Single-Lens Stereo - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Single-Lens Stereo Camera

c. 1857

Negretti & Zambra

London

England

Image of Single-Lens Stereo Camera

Lens:
c. f20, 5 " landscape without stops.

Shutter:
Simple pivoted shutter.

Construction:
Polished mahogany body, dovetail joints.

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

Focusing:
Sliding box and sliding lens.

Attributes:
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.

Movements:
Rising front.

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

With:
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. 26/4/1980. Similar camera by N&Z. Also Christie's Cat. 15/6/79 lot 224. 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.
Information on the Wet Collodion Process.


Company Details:

Negretti & Zambra

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