Single-Lens Stereo - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Single-Lens Stereo Camera

c. 1857

Negretti & Zambra



Image of Single-Lens Stereo Camera

c. f20, 5 " landscape without stops.

Simple pivoted shutter.

Polished mahogany body, dovetail joints.

2, 3 " x 3 " images on single 6 " x 3 " wet-collodion plates held in slides.

Sliding box and sliding lens.

Parallelogram movement for positioning camera. Toeing-in movement, 5" separation of lens position. The camera attaches to the top of the case when in use.

Rising front.

Address on lens: Negretti & Zambra. 11 Hatton Garden London. (1850 - 1859).

6 single slides for wet-collodion plates. Focusing screen. Tripod screw. Fitted wooden case with key.

A parallelogram movement was one of several methods of rapidly moving a single-lens camera between stereo exposures. To make a pair of exposures the camera is moved to the right of the box and the left hand side of the plate exposed, the camera is then moved to the left and the other half of the plate is exposed. This obviates the requirement to transpose the images; a benefit over two-lens cameras. The amount of 'toe' can be adjusted. It was thought, at the time, that for near objects the direction of view of the two exposures should converge, a wheel at the end of the box adjusts the direction of the lens between exposures.

The lens has the name of N&Z engraved on it, one of the leading retailers of stereoscopic material at the time. The camera was probably made by Ottewill (indicated by the concave finish to the lens surround and the rising front screw). The lens is probably by Ross. All the slide holders have wire corners, some have silver nitrate staining. Almost identical cameras are illustrated in catalogues by Cox and Bland.

The parallel arms connect via pin joints to the platform on which the camera fits. The other end of the arms connect to the toeing-in screw, as the screw is turned the ends of the two arms are moved closer together or further apart which changes the angle of the camera platform.

A camera with a parallelogram movement was exhibited by Latimer Clark at the Photographic Society (later RPS) in 1853, the camera could be fitted with slides for Daguerreotypes or glass plates.

References & Notes:
Cox, Cat. 1858, p. 10. Bland Cat. 1859, p. 23. Journal of the Photographic Society, 21/5/1853.

Further Information:
Spira Exhibition Cat. 26/9/1980. Similar camera by N&Z. Also Sotheby's Cat. 15/6/79 lot 244. Coe, Cameras, p.155. Christie's Cat. 11/12/02 lot 135. Similar camera by Cox. Christie's Cat. 9/11/89 lot 47. Similar camera by Knight fitted with a removable repeating back. Christie's Cat. 11/5/01 lot 371. Camera by Bland. Christie's Cat. 9/82 lot 261.
Information on the Wet Collodion Process.

Latimer Clark b. 1822 d. 30 Oct 1898. BJP 11/11/1898, p. 730.

Company Details:

Negretti & Zambra

Daguerreotype Camera

Daguerreotype Camera

Sensitising Box

Developing Box

Ottewill's Registered

Portable Folding Camera

Horne Thornthwaite

Shew Sliding Box

Shepherd Sliding Box

Sliding Box

Sliding Box

Rouch Sliding Box Stereo

Stereo Box Camera

Dallmeyer Stereo Wet-plate

Horne Thornthwaite Bellows Camera

Transitional Camera

Transitional Wet-plate

Fallowfield Bellows Wet-plate

Bellows Wet-plate

Nelson's Portable

Kinnear Pattern

Kinnear Pattern

Meagher Improved Kinnear

Single-Lens Stereo

Single-Lens Stereo

Dubroni No. 1

Wet-plate Dark Tent

Early Accessories

Wet-Plate Chemicals

Studio Stand