Jump to content
Pyrogallol

Who are these beach photographers using Leica 250's ?

Recommended Posts

A friend is researching English seaside beach photographers. 

Recently we acquired some Kodachrome slides of two beach photographers using their Leica 250's, probably in the late 1950's or early 60's. On the kiosk leaflet display are advertisments for the Channel Island of Jersey.

 

Does anyone recognise who they are or where they are?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recalled seeing this website about seaside photographers. The Barkers who operated in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth ( which do not fit with the Channel Islands) had 6 Leica 250s, but there is a list of other operators on the right hand side which you may wish to search.

 

https://gohomeonapostcard.wordpress.com/companies/barkers-cine-snaps-part-1-lowestoft/barkers-the-cameras/

 

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting.  I have heard that a similar use of the Leica 250 was common in New York, for both beaches and street photographers. Walking about and taking peoples photos for a price, getting the subjects name or address, and later developing and delivering the photo to the customer.  The 250 shots, of course, an advantage for a full days shooting. This heavy near constant use reminds us that many of these cameras were probably worn out and a lower than average remaing percentage are still with us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it is interesting to remind that the original idea of the Leica 250, comes from a Belgian photographer who was in charge of reporting the religious ceremonies where hundreds of kids made either their first communion or received their "confirmation" from the Cardinal of Belgium in the city of Malines (Mechelen in Flemish). He received the two prototypes serialled 114051 and 52. Both remained in Belgium, one (the chrome plated nº114052 in strictly original condition) in my former Fontenelle collection, the other, nº114051, black painted and unfortunately later brought to "250 standards", in my friend Jean-Paul Bachely's collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the article about the Barkers. It talks about the University of East Anglia public photographic collection being sold off including the donated Leica 250 Reporters.

 

I lent a quite rare camera, a 1914 vintage  WW1 military version of a Richards Verascope aerial stereo camera (uses a magazine containing 10 x 100mm by 35mm unperforated film strips), to a local museum for a WW1 exhibition they were running in 2014. The museum was supposed to return it to me by post at the end of the exhibition. I have to admit I forgot about it for close to a year, before I went back to reclaim my camera. After a bit of searching, they eventually found it a few days later in a bunch of surplus items that were about to be sent off for auction. There were some rather red faces among the museum staff, as they tried to explain why they were trying to sell my property, which was clearly marked in Dymo tape on the back: "loan item from Mr. Wilson Laidlaw" with my contact details.

 

I would imagine folk who donated items to the University of East Anglia's photographic collection, were equally upset when they found it had all been sold off, no doubt to fund new carpets and furniture in the admin block or the exorbitant salaries of the vice chancellors. 

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to willeica and wlaidlaw for mentioning the Barkers connection, I put a link to it in a previous posting on the subject of Leica 250’s.

It was my friend Paul who wrote the Barkers story. His main line of research is on seaside photographers and he now has the slides posted here that we are trying to find out more about.

 

Reading about the 1914 WW1 camera made me think about the album of photographs I copied from another friend who’s uncle had been an official photographer in the Royal Flying Corps / Royal Air Force during WW1. While there is no connection with Leica I might post a couple of pictures from the album, there is a rare surviving photo taken with a Hythe gun camera used to train fighter pilots and a picture of the photographic unit’s mobile studio/darkroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to willeica and wlaidlaw for mentioning the Barkers connection, I put a link to it in a previous posting on the subject of Leica 250’s.

It was my friend Paul who wrote the Barkers story. His main line of research is on seaside photographers and he now has the slides posted here that we are trying to find out more about.

 

Reading about the 1914 WW1 camera made me think about the album of photographs I copied from another friend who’s uncle had been an official photographer in the Royal Flying Corps / Royal Air Force during WW1. While there is no connection with Leica I might post a couple of pictures from the album, there is a rare surviving photo taken with a Hythe gun camera used to train fighter pilots and a picture of the photographic unit’s mobile studio/darkroom.

 

There was a Hythe Camera Gun Mk.3 in my school's army cadet corps armoury. It looked like a Lewis Gun and it used 120 film. I tried to get it to work but something was broken. I wonder what happened to it? At that time in the early 1960's we also had 3 Bren light machine guns, a Lewis gun with no ammunition drum and a supposedly working Vickers heavy machine gun but no belts to use it with, plus loads of old Sten sub machine guns. All secured by a 2 lever lock on a wooden door? A more innocent time. 

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be worth contacting the Archives Department in Jersey - more than likely that if there were people shooting lots of images, then some will have ended up in the archives and their photographers will be 'known' to the staff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



 

 

Here are copies from the album showing the photographers' Leyland mobile laboratory, you can see a water tank on the roof for processing films/paper and a vent for the heater/darkroom oil lamp? (reminds me of the picture of Roger Fenton's van in the Crimean War) and the page with original prints from the Hythe Gun Camera.

 

The only tenuous connection with Leica is that if the First World War had not interrupted Barnack's design of his miniature camera we might have had a Leica 1 in 1915 instead of a decade later.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The broken Hythe Camera Gun at our school armoury, had a more sophisticated reticle than the one in your photo, with cross wires and distance rings (maybe lead for crossing targets) a bit like the one below but with a marked scale on the top arm and one side arm of the cross hairs. The reticle, which sat in the film compartment had adjustable stops and leaf springs to hold it against the stops. How you adjusted it to match the sights was a mystery to us. Now with the internet, you could probably find a user and service manual for it. 

 

Wilson

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Leica 250 was one of 2 used by a Sydney photographer post war in George Street.

The other was in terrible condition so I selected the least worn copy.

The original f=5cm  3.5 lens is attached and the black paint very well worn.

The knurling on the chrome wind on knob is worn down at the top and is almost smooth showing the brass beneath.

Definitely not a collectors pristine piece but has history.

My second 250 is a bit of a mystery.

It is converted to a white dial 111F and has a flash synch on top between Ernst Leitz and the line below Wetzlar.

It has a T.H Xenon fitted.

I remember the photographers at Martin Place and George Street with cameras but was too young to realise that they were Leicas, let alone 250s.

If only we could go back in time to confirm all these missing details.

Kangaroo2012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RFC Leyland Photographic Laboratory 1916.jpg

 

 

 

Here are copies from the album showing the photographers' Leyland mobile laboratory, you can see a water tank on the roof for processing films/paper and a vent for the heater/darkroom oil lamp? (reminds me of the picture of Roger Fenton's van in the Crimean War) and the page with original prints from the Hythe Gun Camera.

 

The only tenuous connection with Leica is that if the First World War had not interrupted Barnack's design of his miniature camera we might have had a Leica 1 in 1915 instead of a decade later.

 

Hythe Gun Camera.jpg

 

Thank you for posting these, they are wonderful! If they are frowned upon here they would be allowed, and welcomed, I'm sure, in the I Love Film Thread in Other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have posted on another thread but I am looking for a drawing of the Leitz, Newark film trimming template for the 250 or to borrow one of these to get drawings made. I would then ask my son to 3D print in metal, a simple trimming template i.e. not a hinged one but just a flat plate with two sprocket hole pegs or maybe two plates one with pegs and one with holes to fit over each other with the film for trimming, sandwiched between. 

 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alan,

The first 250 body is #260011 with Elmar in metres with old f stop sequence but no serial number.

The white dial is #260089 with Xenon 3 ring # 288396.

Both cameras seem to be in the 1937 production batch.

Cheers

Philip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have posted on another thread but I am looking for a drawing of the Leitz, Newark film trimming template for the 250 or to borrow one of these to get drawings made. I would then ask my son to 3D print in metal, a simple trimming template i.e. not a hinged one but just a flat plate with two sprocket hole pegs or maybe two plates one with pegs and one with holes to fit over each other with the film for trimming, sandwiched between. 

 

Wilson

Hello Wilson

Leitz Newark? I think you meant Leitz New York

The logo on the template does look a bit like Newark, but it is New York

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Wilson

Leitz Newark? I think you meant Leitz New York

The logo on the template does look a bit like Newark, but it is New York

 

Of course you are correct. I just had a quick look and was thinking that Leica might have moved to their current location in New Jersey from Newark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of detective work, I have got a good planar photo of the ANZOO template for the 250 Reporter cameras and by extrapolation from some know measurements, I have now made a set of basic drawings attached as a PDF. From these I will get my son to do a proper CAD drawing. We will start by printing a test version in plastic and if that is successful, go on to printing one in metal. The original ANZOO templates seem to be fetching upwards of $2500 - and when you think that in 1935 they cost $2-40¢. 

 

Wilson

ANZOO with measurements.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of detective work, I have got a good planar photo of the ANZOO template for the 250 Reporter cameras and by extrapolation from some know measurements, I have now made a set of basic drawings attached as a PDF. From these I will get my son to do a proper CAD drawing. We will start by printing a test version in plastic and if that is successful, go on to printing one in metal. The original ANZOO templates seem to be fetching upwards of $2500 - and when you think that in 1935 they cost $2-40¢. 

 

Wilson

 

7 shillings for the ANZOO compared to 6 shillings for the ABLON in the 1936 catalogue. Still the same prices in the 1938 catalogue. A friend of mine also has the 1938 catalogue with hugely increased prices for Leitz/Leica products written in by hand post-war, probably in 1949. I must check his copy for the 1949 prices.

 

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that the ANZOO trimming template was more expensive in the USA than in the UK. From James Lager's book 1935 US Price $2.40 Price from post above 7 shillings = £0.35. The rate of exchange was fixed £1 = $5, so the price in the USA should only have been $1.75 - a bit of price gouging going on there 

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×