Camera Porn: BMF receives donation of vintage cameras

Camera Porn: BMF receives donation of vintage cameras

By Kent Hall

While we are constantly cataloguing slides and photos at the Bob Mizer Foundation, the Foundation’s mission goes beyond just preserving his work. Part of the Foundation archives include the artifacts of Mizer and his fellow physique photographers. We’ve found that some of the most interesting parts of the collection are actually the tools of the trade: the cameras that captured the models. 

Recently the Foundation was lucky to receive a gift of three vintage cameras belonging to Bob Mizer’s contemporaries: Lon of New York, Walter Kundzicz [Champion], and John Barrington of England. This gift from Reed Massengill joins many of Mizer’s cameras already in the collection. Unfortunately, some of Mizer’s cameras, like the 6 x 9 Linhof Monorail Kardan, is no longer extant (you can see this camera pictured in the recently released Physique Pictorial #43). 

One day we will be able to display these beauties in all their analogue loveliness at the Foundation headquarters. Until then, we offer this sneak peek, photographed on film by volunteer archivist Kent Hall.

Photographer: Bob Mizer
Camera: Mamiya 16 Automatic

While Mizer never shot any of his famous physique photographs with this camera, he kept this c. 1959 subminiature camera in his personal collection.

Photographer: Rip Searby
Camera: Kodak Stereo Camera
Also from the late 1950s, Searby’s camera was used to capture physique models in 3-D by taking two photos of the same subject on 35mm film.

Photographer: Bob Mizer
Camera: Kowa/SIX
This medium-format camera was used by Mizer for his stunning color work in the 1970s. This hefty SLR shoots on 120 film.

Photographer: John Barrington
Camera: Rolleiflex SL66

British physique photographer John Barrington used the venerable Rolleiflex SL66 for much of his work. Like Mizer’s Kowa/SIX, it’s a heavy duty SLR that shoots 120 film.

Photographer: Walter Kundzicz
Camera: Hasselblad 500c
The Hasselblad 500c was introduced in 1957 and for many is synonymous with the medium-format SLR. 

Photographer: Lon of New York
Camera: Mamiya C330
Lon Hanagan’s twin lens reflex Mamiya would have been produced in the 1970s.

And that wraps up our peek into a few of cameras in the Bob Mizer Foundation’s archive. We’ll be featuring more equipment from Mizer and his contemporaries as they are processed into the Permanent Collection.