I’ve just about given up on going to Estate sales because it seems like I always see the remnants of good camera gear, but never the gear itself. The number of times that I have ended up buying a half dozen 4×5 or 8×10 film holders outnumbers the times I have actually run across the device that made use of them, is 100 to 0. Today I stopped though, and it was an okay thing that I did.
It’s actually a bit surprising that the camera was still there actually, for $7.00, this is a good looking little film camera. The Revere Camera Company made a long line of film cameras starting in around 1939. I’ve seen quite a few Revere cameras over the years, and I swear I have/had another one somewhere, but I never really gave them much thought since there isn’t a ton of information about the online. Revere was a pretty successful company, being the number two film camera manufacturer for some time, and eventually buying the Wollensack Lens Company. Unfortunately Revere didn’t last past the 60’s and after being sold to 3m, the Wollensack factory in Rochester was shuttered the same year I was born; 1972.
The Model 40 is the 40th iteration of their movie camera line. It’s a wind-up self powered film camera with a variable frame rate and interchangeable lenses. It’s cool to listen to these old cameras run, it’s a great sound, though the short life of the spring motor it’s easy to see why batteries so quickly took over the market. The lens on this one is a 13mm Wollensack f/1.8, and the adjustable rangefinder allows for one of four lens options; 9mm, 13mm, 25mm and 38mm, and it uses the “C” mount thread mount that was popular during this period. In fact I have a three lens turret likely from a Revere Model 44 with three Wollensack lenses on it, and they would all thread right onto the front of this camera.
I would love to be able to run some film through this camera and see what comes out the other side. I’ve shot a lot of film over the years, and while I am certain I’ve shot footage with 8mm film before, I have no record of it, and nothing to project with anyway. I love old cameras though, and this one fits nicely along side some of the others from the 50’s that I have like my Grandfather’s Argus C3.