archimedes photograph

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.

Archimedes camera
The Archimedes plate camera

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.

Gothic Footer

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Written by The Twilit Lens

Freelance photographer and ponderer of the unusual. I welcome the presence of mystery and the unknown. Wonder is not absent from the universe, and there is still room for the child in those who haven't yet allowed their hearts to wither to dust.

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