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Camera and Jimi Hendrix images (Pic: Omega Auctions)
The camera was used by Karl Ferris to take the cover images for four of Jimi Hendrix’s albums (Pic: Omega Auctions)

The Nikon F camera used to take the cover photos for Jimi Hendrix’s iconic 1960s studio albums is being auctioned in the UK on Tuesday (4 July).

The camera was used by fashion photographer Karl Ferris to take the psychedelic images which could become part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s iconic look.

Ferris used the camera with colour infrared film and fisheye optics to create a distinctive psychedelic look.

The listing from Omega auctions, based in Merseyside in the UK, says: “The Nikon F camera kit in original c 1960s Halliburton carry case, used c 1967-1969 by legendary psychedelic photographer Karl Ferris, to shoot the famed US debut psychedelic album covers, of Jimi Hendrix ‘Are You Experienced’, ‘Electric Ladyland’, ‘Axis Bold as Love’ and ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’, as well as Donovan’s ‘Gift From a Flower to a Garden’. ‘Wear Your Love Like Heaven’ and The Hollies ‘Evolution’. Plus poster shots of Eric Clapton’s Cream group.

“Kit includes Nikon F camera, Photomic FTN, light meter camera attachment, five Nikon lenses (50,55,35,28,105mm), a roll of original unexposed Kodak Ektachrome colour infrared 35mm film (out of production since 1977). This type of film was used by Ferris whist shooting all of the above-mentioned album covers.

Nikon F with lenses and accessories (Pic: Omega Auctions)
(Pic: Omega Auctions)

“Also to include three colour transparencies and three signed 12 x 12″ prints of LP cover images by Ferris (Hendrix, Donovan, The Hollies). Sold with LOP/COA signed by Karl Ferris.”

Ferris, a British fashion photographer, met Hendrix through his manager Chas Chandler in 1967. Ferris had already shot a suitable psychedelic cover for The Hollies’ ‘Evolution‘ using infrared Kodak Ektachrome slide film.

“He wanted to have something that represented his music, which was psychedelic, which wasn’t just a portrait, the guy standing there with the cloak, up above the other guys, which was on his English album,” Ferris told Hypergallery.

He took the band to London’s Kew Gardens to shoot the cover, using an extreme 6mm Nikkor fisheye lens. “We arrived late and ran outta light on the first day. And as it turned out, I got the whole thing set up with the giant fish-eye lens, found the perfect tree and I got everything perfect: the group and the light was perfect and I pushed the button on the camera and actually, as it turned out, the very first shot that I shot on the camera was the one that was used on the album cover,” Ferris told Hypergallery.

The camera has a starting price of £9,000 and is expected to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000.

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Stephen Dowling
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2 months ago

Anyone know what it sold for?