2 32mm
ASTRO-BERLIN No.32493 GAUSS-TACHAAR F:2 50mm
Viewfinder: “7x No. 31917”
No restoration or cleaning by the present owner. The lens glasses look good. The electrical status is not known, since I am not able to test the motor. Comes with the original canvas magazine bag (not shown here) containing three spare magazines (plus one in the camera), lens hood, tripod, and tripod bag.
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