Ensign Tropical Reflex - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Ensign Popular Reflex

c. 1922

Tropical Model

Houghtons Ltd

London

England

Image of Ensign Popular Reflex Tropical Model

Lens:
f4.5, 6" TTH Cooke Aviar, iris diaphragm to f32. The lens dates to the early 1920s. Serial no. 94135 .

Shutter:
Focal-plane, speeds 1/15 - 1/1000, T. Self-capping. Speeds varied by varying slit width.

Construction:
Polished teak body brass fittings. Tan leather bellows, rear focusing back and focusing hood.

Format:
3 " x 4 " plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through taking lens. Full-size ground glass screen.
Reversing back.

Movements:
Rack and pinion rising front.

With:

  • Focusing back. 3 block-form double dark-slides. Film Pack adapter.
  • Ensign case with shipping label of Elder Dempster Shipping Ltd.

The Ensign Popular Reflex was introduced around 1915, and is mostly found in a leather finish, the tropical model followed in around 1922. Oddly Houghtons decided to manufacture their tropical reflex based on the Ensign Popular Reflex rather that the De luxe model. Lenses fitted ranged from an f4.5 Aldis to an f2.7 Tessar, Dallon and Teleross telephoto lenses were available.

A camera with this lens cost 31.10.0. The shipping label attached to the case shows the camera travelled in an Elder Dempster ship. The line traded between England and West Africa. The first class State room was in the name of J.R. Walther (John Rodolphe Walther made two round trips to Lagos between 1928 and 1931).

Houghtons changed the layout of the controls (release lever etc.) of the Popular Reflex around 1928. The finish of the tropical model also changed to a light wax finish from the earlier high gloss lacquer. Some of the fittings e.g. focusing back, are very similar to those on the Sanderson cameras. The shutter is of simple design but works well. Only one dial is used to set the speed and tension the shutter. After exposure the mirror returns to the down position.

References & Notes:
Ensign F-P shutter. BP 15548/1908. BP 27461/1910 (shutter). BJA 1915, p. 218. Ensign Cat. 1926, p. 73. Ensign Cat. 1928, p. 54. Ensign Handbook 1922, p. 39 (the tropical model is not shown in the 1921 handbook).

Salex Tropical Reflex

City Sale & Exchange

London

England

Image of Salex Tropical Reflex

Lens:
f4.5, 6" Ross Anastigmat, iris diaphragm to f32. Serial no. 106649 (1925).

Shutter:
Focal-plane, speeds 1/15 - 1/1000, T. Self-capping. Speeds varied by varying slit width.

Construction:
Polished teak body brass fittings. Tan leather bellows, rear focusing back and focusing hood.

Format:
3 " x 4 " plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 27".

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through taking lens. Full-size ground glass screen.
Reversing back.

Movements:
Rack and pinion rising front.

Serial Number:
8592 .

With:
Focusing back. 3 block-form double dark-slides.

C.S.& E. sold a number of different reflex cameras under the Salex name. This camera was made for them by Houghtons. It appeared first under the Ensign name around 1915, called the Ensign Popular Reflex. Mostly found in a leather finish but tropical model Ensigns as well as Salex models were made.

References & Notes:
Ensign F-P shutter. BP 15548/1908. BP 27461/1910 (shutter). BJA 1917, p. 161. BJA 1920, p. 163. BJA 1924, p. 565. BJA 1925, p. 566. AP 4/6/1924, p. xxii.

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