I can't stress enough how beautiful this example is! I may be mistaken, but it appears to me to have never been used - it is that clean, just tiny marks from being handled. The bellows are perfect, and the lens appears perfect as well.Also included is the case it was found in which may or may not be original to the camera. It fits loosely in the case.PLEASE EMAIL ANY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.
Here is some more information:
The Competitor View Camera was manufactured by the Seneca
Camera Manufacturing company from 1904 to approximately 1925. Constructed of
wood with a mahogany colored finished, polished brass or nickel hardware with a
lacquer finish, and a leatheret bellows lined with gossamer cloth. Features
included a reversible back, both horizontal and vertical swings in the rear,
rear focusing with rack and pinion movement and set clamp, plumb bob for
leveling, two tripod plates to allow for proper balancing of teh camera, a
rising and falling front, removeable lens board and the front is wide enough to
accommodate stereo lens. Made in three sizes a 5 x 7 originally priced at
$15.00, a 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 originally priced at $16.00 and an 8 x 10 originally
priced at $17.00.
The Competitor View is a large format 5 x 7 view camera used by professional photographers.
Made from mahogany with nickel plated hardware, it incorporated many professional features. In addition to being a folding field camera with rack and pinion focusing, the camera has front lens rise, fall and shift left and right. The rear standard has tilt and swing. These movements allowed the photographer to make perspective corrections as well as having a better control of the depth of field. The ground glass back was “reversible” meaning that it could be turned 90 degrees to allow for either portrait or landscape mode. Wooden film holders or wooden film pack holders were used to hold the film
Although the 5 x 7 format has little support today , many fine art photographers still consider the proportions of 5 x 7 inches "ideal" and continue to use the old cameras sometimes having to cut larger sheet film to fit. The shutter/lens combination, mounted on a removable lens board, was made by Wollensak - another Rochester company started by employees of the Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.
*The Seneca Camera Mfg. Co. (inc. 1900), located in Rochester, was an independent that grew from the acquisition of the Sunart Photo Company. The company was very successful and in 1924 was sold to Conley, a subsidiary of Sears-Roebuck.
*source - "The Rochester Camera and Lens Companies" - R. Kingslake
- circa 1920 Seneca Camera Mfg. Co., Rochester, New York
- Wollensak Gammax No. 2 Lens & Shutter
- T, B, 1/10 to 1/100 sec
- Cut film holders 5x7 inch format
- Ivory camera name plate