Great news for loves of motion picture history and vintage movie cameras like Bell & Howell, Pathé, and Mitchell! We are pleased to offer this unique piece of motion picture history, in working order and with many accessories from filters to lenses to camera stands. Only fourteen to sixteen of these cameras were ever made, and this camera is believed to have filmed such important movies as “Miracle on 34th Street”, “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit”, “Planet of the Apes”, and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Imagine stars like Gregory Peck and Natalie Wood and Charlton Heston hearing the words “look into the camera” and THIS could be that camera! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, a little background.
With the transition in 1927 from silent to sound movies, new challenges in sound engineering presented themselves: Movie cameras were noisy, generating too much noise to get close-up shots without getting clicks and whirrs on the soundtrack. Initially, the solution was to produce “blimping”, or a housing for the whole camera. This proved heavy and difficult to maneuver. And so, in the 1930’s and early 1940’s, an effort was made to reduce camera noise at the source. The designers of this camera set out to make the parts of the camera themselves lighter, smoother in motion, and the net effect was a camera so quiet that it could be used within two feet of a microphone. The shape of the camera was also innovative for its day: Not only are the “magazines” for the film insulated, but the housing of the camera is not a box shape: It is cylindrical. It is the first camera to use t-stop and coated lenses, non-radiating lenses, fluid head, 200 degree shutter, just to name a few firsts. It was the first camera designed to film in Cinemascope, and Bausch & Lomb developed lenses specifically for it. An experimental model of this camera was produced in the mid-1930’s. Further cameras were produced in 1940.
This camera comes with documentation and technical articles to attest to its age and innovative design. There are copies of articles from 1935 describing the development of the camera, as well as articles from 1940 when the camera was introduced to the motion picture industry. There are also numerous instructions for storage, maintenance, assembly, and operation of the equipment.
In addition to the camera and documentation, there are numerous accessories adding to the uniqueness of this look into cinema history. Ranging from filters, metal filter holders and screens, adapters, lens paper by Kodak, camera oil, case made in Japan, and much more: Please see the photos here and inquire with Monster Vintage. We are happy to answer your questions.