Zambex - Antique and Vintage Cameras


Model of 1906

R & J Beck



Image of Zambex

f8 rapid rectilinear, iris diaphragm to f45.

Celverex, rotary sector spring powered, speeds 1/8 - 1/80, B, T. The size of the sector varies to regulate exposure.

Polished mahogany and aluminium body with nickel fittings, red leather bellows.

12, 3 " x 4 " exposures on cut-film held in Zambex skeleton, or 3 plates held in skeleton.

Bellows to 7 feet.

Focusing scale (Cornex index). Two 'T' levels.

Rising front.

Serial Number:
30747 .

R&J Beck. 68 Cornhill. London.

Focusing screen. Case.

The Zambex film system was one of several daylight loading arrangements from this period. It was quite complicated and did not prove successful. Two versions were produced:

Original version 1904
The Zambex skeleton (the paper holder for the film) could be re-loaded after use with ordinary cut-film or plates. Two types of skeleton were produced for films or plates. The loaded skeleton could be removed at any time allowing a focusing screen or conventional plate holders to be used.

The skeleton was a strip of paper folded like a concertina with film attached to each forward-facing fold. The skeleton was housed in an outer envelope double the length of the folded skeleton, the envelope was folded in half to fit into the camera back. A paper tab was attached to each fold, pulling this moved the film (with its skeleton backing) from the unexposed to the exposed half of the envelope. To do this the back of the camera was opened and the envelope unfolded. To remove the skeleton, even to fit the focusing screen, all the exposed films had to be pulled back to the unexposed half of the envelope.

Improved version 1906
The skeleton was redesigned, the concertina backing paper was done away with, each film now fitted into its own paper surround to which a tab was attached. The double-length outer envelope was retained. The tab was used to pull the films from the unexposed portion to the exposed portion of the envelope. The skeleton was fitted with a draw slide making it easier to remove the pack of films and fit a focusing screen. The skeleton was only suitable for film, a conventional dark-slide could be used for plates.

Zambex cameras were produced from 1904 in folding bed style, box and twin-lens designs, fitted with a variety of lenses and shutters. The Celverex shutter on this example dates it to around 1906.

The case has distinctive rounded edges on one side matching the Zambex holder.

References & Notes:
BP 14022/1903. BP 992/1904. BP 25237/1905. BJA 1905, p. 174. BJA 1906, p. 169. BJA 1907, pp. 153, 157.

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