Archimedes did more than shout “Eureka.” Not long ago, a codex of his work recovered from an old black letter text revealed mathematical calculations that would have saved us a lot of work technologically speaking. And I recently learned the Ernemann camera company (since absorbed into Zeiss) even named one of their models after him. So if anyone deserves a tribute photo, it’s this great thinker.
Since I can’t resist an intriguing piece of photo gear, here’s a few historical details about the Archimedes camera itself. It was a plate-format model produced around 1901. It had a 150mm f/6.8 lens fixed to the body and an “automatic shutter,” as opposed to manual where the shutter had to be opened and closed by hand. It was known as a detective camera because it appeared to be in disguise as a small briefcase. Its viewfinder was on top of the unit, much like a DLR. The lens and shutter assembly could be removed and swapped with other camera, an interesting prelude to our modern SLRs. Apparently lens swapping wasn’t all that common a scenario in 1901.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list! Click here to sign up and receive a free ebook. Plus you’ll have access to special offers.