Soho - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Stereo Soho

1907

Marion & Co. Ltd

London

England

Image of Stereo Soho

Lens:
Two, f6.3, 6.4", Aldis Anastigmat Series II 2A, iris diaphragm to f45. Serial no. 41250 41345 .

Shutter:
Kershaw focal-plane, spring powered, adjustment by slit variation. Not self-capping. Speeds 1/18 - 1/800, T.

Construction:
Morocco leather covered mahogany body, blackwood parts, black leather bellows.

Format:
Two, 2 " x 3 " exposures on 5 " x 3 " plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 28". Double extension.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through taking lens. Full-size ground glass screen.
The mirror and shutter are set separately, the release trips the mirror then the shutter, mirror raised by spring.
Interchangeable lens panel. Removable septum, image plane divider and focusing screen mask for mono use.

Movements:
Rising front, cross front. Swing front. Tilting front.

Serial Number:
M1523 .

Notes:
Address label in cases: Marion & Co Ltd. Soho Square. London. W.

With:

  • f4.5, 6 " T.T.H. Cooke Anastigmat lens, iris diaphragm to f16. Focus to 2' 6". In panel with flap. Serial no. 50804.
  • f7.7, 16", Bausch Bis-Telar Series 2 No 3 Telephoto lens, iris diaphragm to f64. Focus to 15'. In box. Serial no. 201971.
  • Focusing screen back. 2 double dark-slides (1 - 4) with 2, 6 x 13 cm inserts. Soho plate adapter with 4 single metal slides. (Introduced c. 1913).
  • Extra mono panel for Aldis lens, with flap. Lens caps for Aldis lenses, these fit on the rear of the lenses. Leather box for Aldis lenses on panel.
  • Two outfit cases with Marion label.

Soho Reflex

Model of c. 1909

Marion & Co. Ltd

London

England

Image of Soho Reflex

Lens:
f4.5, 13.5 cm Goerz Dagor, iris diaphragm to f36. Serial no. 502829 (c. 1920).

Shutter:
Kershaw focal-plane, spring powered, adjustment by slit variation. Not self-capping. Speeds 1/8 - 1/1000, T.

Construction:
Morocco leather covered mahogany body, blackwood parts, black leather bellows.

Format:
3 " x 4 " plates.

Focusing:
Bellows. Double extension.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through taking lens. Full-size ground glass screen.
The mirror and shutter are set separately, the release trips the mirror then the shutter, mirror raised by spring.
Removable lens panel. Rack and pinion adjustment to rising front.

Movements:
Rising front.

Serial Number:
M1312 .

Notes:
Retailer's label: Sands, Hunter & Co. 37 Bedford Street. Strand. W.C.

With:

  • Focusing screen back. 3 double dark-slides and 2 negatives.
  • Changing box for 12 plates. Leather covered mahogany with green suede bag. 10 plate holders (3 - 12). Serial no. M591.
  • Case with Sands, Hunter label.

The Soho was one of the most popular early single-lens reflexes and came to epitomise the English reflex of that period. It was sold by Marion and their successors up to the 1940s. The camera was manufactured by Kershaw who were later to join with Marion as part of APM in 1921. The same camera was also sold by Ross, Beck and others under their own name.

The mirror moves in a curve when being raised, this gives a backward movement as the mirror is lifted allowing lenses with shorter back focus to be used. The mirror is also connected to a dampening cylinder providing a smooth movement without jolts. When lowered the mirror forms a light-tight box in which the non-self-capping shutter can be tensioned.

The Stereo Soho, in the smaller size, is a post-card model with a septum attached to the underside of the mirror and dividers to fit in the image plane and below the focusing screen. These fittings were removable allowing the camera to be used for mono work.

Soho Models

Ordinary
Introduced in 1905 in three sizes: quarter-plate, 5" x 4" and half-plate (the half-plate may have been introduced after the other two). The following year the postcard size was added. Around 1913 metric sizes of 6.5 x 9 cm, 9 x 12 cm, 10 x 15 cm and 12 x 16.5 cm were added. Apart from the postcard size the camera had a revolving back. The shutter was a non-self-capping focal-plane by Kershaw with a top speed that depended on the model size. The body was made of mahogany and finished in Morocco leather.

Tropical
These were introduced around 1909. They were made of teak with a lacquered finish and brass fittings. The bellows and hood were of red Russia leather. They were available in all the imperial sizes and 9 x 12 cm, 10 x 15 cm and 12 x 16.5 cm. The brass lacquerer used is often a dark red/orange colour.

Dainty
When first introduced in 1908 this was a different camera to the Ordinary Soho. The internal mirror arrangement was completely different. The hood was very distinctive, it did not have a front cover and was fitted with a single magnifying lens. In 1910 a conventional hood was fitted and the camera was designated No 1. A No. 2 was introduced which was an Ordinary Soho in a smaller size. The No. 1 was discontinued before World War I. The plate size was 3 " x 2 ". A tropical version of the later model was made.

Stereo
Two sizes were made, 5 " x 3 " introduced in 1907 and 6 " x 3 " introduced c. 1913. The smaller version was a postcard model with removable septum, focusing screen divider and image plane divider. In other respects it was similar to the Ordinary. The larger size was available for only a few years.

Baby
This took 4.5 x 6 cm plates. It was similar to the Ordinary model but had a simplified front standard without movements. High speed lenses could be fitted. Introduced in 1926.

Variations

These cover the Ordinary, Tropical, Stereo, Dainty No.2 and Baby.

  • Shutter setting knob - For the first year or two this may have been a small diameter round knob. By 1907 it was the familiar two pronged wheel. In c. 1926 a larger diameter Bakelite knob was fitted.
  • T&I settings - At first this was a lever. In 1928 it was changed to a small conical knob.
  • Rising front - A rack and pinion rising front was fitted in c. 1909 except on the postcard and stereo models which had a friction grip.
  • Focusing screen mask indicating reversing back position - Fitted in 1927. Manually operated.
  • Speed dial - This was changed in 1927, the new dial was clearer and had a plastic cover. A 'B' setting was added.
  • Swing front - This was an option fitted to all but the Baby. It gave a four-way swing movement.
  • Reversing hood - Available from the 1920s.
  • A Ross model was briefly advertised in 1906 finished in hand-sewn cowhide.

Accessories

Front Extension
Extra bellows could be attached to the front of the camera giving extra extension for copying or long-focus work. Advertised in 1911.

Viewing Mirror
A mirror could be fixed to the top of the viewing hood for eye-level use.

Plate Holders
Double dark-slides either book or block form, adapter to use single metal slides, changing box, film pack adapter and a Mackenzie-Wishart slide were all available.

References & Notes:
Kershaw shutter. BP 22698/1904. BJA 1906, p. 71. BJA 1907 p. 66. BJA 1908, p. 55. BJA 1909, p. 51. BJA 1910, p. 51. BJA 1911, p. 54. BJA 1912, p. 63. BJA 1929, p. 344. Phot. Journal 1905, p. xviii. BJP 31/3/1911, p. 258. Instruction book.

Further Information:
Holmes, Age of Cameras, p.59. Lothrop, Century, p.140.

Illustrations:
Isenberg, p.184, late model Tropical. Permutt, Collecting Old Cameras, p.186, Stereo Tropical. Vintage Cat. No 8. Christie's Cat. 23/11/2000, lot 248, leather stereo in the 6 " x 3 " size.


Company Details:

Marion

Spiegel Reflex

Stereo Tropical Ross

Stereo Tropical Soho

Improved Artist Reflex

Tropical Minex

Tropical Folding Minex

Duplex Ruby Reflex

Duplex Reflex

Salex Tropical Reflex

R. B. Miral

Ralli No 5

Videx

Minex

Folding Minex

Aidex

Birdland Reflex

Self-Focusing Reflex

Square Reflector

Two Shutter Reflex

NS Patent Reflex

R. B. Auto Graflex

Mentor Reflex

Soho

Dainty Soho Reflex

Special Ruby Reflex

Ruby de Luxe Reflex

Duplex Ruby Reflex

Junior Special Ruby

Horizontal Reflex

Rubyette

Apem Reflex

Salex De Luxe

All British Planex Reflex

Dallmeyer De Luxe Reflex

Dallmeyer Baby Speed Reflex

N&G Folding Reflex

N&G Folding Reflex

Ensign Folding Reflex

Miroflex

Roll-film Paff

2 B Roll-film Reflex

Ensign Roll-film Reflex

Focal Plane Roll-film Camera

Ideal Reflex

Mentor Compur

K W Box Reflex

Reflex-Korelle

Primarflex

Exakta

Exakta Model C

Agiflex

Pentacon Six

Hasselblad F series

Hasselblad 500c

Corfield 66