Nydia - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Nydia

1900 model

Newman & Guardia Ltd

London

England

Image of Nydia

Lens:
f8, 5 ½" Ross Symmetrical, iris diaphragm to f45. Serial no. 58886 .

Shutter:
Two-blade guillotine, spring powered, pneumatic regulation, speeds 1/2 - 1/100. T setting by short pressure when set to 1/2. Not self-capping.

Construction:
Mahogany body, blued metal parts, leather bellows.

Format:
8, 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in removable bag type changing box.

Focusing:
Bellows to 2 yards.

Attributes:
Reflecting view-finder. Automatic exposure counter on changing box.

Identification:
Non-removable sheath to box, no step on box, nickel finish on the changing mechanism stops.

Movements:
Tilting back.

Serial Number:
163 .

Notes:
Address on box: Newman & Guardia Ltd. 90 & 92 Shaftesbury Avenue. London W. (1897 - 1909).

With:

  • Changing box, 8 plate holders and pressure slide. Serial no. 156.
  • Case with N&G label.

Nydia

Self-capping model

c. 1902/03

Newman & Guardia Ltd

London

England

Image of Nydia

Lens:
f8, 5 ½" Wray Rapid Rectilinear lens, iris diaphragm to f45. Serial no. 12252 .

Shutter:
Two-blade guillotine, spring powered, pneumatic regulation, speeds 1/2 - 1/100. T setting by short pressure when set to 1/2.

Construction:
Mahogany body, blued metal parts, leather bellows.

Format:
8, 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in removable bag type changing box.

Focusing:
Bellows to 2 yards.

Attributes:
Reflecting view-finder with two spirit levels. Automatic exposure counter on changing box.

Movements:
Tilting back.

Serial Number:
179 .

Notes:
Address on box: Newman & Guardia Ltd. 90 & 92 Shaftesbury Avenue. London. W. (1897 - 1909).

With:

  • Changing box, 8 plate holders and pressure slide. Serial no. 572.
  • Case.

Nydia

Newman & Guardia Ltd

London

England

Image of Nydia

Lens:
f8, Beck Rapid Rectilinear lens, iris diaphragm to f45. Serial no. 7333 .

Shutter:
Two-blade guillotine, spring powered, pneumatic regulation, speeds 1/2 - 1/100. T setting by short pressure when set to 1/2.

Construction:
Mahogany body, blued metal parts, leather bellows.

Format:
8, 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in removable bag type changing box.

Focusing:
Bellows to 2 yards

Attributes:
Reflecting view-finder with two spirit levels. Automatic exposure counter on changing box.

Identification:
This is an odd camera, the side struts and shutter are marked with a serial number, 422, that would indicate a date after the introduction of self-capping shutters but the shutter is not self-capping. Removable sheath to box. Step on box. Black finish on changing mechanism stops.

Movements:
Tilting back.

Serial Number:
422 .

Notes:
Address on box: Newman & Guardia Ltd. 90 & 92 Shaftesbury Avenue. London. W. (1897 - 1909).

With:
Changing box, 8 plate holders and pressure slide. Serial no. 802.

Nydia

Self-capping model

c. 1902/03

Newman & Guardia Ltd

London

England

Image of Nydia

Lens:
f6.3, 5 ½" Zeiss Protar, iris diaphragm to f45. Serial no. 70213 70202 (1904).

Shutter:
Two-blade guillotine, spring powered, pneumatic regulation, speeds 1/2 - 1/100. T setting by short pressure when set to 1/2.

Construction:
Mahogany body, blued metal parts, leather bellows.

Format:
8, 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in removable bag type changing box.

Focusing:
Bellows to 2 yards.

Attributes:
Reflecting view-finder. Automatic exposure counter on changing box. Tilting back index.

Identification:
Removable sheath to box. Step on box. Black finish on changing mechanism stops.

Movements:
Tilting back. Tilting front with index marks.

Serial Number:
1050 .

Notes:
Address on boxes: Newman & Guardia Ltd. 90 & 92 Shaftesbury Avenue. London. W. (1897 - 1909).

With:

  • Changing box, 8 plate holders and pressure slide. Serial no. 1282.
  • Second changing box. 'T' level on box. Calibrated tilting back numbers. With 8 plate holders and pressure slide. Serial no. 677.
  • Premo film pack adapter with focusing screen. Calibrated tilting back numbers. Serial no. 137.
  • Plate back for 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in single metal slides. Storage for plates in back. Calibrated tilting back numbers. With focusing screen, 3 single metal slides. In case by Sinclair. Serial no. 7.
  • Tripod boards. Pneumatic release. Fitted black leather case for one changing box and tripod boards. Instructions, yellow cover.

The Nydia was one of a group of similar folding plate cameras produced in the early 1890s through to the mid 1900s, others being the Vesta, Natti, and Cyko, they shared the basic strut arrangement and triangular shape. By the mid 1900s their compactness had been equalled by cameras with folding beds that soon replaced them. In the Nydia's case this was by the Sibyl which appeared in 1906.

Models

1893
This is a strut camera with pleated bellows taking double dark-slides, probably similar to the Adams Vesta. The lens was an f8, 5 ½" Wray with Waterhouse or sliding stops. A pneumatically regulated shutter was fitted. Few references to this model exist and few could have been made. Later N&G advertisements state that emphasis was placed on the Universal range and they were unable to produce the Nydia. Only the quarter-plate size was listed.

1900
The Nydia was re-introduced in 1900, the dark-slides had been replaced by a changing box holding eight pates. The shutter was a non self-capping two-blade guillotine type with pneumatic regulation having speeds of 1/2 - 1/100. This model was available in quarter-plate, 5" x 4", and half-plate sizes. The half-plate was probably available a year later than the others. The normal focusing range was to two yards but at least one example, fitted with a convertible Protar, had double extension.

Self-capping Model
The requirement to push in the changing box sheath before setting the shutter must have caused inconvenience and lost exposures. The shutter was redesigned, still using the two-blade guillotine form but making it self-capping. This shutter was fitted around 1902/03. The sheath of the changing box was made removable. A 9 x 12 cm size was added to those previously available. The shutter speed range was still 1/2 - 1/100 on the quarter-plate and 1/2 - 1/64 on the half-plate. Introduced 1902/03.

Stereo
This was produced in very small numbers. The changing box was for 6, 6 ½" x 4 ¼" plates or 12, 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates. Single exposures could be taken when loaded with the smaller plates. Models with both old and new style shutters were produced. Introduced c. 1900.

Lenses

Nydia Rapid Rectilinear f8quarter-plate1900 - c. 1902
Beck Rapid Rectilinearquarter-plate1900 - c. 1902
Ross Symmetrical f8quarter-plate, half-plate1900 - c. 1902
Zeiss f6.3 Satz Anastigmatquarter-plate, half-plate1900 -
Aldis f7quarter-plate1903 -
Ross Homocentric f6.3quarter-plate, half-plate, stereo1903 -
Staeble-Werke Anastigmat f6.3quarter-platec. 1911 -
Wray f81900 -
Zeiss Tessar f6.3 6 ¾"5" x 4"

Focal lengths were: quarter-plate - 5 ½"; half-plate 8"; stereo 5 ½". Other lenses would have been fitted to order. Later models had magnalium mounts.

Variations and Accessories

Some fittings that started as optional extras later became standard features.

  • Changing Boxes - Early boxes had a non removable ebonite sheath. To make use of the self-capping shutter the sheath was made removable. At around this time the grip of the sheath changed from ebonite to aluminium. Some models have a raised step where the sheath fits into the box. The fittings on the back of the box changed from nickel to black. Some boxes have a calibrated plate to show the swing (tilt) back movement. In the quarter-plate size boxes were available for 8 plates or 12 cut-films and, from 1904, 12 plates or 24 cut-films. Half-plate boxes took 10 plates, the stereo model took 6 full-size plates.
  • Film pack adapter - quarter-plate size only. This consisted of a camera back and bellows. Two versions were produced. One with a fixed adapter the other removable and interchangeable with a focusing screen. c. 1904.
  • Plate Adapter - quarter-plate size only. This consisted of a camera back and bellows. Within the back a focusing screen or single metal slide is fitted. When not in use the screen and slides fit into the back. c. 1904.
  • Roll-film Holder - quarter-plate and half-plate sizes. This again is a back complete with bellows. An Eastman roll holder was used. c. 1902 - c. 1905.
  • Houghton's Envelope Adapter - Although not advertised some exist. It consists of the adapter fitted to a set of bellows. Polished wood finish.
  • Swing-front - This was fitted to the half-plate size but was optional on the quarter-plate until the mid 1900s when it was fitted as standard. In conjunction with the swing back a 'rising front' movement is achieved. The movement is calibrated so the same setting could be made to the swing back.
  • Levels - Again these were included in the half-plate size. On the quarter-plate 'T' levels were an option. They were fitted onto the changing box. Later levels became part of the view-finder.
  • Pneumatic Release - The Nydia was fitted with only a finger release, a small accessory clipped to the side of the front standard allowing a ball and tube to be used.
  • Tripod Boards - There was no tripod socket on the camera, an 'L' shaped wooden bracket fixed to the struts and carried a tripod socket.
  • Russia Leather Bellows - These were recommended for use when in the tropics.

References & Notes:
N&G Cameras. Nydia Serial Numbers. Nydia shutter mechanism. BJA 1893, p. 418. BJP Sup, 1/12/1893, p.116. BJA 1901, pp. 137, 923. BJA 1902, p. 137. BJA 1903, p. 139. BJA 1904, p. 139. BJA 1905, p. 141. BJA 1906, p. 139. BJA 1907, p. 1550. BJA 1908, p. 91. BJA 1909, p. 85. BJA 1910, p. 86. BJA 1912, p. 100. BJA 1913, p. 105. BJA 1914, p. 104. Instructions. N&G Cat. 1908. N&G Cat. c. 1911.


Company Details:

Newman & Guardia

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