Improved Long Focus - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Improved Long Focus

c. 1885

Joshua Billcliff

Manchester

England

George Houghton & Son

London

England

Image of Improved Long Focus

Lens:
f11, 11" J.J. Atkinson rapid rectilinear, iris diaphragm to f64.

Shutter:
Removable Thornton-Pickard T&I roller-blind, speeds 1/12 - 1/70. Front of lens fitting. Serial no. B22121.

Construction:
Spanish mahogany with ebony binding, dovetail joints, brass fittings. Leather bellows with square corners.

Format:
6 " x 8 " plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 42". Double extension, rack and pinion (straight cut) to inner frame, front standard pulls out along inner frame for rough focusing.

Attributes:
Revolving back. Plumb bob marked Royalty.

Identification:
Several parts carry an assembly number of E6.

Movements:
Rising front, tilting front, tilting back.

With:
2 double dark-slides. Focusing dark cloth, black/red. Lens cap. Leather bag for lens. Tripod, Spratt Brothers patent.

This camera was made by Billcliff and sold by several companies including Houghton, Atkinson, LPOC and Nadar. It is unusual in having a revolving back, a fitting not often found on field cameras of the period. The rear of the camera carries a small roundel with the patent number of the revolving back. The retailer's plaque - Houghton - is also on the rear of the camera. The bellows disengage from the front standard when closing the camera, the retaining strips for the lens panel are made of ebony. The lens is mounted on a circular panel with a cut-out that bayonets to the front standard. The rising front is clamped by moving the bar at the top of the front standard which pulls the forks together. An interesting feature is the ability to reverse the focusing rack which combined with the tilting back and tilting front gives a drop-bed arrangement suitable for wide-angle lenses.

References & Notes:
BP 13956/1885. BP 11303/1893 (Tripod). BJA 1886, p. lxxx. BJA 1888, p. 170. YBP 1887, p. xxxvi.


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