Rangefinder Baby Sibyl - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Rangefinder Baby Sibyl

1939

Newman & Guardia Ltd

London

England

Image of Rangefinder Baby Sibyl

Lens:
f4.5, 75 mm, Ross Xpres, iris diaphragm to f32. Serial no. 140369 (c.1939).

Shutter:
Spring powered rotary sector type with pneumatic regulation, speeds 1/2 - 1/200, B, T.

Construction:
Leather covered metal body, leather bellows.

Format:
4.5 x 6 cm plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 4 feet, scale to 2 yards.

Attributes:
Coupled rangefinder, swing mirror type, half silvered mirror giving split field. Direct-vision (lens/lens) view-finder. 2nd Direct-vision (lens/lens) view-finder.

Movements:
Rising front, cross front.

Serial Number:
B1403 .

With:

  • 3 double dark-slides (1 - 6), aluminium, round tops.
  • Film pack adapter, inside is stamped N&G, London, W.
  • N&G Folding Lens Hood.
  • Cable release attachment. 2 filters by Ilford: Alpha, Beta 401.

Rangefinder Baby Sibyl

1939

Newman & Guardia Ltd

London

England

Image of Rangefinder Baby Sibyl

Lens:
f4.5, 75 mm, Ross Xpres, iris diaphragm to f32. The front element is missing. Serial no. 141523 (c.1939).

Shutter:
Spring powered rotary sector type with pneumatic regulation, speeds 1/2 - 1/200, B, T.

Construction:
Leather covered metal body, leather bellows.

Format:
4.5 x 6 cm plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 4 feet, scale to 2 yards.

Attributes:
Coupled rangefinder, swing mirror type, half silvered mirror giving split field. Direct-vision (lens/lens) view-finder. 2nd Direct-vision (lens/lens) view-finder.

Identification:
The rangefinder windows are of the second form - the lower window is very narrow and the upper circular window is small.

Movements:
Rising front, cross front.

Serial Number:
B1408 .

With:

  • 2 double dark-slides (1/2, 5/6), aluminium, round tops.
  • Film pack adapter.
  • Close-up lens marked 1 yard, in N&G case.
  • Hooded focusing screen.

The Rangefinder version of the Baby Sibyl was brought out in 1939. Very few could have been sold as it is now extremely rare. It is essentially an ordinary Sibyl to which has been added a rangefinder running vertically along one side. The coupling is quite simple, the lever that moves the mirror is matched by a similar lever on the inside of the camera body which touches a peg on the lazy-tong strut. The strut moves during focusing and so moves the lever. By 1939 few Sibyls were sold, they looked out-of-date and were expensive. The price was 21.0.0 which was 3 more than the ordinary model. The position of the focusing lever is not good, the rangefinder tends to be obscured by the hand.

There are minor differences in the rangefinder windows between examples. Later examples have a much narrower lower window than earlier models, the upper circular window also differs slightly in size.

The hooded focusing screen and close-up lens with the second example shown here are unusual.

References & Notes:
N&G Cameras. N&G Serial Numbers. Sibyl shutter. BP 8721/1912. BP 8722/1912. AP 21/6/1939, p. 709.

Illustrations:
Christie's Cat. 11/12/02 lot 61. Shows camera serial no. 1416. That model has a rangefinder window of different shape to the first example shown here. Photographica World no. 59 shows camera 1411 which has the same window arrangement as the first example.


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