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Frede Hansen
elmanhansen

Denmark
4 Posts
Posted - Jan 31 2010 :  09:08:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Adding Princelle number to camera descriptions and standardized info for lists with serial numbers.

I suggest that when we include Princelles number for the camera in the descriptions.
Depending on your reaction Vlad might make a separate field.
Otherwise it could be part of the text. An example:

Smena Symbol ( L168)
or
Smena Symbol (Princelle: L168)
or
????

In some cases there is no Princelle number.
In other cases the camera is a hybrid between two numbers.
And in some cases the addition of the Princelle number is of no relevance.

I also suggest, that we agree on a common structure for entering serial numbers.
At present the structure depends on who started it for the camera in question.

The following fields are of interest for me:

Camera name
Serial No
Production Year
Princelle no.
Comments

I find the lenses as interesting as the cameras.

Lens name
Lens number
Min aperture
Focal lenght
Lens mount (mainly in case it is not on a camera)
Princelle No.
Comments

And then of course:

Where is the camera ? (in what collection or where did you get the info, etc)
Date entered/modified
Entered/modified by

I know it is a LOT of data. If it is not possible to use a kind of table with the proper columns - it is to many fields. Then its better to settle on fewer fields which can be managed by all.

But I am looking forward to hear you reaction on these proposals . .


FH
Michel
France
217 Posts
Posted - Jan 31 2010 :  12:56:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Frede, and welcome here !

IMHO, your idea looks great, and Vlad will decide either it is convenient or not to do so…

However, besides the fact that Princelle may be sometimes imprecise, he did not list all FSU cameras (Suglob book is the proof, for Russian speaking people only).
Nevertheless, as I suppose that a majority of serious FSU cameras collectors have Princelle book (English or French edition) it could be a very good reference.

Besides, Princelle numbers do not follow one after one.
I mean ,for example, page 207 : we read "Kiev Contax "47" N° A10".
If several engravings exist, isn't it possible to add N° A11, A12 and so on ?

But what about cameras not referenced by Princelle ?
His Bible is nearly six years old…

Well… let's wait and see what will be Vlad's opinion.

Best regards,
Michel.



Edited by - Michel on Jan 31 2010 1:06:53 PM
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4094 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jan 31 2010 :  1:22:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've had a few direct email conversations with Frede on this topic , I'm not theoretically opposed to adding additional fields to the wiki entry but a few things to consider though:

1) Wiki catalog is structured so the entry is universal for everything not only cameras, so these additional fields may not apply to articles, book entries or anything else for that matter, a freeform text field that we have right now is "more universal" in that sense but does not give us rules to have the content more structured. So I can kind of see cons and pros here in sense that - once we take a way flexibilty and ease of entry which may deter some users adding entries due
to amount of rules and restrictions but these new fields at the same time will be adding better readability and structure.. so I think we need to discuss it among members a bit more and that is why Frede had posted it here based on my suggestion.

2) Honestly for me at this point SSK book is much better classficator than Princelle's book as it addresses in much more details all the variations for each camera. So if we are adding a number like Princelle's it should also have the SSK classification as well, since that is the book I keep finding myself using more and more for camera lookup. And Frede, the book is mostly pictures I highly recommend getting it since it has much better breakdown if model variations than Princelle AND it's originally based on Princelle's book's baseline.

3) Serial #s is the only thing honestly I think is in need of standardization here, maybe adding a more strict field entry for a table to keep these. So when you add a new one it will give you separate text boxes for Serial #, Owner, Authenticity probability etc... a drawback here if I add this feature, I'll need everyone's help converting existing free-form typed serial # data into this standardized form.

Frede, as a side-note - there is a Member Collections section of this site that lets you personalize your own collection to the degree you are seeking, but again it's only for your own collection.

All good points that needed to be addresses eventually, so it's good that we're having this discussion, I am looking forward to hear ideas or pro and cons of implementing these features in the future, you - the members - are administrators of this data anyways, so I'm open to hearing opinions.

Best regards,
Vlad
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David Tomlinson
RCCCUK
United Kingdom
208 Posts
Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  02:34:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Frede,

I'm always pleased to see RCCC members actively participating in this forum. I agree with much that you suggest.

Vlad, I can visualise that completely restructuring the Wiki Catalog could involve a massive amount of work on your part. My own views are that it would certainly be beneficial to all of us if the layout and content, particularly the camera section, were formalised in there layout and field structure. Some of us would find the Princelle number quite useful, although as Michel says, not all camera types are classified. While there is no English version of the SSK book, it will be difficult for some of us to apply these numbers at the present time. With regard to serial numbers, I would like to see them listed, but where the camera is quite common, these lists could become extensive. Maybe, a separate file linked to each camera entry could be used for this purpose. Certainly, I believe that a more structured layout for each camera would ensure that all relative known information would be included. At the moment there are some entries where relevant and useful information has been omitted.

David

(http://www.rcccuk.com)
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
955 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  06:49:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My two cents: I always add serial numbers when I know it is a rare camera, or unusual serial. Also I add details like what is different to previous/next/sister models. But I find it unnecessary to put meaningless data into the system, like which technical specs Global-35 has as I link it to Smena-8 with similar specs same time. And I don't like using Princelle numberings as it has too many faults & lacks. Just one day we talked about one camera "it is like Princelle X123 but different colour and front" = what is the use of linking to Princelle then? SSK would be better but it is (at least not yet) common enough. Or Aidas Smena-classificator, he has done an amazing work which shows how difficult it can be to have all modifications classified!

Best regards,
Juhani
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4094 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  09:12:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Juhani? Sorry, can you clarify your answer? Can actually EVERYONE answer yes or no to the following two questions, this way I'll know which way the majority is leaning:

1) Are the separate fields added to the wiki entry necessary with a) Princelle number, b) SSK classfication
2) Do we need to standardize serial # entry by adding a "table" attached to the entry where you would enter each line by line instead of putting it in free-form text like we do now.

A comment or explanation to each yes/no question are also welcome.

Thanks,
Vlad.
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
955 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  09:30:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
1) If added then both a) Princelle and b) SSK but I would not see them necessary. Princelle is not complete enough and SSK is not known well enough.¨

2) No. Works well enough even now. Good self critisism when to add (rarity) and when to leave out (real mass production model).

Best regards,
Juhani
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Guido Studer
Guido
Switzerland
343 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  10:24:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Guido's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Vlad

Here my answers:

1) no (maybe we could make our own classifications over the time with the help of some of our knowledgeable users ... Aidas?!)

2) no (it's fine like it is)

But I suggest to clean up the Wiki and to use only hard facts there. There are some entries I can't belief in and other with missing informations or in the wrong categories. If I had too much time I'd liked to put a list of my own observations online ... some day, maybe ...

Best wishes - Guido

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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4094 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  10:54:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guido Studer

But I suggest to clean up the Wiki and to use only hard facts there. There are some entries I can't belief in and other with missing informations or in the wrong categories. If I had too much time I'd liked to put a list of my own observations online ... some day, maybe




Thanks for your thoughts Guido, regarding the above statement, I think you are missing the point of a Wiki here.. ANYONE can edit ANYONE's entries - that is the definition of WIKI, if you see inaccuracies, just click edit and correct them, no need for discussion in most cases. The only discussion that should arise if the original author starts a forum thread debating that correction, but it's always easy to roll back based on agreed solution since we keep all the Revision History. So please everyone, refine the entries as you see fit if you are sure of the accuracy of the information you are providing.

Thanks,
Vlad
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Guido Studer
Guido
Switzerland
343 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  11:18:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Guido's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Vlad

I know what a Wiki is and what to do to edit. No problem for this. But I know also the limits; you know I think it's a question of respect to discuss some of the points befor the changes are done. That's the point why I don't like the Wikipedia and other Wiki's: Everyone can put his *opinion* in and someone is needed to check it later, maybe. I think the more "democratic" (or better: correct) way would be to discuss first and change after.

An example: The "Zenit L" ... The year of contruction is said to be 1953 here in the Wiki, others say it was 1951 (!), myself I'm even not so shure that's a prototype made in the fifties and I think it was not made befor 1956 ... so, what to change? Change the year to 1956 (or 1957?) or change the category to "modified" or "homemade" cameras? You see what I try to say?

Best wishes - Guido
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4094 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  11:24:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In this kind of cases you can just add to the entry, add your notes as many did saying something like:
"Guido Studer: My opinion it was not made befor 1956, because of...... "

This way people can see both expert opinions there, I think this system should be flexible enough to either edit or add up to corrector's discretion.

Thanks,
Vlad
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Michel
France
217 Posts
Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  11:45:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,

1- I should say yes, granted the said-inccuracy of some Princelle entries. But I do not know what is the Suglob's classification.
(BTW could you, Vlad, post a readble scan of one page of SSK (if rights of authors permits this)) as we can see what it looks like?

2- No, except for rare or discussed items (e.g. No Name Kievs or letter A and b Kievs) or others. For example, Princelle says that "No Name Kiev" is only from 1963, but we know now that a 1964 model exists.)

About Wiki, we are here among serious and knowlegeable people . If an entry is changed, maybe the author of the change could explain the reasons of his change? (Either in Wiki itself or in a separate post?)

So it was my modest contribution to Vlad's survey.

Best regards,
Michel.
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4094 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 01 2010 :  12:07:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Michel for your opinion,

SSK classificationg goes like "MODEL GROUP 1, VARIATION 1" etc.
Here are some shots of the book pages from eBay if that helps:
http://img.inkfrog.com/click_enlarge1.php?image=IMG_3609.JPG&username=calicurg&aid=972050785

Vlad
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Frede Hansen
elmanhansen
Denmark
4 Posts
Posted - Feb 02 2010 :  07:57:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi
I started the discussion - so here follows my answers to Vlads questions:

1: No. If we agree on adding Princelle and/or SSK classification I do not mind that we just place the information in the text body.

2: A kind of table based entry would be very nice. But it has to be variable with regards to no. of rows of course.
And we should ONLY do it for cameras of special interest.
If it is added for each camera the pages might become a bit to 'heavy' (to much information - to clumsy).
So maybe a common table where we can enter data for all cameras of interest is a better solution. (similar to an Excel Sheet based system)
It must be possible to sort the table according to different criteria - or download the data to your own computer for further analysis.

Just my 2 cents . .

Frede Hansen
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Jacques M.
France
2258 Posts
Posted - Feb 02 2010 :  08:07:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello!
My tendancy is to vote "no" for the two questions.
There are too many lacks or errors in the JLP classification. And most of us don't know the SSK one.
As for the second question, I think we can manage with the actual wiki. As Vlad says, it's not a problem to add something to a notice. But I would not think useful to add endless serial numbers of cameras or lenses, unless if they are rare or there is a special reason...

Of course, each of us could do some housekeeping in the present wiki under Vlad's supervision. For example, I am not totally satisfied by the Fed 1 part... But only because I am a fan of these cameras. And I think it's the same for Michel about Kiev, and so on... So it would be possible to complete lacks and correct evident mistakes.

More generally, I wonder if it is really wise to have universality and standardized forms as aims. We are a group of friends, and we act like that. These new rules could change the relations between us, I think...

There is a French site that some of us know well (eh, Alain!). They introduced this sort of evolution some two or three years ago in their wiki. No doubt it changed the climax there...

If you want to have a look: they have more than 5000 cameras in their bank. From all the world and all the times...
www.collection-appareils.fr

Amitiés. Jacques.

PS: Just 2 cents more!



Edited by - Jacques M. on Feb 02 2010 08:12:06 AM
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4094 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 02 2010 :  8:14:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Getting overwhelming response for far in support to keep things as is ... Let's hear a few more though, thanks everyone it's really helpful to hear feedback of people actually using the wiki!

Jacques, you're welcome to revise the FED 1 any way you like, you have access to edit the entry.. Please let me know if I can be of any help though...

Jacques brought up the same concern I have - overcomplicating the wiki with "legal" forms that people need to fill out in order to post a new camera may deter people from posting... this way we get scraps sometimes (only image or so) but very juicy scraps that can serve as starting point and grow.

I'd like to hear from the rest of the gang who's been actively adding items before this issue is put to rest. I will go with majority of the opinion either way since you are the end users.

thanks,
Vlad.
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
955 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 02 2010 :  10:23:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jacques M.
If you want to have a look: they have more than 5000 cameras in their bank. From all the world and all the times...
www.collection-appareils.fr


Had a look on this site and I didn't like their way. See a Smena-page yourself: even if all possible data is filled in there is more empty space than written. Our cameras are just too wide variety.

Best regards,
Juhani
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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 02 2010 :  10:54:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I also think that a standardized form or forms would be difficult to use and I like the way the WIKI is at this time, in general.

I do wish that the columns would be made more even so that the data is easier to read and thus easier to make correlations. Possibly this can just be done with spacing and by using series or periods ( ie. " 1959 .... # 590001 ... Jupiter-8 " ).

So in general I think things are good this way, but that individual members, including myself, could spend a bit more time to make things look better and easier to read. I also agree with what Vlad said earlier about members not being afraid, timid, or reticent about changing what is already in the WIKI or adding to it. The more the better. When the WIKI was started, for example, many entries using photos and text from my own website were used verbatim, to add content to the WIKI quickly. Much of this data was personalized to specific examples of cameras in my collection, but over the past few years has been added to with other examples of the camera, or my information is no longer relevant or has been found to be in error. I would urge anyone to change my entries, correct errors, and make any changes that are desired. Sometimes I do it myself and will try to make time to make more changes to reflect accuracy and new info.

The WIKI has grown very large and so it may take some effort from many of us to make changes, re-edit, and continue to look over entries. Thanks to Vlad, for creating the WIKI, we now have one of the largest, if not the largest, single data base of all ... including Princelle, the new and wonderful SSK book, not to mention the fine and totally informative website that Aidas has created! So, thank you Vlad for creating it, and my thanks also to all who have contributed, added, and edited the WIKI.

Regards, Bill

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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Feb 03 2010 :  12:00:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like wiki as it is. Free form remind me that freedom what craved designers of this cameras. So at list articles about this cameras let be free of any format restrictions.
Let wiki entries to be molded by authors who dear to put them in. And it is OK if entries looks differently. It make it even more interesting to browse.
And let contribute more to this project. I hope that in few ears Russian cameras will be classified not by come books, but by entries on this Web Side.
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Aidas Pikiotas
AidasCams
Lithuania
971 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 05 2010 :  01:41:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit AidasCams's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello friends,

First of all let me say big Welcome to our new member Frede Hansen! I still remember you from Kiev-3A (Ukrainian markings) discussions at Claudio Asquini website many years ago. Frede, cameras you have posted here are amazing, thank you very much! Beeing totally "sick" by LOMO cameras, I'm very happy to see alive samples of these ...

Now back to the Topic ... I'd like to second Juhani's opinion indeed. All existing FSU camera classificators are very incomplete unfortunately. That's why every single collector is choosing his own way of variants indentification indeed. I like Princelle's system, it has a lot of sense, but is very incomplete, as it was said before. SSK classifier is more advanced, but too much "missing links" again ...

In my opinion, the biggest problem is the huge number of still unknown versions, which will be discovered in the future (at least I hope so ...). This makes all classifiers to be very flexible indeed. For example, my type-1a of any camera will become type-1b or -1c, etc., if new early versions will be found lately ... In that case the printed book becomes very limited and inaccurate source then ... Website is even better choice indeed ... , but we need a wide cooperation of all collectors to describe the evolution of the particular camera as well as possible. I still remember a great samples of cooperation between the respectable Members of our Forums to create a more advanced classifiers of postwar Komsomolets or Zorki-3, etc. cameras.

The structure of Vlad's site is not comfortable to make a detailed classificators, but it's only my opinion. But we can try an experiment, what do you think? Let's choose for instance an unique Zenit-1 camera, which has a lot of visual differencies as I know. I could duplicate our collective Work to my website with futher maintenance in the future. If you would like to choose the particular RF instead, it's ok either.

Best Regards,
Aidas
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Feb 06 2010 :  11:36:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just like to complement Aidas on his Webside and his classification of the cameras.
I have to admit that I preferably using Aidas classification for my collection. I found that for me Aidas classification is the most convenient. And so far almost all cameras I poses is cowered there. I telling this not only to prize Aidas on his work, but to constitute fact that this is the most complete classification what I found on the Web.
And I hope to see my Zenit-E/Delta there too as well as Viliya-elga
But I still believe that Wiki is has to be keep the way it is. Because it is more a resource to me then scientific classificator. Invaluable resource. I believe that any restrictions or forced format will harm readability and fun to use it and possibly decrease number of participants and entries. And because this some invaluable information can be lost.
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Feb 06 2010 :  11:55:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And I also like to say thank you to Frede (elmanhansen) for posting such incredible cameras for us to enjoy!
Would you add more pictures please ?!
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4094 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 06 2010 :  2:42:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input everyone! Seems like overwhelming majority wants to keep wiki as is..

Frede, thank you in any case for bringing this up, this gives me a good idea on how people are using the wiki and what they think of it, taking a temperature as to say, I have not done this in a while .

Best regards,
Vlad
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