Reflex Jagd-Ango (Pic: Chila)
The camera was designed to take images of animals from a safe distance (All pics: Chila)

Ever wanted to shoot wildlife pictures like the fearless explorers of the early 20th Century? Now you have your chance.

A seller in Chicago is offering a rare “hunting camera” made by a German company in the first two decades of the 1900s.

Made by Goerz, a German camera manufacturer eventually absorbed into Zeiss Ikon in the 1920s, the camera – known as the “Reflex-Jagd-Ango” – shoots 9×12 cm plates and features a 480mm f/7 long-focus lens. It’s being offered for $3,500 (£2,740).

The listing reads: “Up for sale special telephoto camera for expeditions and wild animal photography, elongated conical metal body with military crackled green paint finish, reflex finder, focal-plane shutter and a Special C.P. Berlin Goerz 7/480mm lens, a very rare camera. Camera comes with original fitted case and 5 film holders.

“In very good condition please check the pictures. It was manufactured sometime between 1903-1911. Last known sale was in [sic] May 21 2005 at WestLicht Photographica Auction.”

According to camera encyclopaedia McKeown’s, the cameras had a focal-plane shutter with a fastest speed of 1/1000 – definitely needed to avoid camera shake with a lens of this focal length. This example appears to be the later model which was produced in 1911.

The camera comes in the traditional case, designed to carry it safely into the field. These cameras only rarely come up for sale, with camera reference site Collectiblend mentioning only two other examples to have gone on sale since 2003.

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Stephen Dowling
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