Shew Eclipse - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Shew Eclipse

J.F. Shew & Co.

London

England

Image of Shew Eclipse

Lens:
Darlot lens with wheel stops. Serial no. 2439 .

Shutter:
Shew's Central shutter. Sector, between-the-lens, spring powered and regulated. Approximate speeds 1/30 - 1/60.

Construction:
Spanish mahogany with brass binding and fittings mauve square cornered bellows.

Format:
4 ½" x 6 ½" exposures on roll-film.

Focusing:
Lens in helical focusing mount to 3 ½ yards.

Movements:
Rising front.

Notes:
Model from the mid 1890s.

With:

  • Eastman-Walker Roll-holder for exposures on darkroom loaded roll-film. Exposure punch. Film advance indicated by click. Serial no. 6665.
  • Reflecting view-finder, celluloid screen. Two spirit levels on finder.
  • Tripod stand. Shew leather case.

References & Notes:
BP 15542/1884 (roll-holder).

Shew Eclipse

J.F. Shew & Co.

London

England

Image of Shew Eclipse

Lens:
f8, Darlot lens, wheel stops, approximately f8, f12, f18, f30. Serial no. 2915 .

Shutter:
Shew's Central shutter. Sector, between-the-lens, spring powered and regulated. Approximate speeds 1/30 - 1/60.

Construction:
Spanish mahogany with brass fittings, mauve square cornered bellows.

Format:
3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates.

Focusing:
Lens in helical focusing mount to 9 feet.

With:
Rouch patent changing box for 12 plates. Shew reflecting view-finder. Wood with celluloid screen.

Shew Eclipse

Long Focus model

c. 1891

J.F. Shew & Co.

London

England

Image of Shew Eclipse

Lens:
c. f10, 6 ½" Darlot, wheel stops, approximately f10, f16, f22, f56. Serial no. 2096 .

Shutter:
Shew's Central shutter. Sector, between-the-lens, spring powered and regulated. Approximate speeds 1/30 - 1/60.

Construction:
Spanish mahogany with brass binding and fittings, mauve square cornered bellows.

Format:
3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Lens in helical focusing mount to 8 feet. Rack and pinion adjustment to back which extends the focus to 5 feet.

Attributes:
Reflecting view-finder. Two spirit levels.

Movements:
Swing and tilt to back.

With:
Focusing screen. 3 double dark-slides (1 - 6). Lens cap. Wooden view-finder. Note book. Fitted case.

The Eclipse appeared in 1885, it was possibly the first of a number of similar hand cameras having a shallow body and two wing supports to which the lens board was held by tension. The design is from a patent by Lowdon who also patented a camera support sold by Shew.

The Eclipse went through several improvements and different models until replaced by the Xit in the late 1890s.

Eclipse cameras were mostly fitted with a slightly short focal length lens (4" for the quarter-plate). The 'Long Focus' model, introduced around 1891, has a longer lens. Swing and tilt movements to the back were also introduced around 1891.

The lens generally fitted is a Darlot, a company Shew had many dealings with. The Eastman-Walker roll-holder appeared in 1895.

References & Notes:
BP 4102/1885. BP 11394/1891. BJA 1886, p. lxxxvii. BJA 1888, p. 162. BJA 1890, p. 150. BJA 1892, p. 947. PA 1891, p. cxlviii.

Further Information:
Lothrop, Century, p.52.


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