viernes, 26 de marzo de 2010


Text by: Jose Manuel Serrano Esparza. LHSA

Bandi had always been an enthusiast of skiing since his teenage days during second half of 1920s when he often went to ski on Buda hills (which were accessible then through a racked train) taking with him some rudimentary wooden skis with simple leather straps.

And when he was 16 years old he was able to go down skiing the slope of the Svabhegy hill.

Skiing would go on being one of his lifetime passions.

In this image of 1950, whose author is unknown, we can see Robert Capa in Klosters (Switzerland) using a Linhof III 4 x 5 (9x12 cm) large format camera featuring a coupled Kalart rangefinder and a Schneider-Kreuznach Tele-Xenar 270 mm f/5.5 with Compur shutter.

The square metallic structure which is over the board is the Linhof sports finder on top of the front standard, a wire viewing frame to see what comes on the picture, while the visible metallic part of the lens is a sunshade, silver at the outside and black or dark at the inside, meant to keep out sunlight from hitting the glass elements of the lens.

The picture was made in Gotschnagrat, a mountain in the Plessur Range, during a resting period of Capa in Klosters, a little village of the Swiss Alps, located in the east of the Helvetian Confederation, in the district of Prattigau/Davos (Graubunden Canton), famous because of its world class skiing tracks and situated on the northeast of the town of Davos, near the Austrian southeast frontier.

Capa had been going to Klosters for skiing holiday since 1939 (specially in December) and there he coincided with a lot of friends of his: Peter Viertel, Irwin Shaw, Syd Chaplin, Anatole Litvak,
Howard Hawks, etc.

Even, Capa had made a very good friendship with the Royal Dutch Family.

The second image, whose author is also unknown, was taken in 1938, probably in Paris, and shows Capa with a legendary large format 4 x 5 Speed Graphic camera and a Schneider Kreuznach lens in the 127-150 mm range.

This Speed Graphic is an old body with the shutter controls on the right side, because the newer models have a shutter release in bright metal on the front rim of the body.

P.S: The author wants to express his deepest gratitude to John D. de Vries, John Lawrence, Graham Lowe and David Duhan, members of the f/2.5 AERO EKTAR USER GROUP for their kind attention, invaluable help and impressive knowledge, which has been very important for the identification of the cameras and lenses used by Capa in these two historical b & w pictures, whose authors are unknown, and which prove that though much less extensively than 35 mm rangefinder cameras and 6 x 6 cm medium format Rolleiflex ones, he sometimes also used large format during his professional career.
Text inscribed in the Territorial Registry of the Intellectual Property of Madrid.

Texto inscrito en el Registro Territorial de la Propiedad Intelectual de Madrid.
Copyright Jose Manuel Serrano Esparza. LHSA