Luzo - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Luzo

Model 3

J. Robinson & Sons

London

England

Image of Luzo

Lens:
c. 4" rapid rectilinear fixed aperture.

Shutter:
Sector type spring powered, 3 speeds by varying the tension, with manually operated capping blade.

Construction:
Polished Spanish mahogany body, dovetail joints, brass fittings.

Format:
48, 3" x 4" exposures on 3 ⅜" wide roll-film. Listed as 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

Focusing:
Fixed.

Attributes:
Single lens view-finder with mirror for waist level use giving upside down image.
Film advance indicated by clicks. Punch for frame markings.

Identification:
Version with 4 corner pieces on the back, rod film advance handle, without cover to shutter spring. Hook catches to attach back of camera.

Serial Number:
573 .

Notes:
Address on plaque: J. Robinson & Sons. 172 Regent St. London. W.

Luzo

Model 3

1890

J. Robinson & Sons

London

England

Image of Luzo

Lens:
c. 4" rapid rectilinear fixed aperture.

Shutter:
Sector type spring powered, single speed, with manually operated capping blade.

Construction:
Polished Spanish mahogany body, dovetail joints, brass fittings.

Format:
48, 3" x 4" exposures on 3 ⅜" wide roll-film. Listed as 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

Focusing:
Fixed.

Attributes:
Single lens view-finder with mirror for waist level use giving upside down image.
Film advance indicated by clicks. Punch for frame markings.

Identification:
Version without corner pieces, hinge body catch, rod film advance handle, without cover to shutter spring.

Serial Number:
735 .

Notes:
Address on plaque: J. Robinson & Sons. 172 Regent St. London. W. This camera with a Robinson name plaque has an 1890 specification; the serial number puts it a few years later.

With:
Ever-ready case.

Luzo

Model 3

c.1896

H.J. Redding & Gyles

London

England

Image of Luzo

Lens:
c. 4" rapid rectilinear fixed aperture.

Shutter:
Sector type spring powered, 3 speed by altering tension, manually operated capping blade.

Construction:
Polished Spanish mahogany body, dovetail joints, brass fittings.

Format:
48, 3" x 4" exposures on 3 ⅜" wide roll-film. Listed as 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

Focusing:
Fixed.

Attributes:
Single lens view-finder with mirror for waist level use giving upside down image.
Film advance indicated by counter. Punch for frame markings. Exposure counter to 50.

Identification:
Version with 6 corner pieces, Hinge body catch, plate film advance handle, with cover to shutter spring.

Serial Number:
978 .

Notes:
Address on plaque: Redding & Gyles. 3 Argyll Place. London. W. The name of Redding & Gyles dates to after 1896, the address a little later. The camera has many of the features, but not all, found on late models.

With:
Ever-ready case and shoulder strap.

The Luzo is the first English roll-film camera, produced only one year after the Kodak. It is the first camera to have the film spools placed either side of the lens - an arrangement that was to be used later in most box cameras. The Luzo was advertised as a hand or detective camera. Although not disguised a leather case for concealment was provided.

The camera was designed by H. J. Redding and sold by J. Robinson & Son. In 1896 Redding, together with E. T. Gyles, left Robinson to form Redding & Gyles who made and sold the camera from then on.

Probably less than 1400 cameras were made. The serial numbers indicate that after the formation of Redding & Gyles camera production increased. The figures also show that Redding & Gyles was supplying Robinson & Son after the split so cameras with the Robinson name may be made after 1896.

Models

DateModelSize
1889First100, 2 ⅜" diameter exposures. Size: 5 ½" x 3 ¼" x 3 ¼"; round finder, rubber band shutter.
1890No. 1100, 2 ⅜" diameter or 2 ½" x 2 ½" exposures. Size: 5 ¾" x 3 ½" x 3 ½". Kodak No.1 film size.
1890No. 260, 3 ¼" x 3 ¼". Kodak No.2 film size.
1890No. 348, 3" x 4". Listed as 3 ¼" x 4 ¼". Kodak No.3 Junior film size.
1890No. 448, 3" x 4". Listed as 3 ¼" x 4 ¼". Focusing model.
189248, 4" x 5". Kodak No.4 film size.
189280 ?, 4 ¾" x 6 ½". No.5 Folding Kodak film size.

Variations

Some of the improvements made to the camera e.g. corner pieces were present on one example but not on another later example.

  • Early models (to around serial no. 300) had a round finder, later it is square or rectangular.
  • New sizes introduced in 1890. Before no. 336.
  • Early shutters used a rubber band, later the improved shutter was spring powered. After no. 352 before 425.
  • 1896 - Redding & Gyles name plaque on most cameras from this date. After no. 513 before 528.
  • Early cameras have hook shaped catches to fix the back to the body, later these are changed to a hinged plate. After no. 664 before 694.
  • Early models have 2 brass straps running between the top and front of the camera.
  • Brass corner pieced were added to late models, at first on the back top corners then on all but the front bottom.
  • On early models the film advance handle is a brass rod passing through a stem. Later, generally, the rod is replaced by a plate.
  • Late model shutters sometimes have 3 positions for setting the spring tension.
  • Later models have a brass cover over the shutter spring where it attaches to the body. After no. 735 before 792.
  • Some models have Waterhouse stops.
  • Some late models have a sector diaphragm.
  • Some late models have tripod bushes.
  • Some very late models have a frame counter which replaced the click spring on the top plate.
A number of cameras exist carrying the Redding or Redding & Gyles name that appear to have been modified prior to being sold. The main alteration to theses 'late specification' models is that they took daylight-loading roll-film with paper backing rather than the dark-room loaded film used previously.
  • The original film advance mechanism has been replaced. The clicker has been removed and its position taken by the film advance knob, a plate covers the original position of the film advance knob. A red window was added at the back of the camera. The measuring roller and film punch were removed.
  • On quarter-plate models the 'red window' modification was made on two occasions. The first change had the red window in the centre of the back with a sliding cover inside the camera. Later this was covered by a brass plate on the outside of the camera and a second red window placed at the top right of the back. The first window may have been for roll-holder film (which would have needed to be re-spooled), the second window would have been for 118 size film introduced in 1900.
  • The ratchet on the film advance spool is inside the camera rather than outside.
  • There are doors beneath the spool chambers to provide access.
  • The name is sometimes on a small metal plaque.

The small illustrations above show a camera with a rod-type film advance handle and the nickel spring that makes the 'click' as the film is advanced. The other camera is fitted with a plate-type film advance handle a frame counter.

The illustration, far right, shows the film punch on the back of the camera. The illustration, right, shows the scale fitted to a focusing model.

References & Notes:
Luzo Serial Numbers. BP 17328/1888. BJA 1898, p. 912. BJA 1899, p. 520. BJA 1890, p. 806. BJA 1892, p. 330. PA 1891, pp. clxii, 325. Lothrop, Century, p. 57.

Further Information:
Holmes, Age of cameras, p.92.

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