Scénographe - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Scénographe

1874

E. Deyrolle

Paris

France

Image of Scénographe

Lens:
Landscape, washer stops.

Shutter:
None.

Construction:
Mahogany body, silk bellows.

Format:
16 x 10.5 cm plates held in double dark-slides. Wooden block form slides with cardboard draw-slides.

Focusing:
Sliding lens.

Attributes:
Direct-vision view-finder. Provision for septum. Side struts can be placed on long or short side of camera for landscape or portrait.

Movements:
Cross front.

Serial Number:
1839 .

With:
Two washer stops. Brass lens cap. Focusing screen. 1 double dark-slide. Tripod top.

The Scénographe, designed by Dr. Condèze of Belgium, was an early collapsible strut camera. Although it has the appearance of being for hand-held use it was intended for use with its own tripod; exposure times on the dry collodion plates, then in use, would have been too long for use in the hand. The use of bellows and lightweight construction resulted in a compact camera ideal for use in the field; a contrast to the heavy wet-plate cameras generally in use which also required a portable darkroom.

The lens panel has considerable lateral movement allowing stereo photographs to be taken. The two struts can be fitted to either the long or short sides for landscape or portrait format. Some models have green bellows and a cut-out in one of the struts for the folded view-finder. The Sciopticon advertisement lists a quarter-plate model.

References & Notes:
BJA 1877, p. cxxiii. Sciopticon advertisement. Lothrop, Century. p.20. Cameras from Belgium and Holland, p. 14.

Illustrations:
Christie's Cat. 25/11/93 lot 393. Model with green silk bellows.

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