Xit - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Xit

1894

J.F. Shew & Co.

London

England

Image of Xit

Lens:
c. 5" Darlot, wheel stops. Serial no. 3111 .

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

Construction:
Polished mahogany with aluminium fittings. Leather bellows with square corners.

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

Focusing:
Lens in helical focusing mount.

Attributes:
Removable reflecting view-finder.

Movements:
Rising front.

Notes:
Address on case: 88 Newman St.

With:
6 Edwards' patent double dark-slides. Wooden view-finder with celluloid screen. Leather case with Shew name.

This is an early model of the Xit with a Shew Central shutter, square cornered bellows, wooden view-finder and without a handle.

References & Notes:
BP 21505/1896 (Edward's patent slides).

Xit

Model of c. 1900

J.F. Shew & Co.

London

England

Image of Xit

Lens:
f7.7, 7" Ross-Goerz Double Anastigmat, iris diaphragm with click stops to f64. Serial no. 4005 .

Shutter:
Thornton-Pickard Roller-blind, front of lens fitting, speeds 1/15 - 1/90, T. Serial no. H74031.

Construction:
Polished mahogany with aluminium fittings. Leather bellows.

Format:
6 ½" x 4 ¾" plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Lens in helical focusing mount to 4 feet. The camera has four focusing slots for the lens panel, these give infinity to 9' and 7' to 4' with the 7" lens. The other two slots are for a different lens.

Attributes:
Removable reflecting view-finder. Spirit level. Removable lens panel.

Movements:
Rising front.

Notes:
Address on case: 88 Newman St. The owner's name is on the case with address of Nodder Co. Meath and a date of 1903.

With:

  • Focusing screen. 3 block-form double dark-slides (1 - 6).
  • Lens cap. Wooden view-finder with celluloid screen, by Shew.
  • Extra lens panel with mounted Thornton-Pickard T&I shutter, speeds 1/10 - 1/60. For a large aperture lens. Watson cable release.
  • Watson cable release for front-of-lens shutter. Shew tripod screw. Case with Shew name.

This camera is probably an Aluminium series although fitted with a Thornton-Pickard shutter. Against two of the focusing slots '9 ¼"' has been written.

Xit Goerz

1904

J.F. Shew & Co.

London

England

Image of Xit Goerz

Lens:
f6.8, 120 mm Goerz Doppel Anastigmat Series III, iris diaphragm to f32. Serial no. 93922 .

Shutter:
Goerz Sector, speeds 1/2 - 1/150, T. Combined shutter and diaphragm. Spring powered, pneumatic regulation.

Construction:
Polished mahogany with aluminium fittings. Leather bellows.

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

Focusing:
Lens in helical focusing mount to 1 ½ yards.

Attributes:
Removable brilliant view-finder. Two spirit levels.

Movements:
Rising front, cross front.

Notes:
Address on case: J. F. Shew & Co. 88 Newman St. London. W.

With:

  • Focusing screen. View-finder. 3 block-form double dark-slides. Shew film pack adapter.
  • Extension bellows and stand for using rear lens group. Focus to 4 feet with rear group and 18" with combined lens. Rack and pinion focusing and two tripod bushes.
  • Leather case for camera with Shew label. Canvas case for extension bellows.

References & Notes:
BP 17844/1894 (Shutter).

Xit

'1909' Series

J.F. Shew & Co.

London

England

Image of Xit

Lens:
f6, 5.8", No2 Aldis Anastigmat, iris diaphragm to f45. Serial no. 11774 (c. 1912).

Shutter:
Compound, speeds 1 - 1/250, B, T. This is a 1909 model with raised speed dial.

Construction:
Polished mahogany with aluminium fittings. Leather bellows.

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

Focusing:
Lens in helical focusing mount to 2 ½ yards.

Movements:
Rising front, cross front.

Notes:
This lens and shutter combination became available in 1912.

With:
3 block-form double dark-slides (1 - 6). Leather case.

The Xit, introduced in 1894, was very similar to the earlier Shew Eclipse, a number of different lens/shutter combinations were fitted and there were many minor variations. The camera is usually finished in polished mahogany but some were polished black and others leather covered.

The name Xit derives from a character in a book by the novelist William Harrison Ainsworth.

Models

There was a lot of overlap between models and Shew would have made or altered cameras to meet a customer's requirements. Swing back with rack and pinion adjustment could be fitted to Aluminium and similar models. The models listed were:

Original
1894 - 1901. Square cornered bellows. Wooden view-finder. Lenses: Eclipse; Goerz; Zeiss; Dallmeyer Stigmatic; Cooke in Goerz Sector shutter. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 5" x 4"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾".

Junior Xit (early type)
Introduced before 1899. Shutter: Rotary. Lenses: Special landscape; Rapid rectilinear; Eclipse. Sizes: 3 ½" x 2 ½"; 3 ¼" x 2 ¼".

Aluminium Series
1901 - 1905. Metal view-finder. Cross front was added around 1904. Shutters: Unicum; Bausch & Lomb Everset; Shew Rotary; Goerz Sector. Lenses: Shew f8; Shew Anastigmat f7.5; Goerz Double Anastigmat f7.7, f6.8; Zeiss f6.3; Zeiss Series III f8; Cooke f6.5; Dallmeyer Stigmatic f6; Bausch Aplanat f6; Aldis f6; Beck; Ross. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 5" x 4"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾".

Xit Goerz
1904 - c. 1909. An Aluminium Series Xit fitted with a Goerz Sector shutter and Goerz lens. Lenses: Goerz Series III f6.8 or Goerz Syntor. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 5" x 4"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾"; 5 ½" x 3 ½".

Koixit
1905 - 1909. An Aluminium Series Xit fitted with a Koilos shutter. Optionally leather bound. Lenses: Goerz Series Id or Aldis f6. Sizes: 3 ½" x 2 ½"; 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 5" x 4"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾"; 5 ½" x 3 ½".

1909 model
Shutter: Compound until c. 1914 then an N&S Accurate and later an Optimo. Lenses: Ross Homocentric f6.3; Tessar f6.3; Goerz Syntor; Tessar f4.5; Cooke Series III f6.5; Cooke Series IV; Aldis f6. Sizes: 3 ½" x 2 ½"; 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 5" x 4"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾"; 5 ½" x 3 ½".

Euxit
1909. Either glass or wire eye-level view-finder. Focusing lenses i.e. by moving front lens cell. Shutter: Compound. Lenses: Cooke 4.4" f6.5; Tessar; Dagor. Size: 3 ½" x 2 ½".

Junior Xit
c. 1907 - 1909. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 2 ¼".
  • Model 1. Aluminium bound mahogany or leather covered. Shutter: Bausch & Lomb Everset. Lens: Goerz Series Id f6.8.
  • Model 2. Aluminium bound mahogany or leather covered. Shutter: Koilos. Lens: Aldis f6.
  • Model 3. Mahogany finish without aluminium binding. Shutter: Koilos. Lens: Shew rapid rectilinear.

Post Card Xit
c. 1902 - c. 1905. Not aluminium bound. Shutter: Unicum. Lenses: Shew f8; Aldis Anastigmat f6, f7.7. Size: 5 ½" x 3 ½".

Guinea Xit
Simpler construction without binding. Shutter: Shew Central. Size: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

2 Guinea Xit
Simpler construction without binding. Shutter: Bausch & Lomb T & I. Lens: Rapid rectilinear f8. Size: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

3 Guinea Xit
Simpler construction without binding. Shutter: Thornton-Pickard behind the lens. Lens: Rapid rectilinear f8 with iris diaphragm. Size: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

4 Guinea Xit
Simpler construction without binding. Shutter: Unicum. Lens with iris diaphragm: Rapid rectilinear f8 or Aldis f6. Size: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

5 Guinea Xit
Simpler construction without binding. Shutter: Unicum. Lens: Aldis f6. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" or 4" x 5".

6 Guinea Xit
Aluminium bound version of the 5 Guinea model.

Day Xit
1914. Leather covered. Shutter: Ibso. Lens: Cooke Series III f6.5. Size: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".

Convertible Xit
c. 1900 - 1908. Rising front, swing back with rack and pinion adjustment. Extra long extension to accommodate combinable lenses. Shutters: Unicum; Bausch & Lomb Everset; Goerz Sector; Focal-plane. Lenses: Zeiss Protar Series VIIa; Dallmeyer Stigmatic f6. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 5" x 4".

Tele Xit
1905. Extending front. Shutters: Bausch & Lomb Everset; Goerz Sector; Focal-plane. Lenses: Zeiss Protar Series VIIa; Dallmeyer Stigmatic f6. Sizes: 5" x 4"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾".

Twin-Lens Xit
Shutter: Bausch & Lomb; Thornton-Pickard roller-blind; Shew Rotary. Lenses: Eclipse; Goerz. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾".

Stereo Xit
Shutter: Thornton-Pickard roller-blind. Sizes: 6 ½" x 4 ¾"; 6 ¾" x 3 ¼".

Focal Plane Xit
1901. Shutters: Goerz Focal-plane, speeds 1/25 - 1/1200, from 1905 speeds 5s - 1/1000. Lenses: Dallmeyer Stigmatic f6; Goerz f4.8, f6.8; Zeiss Unar; Collinear f5.4; Cooke f6.5; Bausch Anastigmat. Sizes: 3 ¼" x 4 ¼"; 5" x 4"; 6 ½" x 4 ¾".

Accessories

  • Extension back with baseboard for long-focus lenses.
  • Folding extension back with baseboard. This allows a larger plate size to be used.
  • Double dark-slides for plates and cut-film or cut-film only. Edwards' patent slides are sometimes found on early models.
  • Film pack adapter.
  • Shewgraph changing box for 60 cut-films or 12 plates.
  • Automatic changing box.
  • Roll-film holder.
  • Houghtons Envelope adapter.
  • Mackenzie-Wishart slide.
  • Focal-plane shutter.

References & Notes:
Phot. Dealer May/1900, p. 114. The Photogram 1894, pp. 115, 118.


Company Details:

Shew

Scénographe

Shew Eclipse

Xit

Focal Plane Xit

Stereo Xit

Euxit

Idento

Tropical Idento

Dallmeyer Strut Camera

Folding Frena

Tylar's Pocket Tit-Bit

Jeffrey & Wishart's Patent

Adams Vesta

Nydia

Natti

Pocket Cyko No 1

Ensign Focal Plane Camera

Goerz Anschütz

Goerz Anschütz

Ernemann Tropical Klapp

Block-Notes

Vest Pocket Tenax

Lilliput

Klippa

Ensignette No 1

Ensignette No 2

Vest Pocket Ensign

Ensignette Junior No. 2J

Popular Ensignette

Rajar No. 6

No. 2 Hawkette

Cadet Model B

Ensign Midget

Double-8

Welta Gucki

Foth Derby

Dallmeyer Snapshot

Tropical Deckrullo

Makina

Makina II

Jiffy Kodak V.P.

Elvo