Newman and Guardia - Identification and Accessories

The following information covers the differences between camera types and shows details of particular models. General and camera specific accessories are also listed.

A summary of camera models is shown on a separate page. Details of etc. are listed separately. Shutter mechanisms are described in a separate section.

Sibyl Identification

Body Shape
Early Sibyls had rounded ends to the body, later the ends are square. Square ends were used on the De Luxe and Postcard models and on the second generation Sibyls starting with the Baby Sibyl.

On the Original and small Ordinary model the aluminium baseboard is folded at the edges to form the retaining strips along which the front standard slides. On other models the retaining strips are separate pieces screwed to the baseboard.

Back Fitting
On early models the dark slide is retained by a strip of metal with two small tongues and a hinged rod with two similar tongues that moves clear to fit the slide and clamps the slide in place when it is returned. A large curved spring at the end of the rod locks it in place. On later models the tongues are on strips of metal one of which slides clear to fit the slide. The later type of fitting was present on the Postcard model and models from the Baby Sibyl onwards.

The front standard, to which the shutter is attached, has at the top a fixing slot for the side struts. On early models the slot is to the front of the standard, on later models, from 1912, it is behind the standard. The shape of the struts also change at this time, where they join at the top and bottom a short separation piece is introduced. The end struts have a notch to fit over the separation piece. These changes, the subject of patent 8721/1912, allow the struts to fold into a smaller space and no longer obstruct a cross front movement.

Focusing Register
The front standard attaches to a focusing frame which slides along the baseboard moved by a lever. On most plate cameras the focusing frame has two initial (infinity) positions these are for either dark slides or film packs which have different focal planes. The position is selected by the short arm of the focusing lever engaging one of two notches in a plate at the rear of the baseboard.

Very early Sibyls have only one focusing position, but by serial number 11 there are two positions, marked 2 (film pack) and 1 (slides). The Baby model has only one position as the film pack adapter and the dark slides have the same register. Roll-film models only have one focusing position unless specially adapted to take dark slides.

On other models the positions are marked in various ways, for example: B & FP and DS; B & FP and DDS; FPA and DS; FP and DS; CB and DS. Where FP and FPA is the register for the film pack adapter, changing boxes, Autochrome slides and the Graflex roll-holder, CB is for the changing box and DS or DDS is for dark slides.

On the Postcard model the focusing frame has to be pulled out from its folded position due to the short baseboard, for this there is an extra catch.

The Vitesse operates differently, to switch between dark slides and a changing box a sliding plate at the bottom of the front standard is moved, this locks the front standard to the focusing rack at different positions. At the back of the baseboard a lever can be set in two positions, one for the standard lens the other for telephoto lenses. When set for telephoto a small tab projects in front of the focusing scale.

On the De Luxe there are settings for single or combined lens and for slides or film packs. The focusing frame has an additional inner frame that is pulled out when using the single lens. When using a single lens the front standard is engaged at the most forward position of the focusing rack, marked S, with the combined lens a position further back marked C is used. The dark-slide or film pack position is set by freeing leaf springs on the focusing frame and moving the metal blocks that the front standard engages.

The first type of finder was a lens/post type, the post was automatically raised and lowered as the camera was opened and closed. The folding reflecting finder with two spirit levels was introduced in 1909 or 1910. From 1912 an eye-level finder with a positive rear lens was fitted to some models and optionally to others. The first version of the De Luxe had an odd finder comprising a single negative lens with a mirror for waist-level use.
On models from 1912 where an eye-level finder is fitted the finder springs to the working position as the camera is opened, on closing the camera, a projection on the side struts lifts a lever connected to the finder and retracts it.

Rising Front
The Sibyl is often marked with rising front settings - 0, 1, 2 - when a reflecting finder is fitted it will also be marked in that way. Depending on the model the camera may be scaled for both vertical and horizontal rise.

The finder windows on the rangefinder model differ (serial no. B1403 left) and (B1408 right).

Shutter Housing
The Original Sibyl had a plain aluminium front finished with 'worm' marks or cross hatching. This was soon replaced by a black painted finish on the Ordinary model. Early Cooke lenses had a brass rim. The setting lever is on the lower left, the speed selector is on the right. The release is on the left side of the housing.
The quarter-plate ordinary model (far right) had the setting knob below the lens and the shutter release on the front panel. The Postcard model used a two-blade shutter. The setting control is on the top of the housing near the finder, the release is at the lower left the speed selector on the right. An I, B, T selector is below the lens.
The Imperial and De Luxe shared a similar type of two-blade pivoted shutter, the narrow profile allowed a cross-front to be fitted. The release is on the left, the setting lever on the right and the speed selector towards the bottom of the housing. On the De Luxe (far right) the lens is held in a bayonet mount.
On the Special model the setting lever is below the lens, the release on the lower left and the speed selector on the right. In 1910 the metal plate surrounding the speed selector and setting lever was added.
The housing for the Baby, New Special and New Ideal models were similar, an I, B, T lever is on the left, the setting lever is below the lens and the speed selector is on the right. The Baby model has the shutter release on the side of the housing, the New Special and New Ideal have the release on the left of the front plate.
The Vitesse and Excelsior have a two-blade pivoted return shutter, the setting lever is to the lower right with the speed selector below the lens, the release is at the lower left with an I, B, T selector above.

Universal Identification

Index Plates
The shutter and aperture controls of the Universal are contained on an index plate on the bottom of the camera. On the far right is the shutter speed selector. Next is a lever to select the aperture, one or more scales may be present depending on the model. Above the aperture scale is a connector for a pneumatic release. At the top left is the shutter release and below it is the catch to hold the capping blade open.

This High Speed model is marked for an f3.8 Planar, it also has another scale for a dividing lens marked Satz (it was not recommended to divide the Planar).

On the De Luxe model the speed selector works in a slot and there is no pneumatic release.

The camera shown on the right dates to 1895 and does not differ greatly from earlier models. On very early cameras the lens mounting had straight angled sides rather than the narrow curved sides in this example.

On this Special B, also of 1895, the door is fitted with a lens flange to hold the front component of the lens when removed from the camera. From 1902 lenses had a bayonet fitting which was matched by the additional mounting on the door. The metal plate to which the shutter parts are attached now has a large circular cut-out near the setting rod.

On this model B of 1897 the lever operating the spring flap and capping-blade (on the door) is a different shape to previous examples. The change was probably made in 1895 before camera number 292.

This camera has the shutter-tensioned catch and the 'T' setting catch near the pivot of the shutter blade (just above the setting rod), the catches are released by a large L shaped lever. On other models the two catches are on the outer edge of the shutter blade.

On this example a bracket fixes between the camera body and the door, probably to hold the door open when removing the shutter. Behind the bracket is a catch to free the shutter.

A High Speed model.

The De Luxe had a different shutter but is otherwise similar to ordinary models. The door has a bayonet flange to hold the front component of the lens. The spring clip on the door probably held the adjusting spanner for the focusing rack.

On this Twin Lens model there are two lens flanges on the door for the taking and viewing lenses. The upper catch to open the door is hidden by the camera body, to access the upper catch the front must be raised or racked out, the same arrangement is present on Half-Plate models.

At the very front of the camera was a small door covering the capping blade/lens, from 1895 this was equipped with a spring so that it opened automatically on depressing the shutter release.

The Universal shutter is a sector type, spring powered with pneumatic regulation. The shutter is set by pulling up the rod R which compresses the spring M. As R is raised so the single blade B is pulled up until the 2nd of two catches, C, on the edge of the blade is held by the release lever A. The speed is set by moving the lever S, this changes the rate that air can escape from the cylinder P into the chamber E and hence the length of the exposure (subject of BP 20649/1892). When the door of the camera is closed a spring-loaded rod attached to the door lies beneath the release lever A and projects onto the index plate at F, this is the shutter release. Pressing on the rod at F lifts one arm of A, the other arm disengages the catch C of the shutter blade. The blade is now able to move across the lens pushed by the spring M and regulated by the pneumatic cylinder P. An alternative means of release is to fit a pneumatic release to the socket at the bottom of the rod N.

The blade has on its edge two catches or notches, C. The 2nd one is held by the lever A when the blade is fully raised ready for an exposure, the 1st catch is held by A when the opening in the shutter blade is over the lens, this provides a T setting. The usual way of making a time exposure is to set the speed to a ½, release the shutter and quickly remove the finger from F, the shutter blade will then be held at the 1st catch.

On some models the notches, C, are replaced by small projections located close to the where the blade pivots, these are still engaged by the lever A which is now lengthened. The shutter on the right shows this arrangement.

The shutter is not self-capping, when being set it is protected by a separate capping blade in the door of the camera. When the shutter release is pressed it first moves the capping blade clear and, if fitted, opens the spring door on the front of the camera, it then connects with the lever A. To focus using the focusing screen the shutter is raised until the held by the 1st catch. A small amount of pressure at F will open the spring door and move the capping blade aside, a catch on the index plate is then moved over the end of the shutter release to prevent the capping blade returning. The same arrangement is used with the pneumatic release and for time exposures i.e. the shutter is fully set, the release F is partially depressed and the capping locked in the open position.

The shutter (right) is from a High Speed, on this model the setting rod is separate to the piston rod. The setting rod is on the right and is pulled back after setting by its own spring. The shutter on the far right is from a 3 ¼" x 2 ⅜" Special B, it is fitted with a supplementary spring that runs from the Index plate to the piston rod. The spring can be unclipped from the piston rod and fixed to the Index plate when not in use. Only a single set of speeds is marked so its function is not clear.

The shutter fitted to the De Luxe is similar in that it is a sector type, spring powered with pneumatic regulation, but its mechanism is very different. The shutter (shown here unset) is pivoted at M, it is rotated during exposure by the movement of O which is attached to a small lobe opposite the blade, during tensioning it is rotated in the opposite direction by moving a lug near to O. The shutter is set by pulling up a rod by a knob on the top of the camera, this rotates the blade to the set position and tensions the coiled spring M. The rod works behind the face-plate of the shutter and is attached to a short lever, when the rod is lifted the lever presses down on and moves a lug attached to the shutter blade near to O thereby raising the shutter blade. The speed is set by moving the lever S this moves the post T to the left or right. The top of the post works within a slot of the lever L. When the shutter is set the link N moves down forcing the end of the lever L that is attached to the piston rod of P up thereby setting the pneumatic delay. The piston of P always assumes the same position and air enters P at the same rate. Changing the speed setting alters the position of the fulcrum of the lever L i.e. where L and T meet. At high speeds the fulcrum is to the left, a short downward movement of the piston causes a large movement of the link N which rotates the blade past the lens. At a slow speed the pillar T is to the right, now a large movement of the piston rod is required to rotate the shutter blade. The arm D moves within an open cylinder probably providing a damping action and brake at the end of the exposure.

In other respects the shutter works in a similar way to the ordinary Universal. It is released by a release rod at F or by pressing U, both move the lever A which holds the blade by the catch C.

The diaphragm is adjusted by moving the lever I.

The back of the camera usually contains a focusing screen and a changing box. With the lid closed and the rear door open the camera can be focused without the need for a dark cloth. The changing box fits under a small ledge at the front of the compartment, the focusing screen fits behind the box and clamps it in place. When the screen is used to focus the box is removed and replaced by the focusing screen. On the 3-focus Special B there is an additional spacing piece, this is used when the longest of the two components is fitted. The spacing piece is placed at the front of the chamber followed by the changing box. The clip on the inside lid of the chamber is for a memorandum card.

Double-dark slides can be used rather than the changing box, a small adapter fits at the front of the compartment followed by three slides and the focusing screen, if only one slide was fitted then a focusing screen was supplied with fold-out arms the width of two slides to clamp the slide in place (illustrated far right).

When in use the draw-slide of the changing box is fully removed and fits into a slot in the focusing screen. The screen has a clear spot enabling the exposure number on the changing box to be seen when the rear door is opened. On very early cameras, perhaps for the first year, a celluloid focusing screen was fitted. On some screens, probably late examples, the front of the finger grip was flattened to make insertion of the draw-slide easier.

Normally the lid is hinged at the front, on some cameras, especially the Twin Lens, the hinge is at the back above the rear door (illustration on right).

The De Luxe could be supplied with a closed back, the same as other Universals, or with an open back. The open back model took the same accessories as the Square Reflector.

On Half-plate and Stereoscopic models the draw-slide pulls out from the short side of the changing box rather than from the top of the box. A slot in the side of the camera allows the draw-slide to be removed, it is stored within the focusing screen, a second slot in the side of the camera allows the draw-slide to be pushed through into a recess in the focusing screen.

The Universal has a focusing scale for the normal (combined) lens on the side of the camera. A depth-of-field scale could also be fitted, this was always present on the De Luxe model.

On the Special B there were one or two additional scales on the baseboard for use with the divided lens (illustration on right). The camera shown on the far right has a magnification scale marked on the baseboard: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1/1. A second scale for the telephoto attachment is marked 2 ½, 3, 4. A second tripod fixing is also present at the front of the baseboard.

The De Luxe has a pull-out double extension arrangement similar to the Square reflector.

Rising Front
The front section of the Universal slides within grooves to give a rising front. Where a cross front is fitted additional grooves are fitted within the front section. When raised to the full extent a catch is exposed, pressing this allows the whole front section of the camera to be removed.
On the De Luxe model the rising front is operated by a screw.
Rising front markings could be added to the camera body and view-finder, in use the camera was tilted until the desired image was seen in the finder, a scale in the finder then showed the amount of rise to set on the camera.

Spirit Level
In 1895 round spirit levels were fitted (already present on the Stereoscopic), these were replaced by 'T' levels in 1896.

Lens Mount
From 1902 the lens of the Special B and other cameras with combinable lenses had a bayonet rather than a screw mount. On three-focus cameras the longer lens was placed at the front of the camera when the combined lens was in use. But when only a single component was used it was placed behind the shutter. Magnalium lens mounts were used from around this time.

Metal Work
An early change was in 1895 when the focusing rack was changed from brass to steel. From 1898 the finders, index plate and other parts were available in aluminium rather than brass. At the same time aluminium binding was also offered.

Russia Leather Bellows
These were advertised but could not have been fitted very often.

Self-Focusing Reflex Identification

Focusing Hood
The hood has a wooden front and sides made of Xylonite (or similar material), the rear of the hood is a cloth blind mounted on a spring roller inside the camera body and attached to the top of the front part of the hood. The cloth blind can be disengaged when fitting the extension focusing hood. Two arms are attached to the inside of the hood, these swing upwards to provide a fixing for the extension hood.

The focusing screen was the same size as the plate and so showed a landscape format, for vertical exposures the camera was held as for landscapes to focus and then turned on its side where the picture would be composed with the aid of a removable view-finder.

Lens Mount
The lens is mounted in a removable box that clips into the front standard. The box has a door that opens giving access to the iris setting and the door contains a spring mounted flap that opens to focus and make the exposure. Within the box is a fitting to hold the front lens component when not in use.

The shutter unit is removable for cleaning and maintenance.

The handle unclips to give access to one of the two tripod sockets.

Spirit level
Two 'T' levels were fitted.

The rear compartment is the same as on the Universal, the hinge is at the rear of the compartment.

Square Reflector Identification

Focusing Hood
The Original model had the focusing hood held rigid by two metal uprights. These were joined at the top by a cross piece on which could be fitted a binocular eyepiece. The Second model has the more familiar type of hood. On early versions of the Original hood the cross piece is solid, later it is hinged and part of it folds down onto the hood when in use.

The carrying handle on the Original model was on the side of the camera and similar to that fitted to the Universal, on the Second model the handle is on the top of the focusing hood cover, a very small handle, intended to steady the camera with the thumb, was on the side of the camera near the side compartment.

Shutter Release
The Second model of the camera is fitted with a second release on the left side of the camera.

Side Compartment
A compartment in the side of the camera was for storing the front component of the lens when not in use and for filters. The camera on the far right has a bayonet fitting for the lens component or a filter adapter, above is velvet covered block to hold a filter. The camera in the centre has in addition a spring clamp on the door to hold the spanner used to adjust the focusing rack. The camera on the left has two lens bayonets, this is for a three-focus camera, the lower bayonet takes the front component, the upper bayonet takes the rear component, both require separate fittings as the lenses project from the mount to different extents.

Lens Mount
The front component of the lens was removable and fitted with a bayonet mount. The whole lens unit could also be replaced by another, on early models the lens unit unscrewed, later it was attached to the front standard by a bayonet mount. The iris scale is usually in nickel but sometimes in black lacquer.

Spirit Level
A hinged level was fitted to the side of the camera.

Revolving Back
The rear portion of the camera including the shutter rotates for portrait or landscape exposures. A metal bar, connected to the shutter release, trips the shutter and also prevents the back from turning unless the mirror is lowered.

Folding Reflex Identification

Body Shape
The hood of the Special model (shown far right) is taller than the Standard, the body is also deeper.

Tilting Front
A limited tilt movement of the lens is available on the Standard model.

Rising Front Catch
Some versions of the Standard have a rising front catch.

Lens Mount
A bayonet mount was fitted to both the Special and Standard models. The extension rings shown on the right fit the telephoto lenses.

Revolving Back

Nydia Identification

The shutter of the 1900 model Nydia (shown far right) was a non self-capping two-blade guillotine type with pneumatic regulation. On this model the blades move in opposite directions but each blade always operates in the same direction, tensioning the shutter returned the blades to their original position. The Self-capping model of c. 1902 (shown right) used an arrangement where each blade alternated in direction and so did not move when being tensioned.

Focusing lever
At the front of the camera is a lever to focus the camera, this is often confused with a support bracket, a focusing scale is also fitted.

Lens Mount
Later models usually had magnalium lens mounts.

The finder is removable and can be attached for either landscape or portrait format. Some later finders are fitted with two spirit levels.

Changing Box
Early boxes had a non removable ebonite sheath. To take advantage of the self-capping shutter the sheath was made removable, an aluminium grip was fitted to the sheath around this time. Some models have a raised step where the sheath fits into the box.

The fittings on the back of the box were at first nickel then black.

Swing Back
On some boxes there is a calibrated plate to show the swing back movement.

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.

The camera on the right has swing front, the camera far right does not.

A slight twist to the front of the bellows releases the bellows from the shutter area. Loosening the side struts where they attach to the changing box allows the struts to fold against the box with the shutter resting on the changing bag.

N&G Accessories

As well as accessories for their cameras Newman & Guardia sold a full range of photographic equipment and supplies, some made in their own workshops others sold under their name but clearly made elsewhere.

Sibyl Accessories

Dark Slides
Early Sibyls were fitted with single metal slides not manufactured by N&G. Double dark slides were introduced in 1914 for the Baby and New Special models. Early double slides had a brass frame and nickel draw slides with a spring formed in the tab to lock the draw slide, the spring was dispensed with after a short time. The next change was to have an aluminium rather than brass frame. The final version had aluminium draw slides. The tabs of the draw slide usually curve over the centre of the slide, on some examples they are folded at right angles.

Film Pack Adapters
Early models had a removable cover to load the film pack, a celluloid draw slide and a spring clip at the side to lock it to the camera.

Later versions had a hinged cover and metal draw slide, in the quarter-plate size the adapter was fixed to a wooden frame, in the 2 ½" x 3 ½" size a wooden frame was also used at first but later discarded. Where a wooden frame is present the focusing register is different to that of a dark slide. The later type of adapter with hinged cover match cameras from the Baby Sibyl onwards.

Autochrome Slide
This was a wooden single slide with a velvet covered pressure plate. c. 1913. They had the same register as changing boxes.

Changing Box
Two sizes of the changing box were produced, for either 8 or 12 plates. They could also be supplied to take cut-film held in thin sheaths, the smaller box took 12 films the larger either 18 or 20 films. The changing box is a conventional bag-type where the rear plate is lifted, a counter is fitted. The box was available in 2 ½" x 3 ½" and quarter-plate sizes but at least one box exists in the vest pocket size. Produced from 1908.

Roll-film Back
A Graflex roll-holder was available from c. 1920.

These were gelatin-between-glass filters usually in push-on mounts.

Lens Hood
The folding lens hood was introduced in 1910, later a small, two-part, metal hood was supplied with some cameras.

Focusing Hood
This fits over the reflecting finder, the cut-outs vary depending on the camera model.

Viewing and Composing Hood
This excludes light from the rear focusing screen, versions with and without a magnifier exist. On the two larger Sibyls it fits over the existing focusing hood on the Baby Sibyl a special focusing screen with a wood surround was supplied. Available form c. 1923. BP 183626/1921.

Cable Release Attachment

Tripod Boards
The Sibyl has a light-weight body not suited for attaching a tripod and on some models there is no tripod socket. The tripod boards are substantial pieces of wood that attach to the camera and have tripod sockets for both portrait and landscape. When not in use the two halves fold together.

The De Luxe model has two tripod screws permanently attached to the camera, when not in use they fold into recesses in the body, a tripod board was also produced consisting of a single piece of wood.

Extension Back
For close-up work. Not advertised.

Focusing Screen
Early focusing screens were without a hood, later a folding hood was fitted. Both were available as accessories. A screen having the focusing registration of a film pack adapter, changing box or roll-holder was also available. The image on the right shows a focusing screen with normal registration and one with deeper registration to match a film pack.

Telephoto Lens
Early models could be fitted with a Dallmeyer Adon telephoto. For the second generation cameras from 1912 telephoto lenses were the Dallmeyer Dallon, Ross Telecentric or Ross Teleros. In use the rear focusing register, selectable on the baseboard, was used. When supplied with a telephoto a second focusing scale was marked on the baseboard and the view-finder showed the alternative field of view. On the Baby Sibyl the telephoto was in two parts that fitted each side of the shutter, on the larger cameras the telephoto fitted to the front of the shutter. When fitted to the New Special and New Ideal cameras a small bracket on the lens rested on the shutter setting boss.

Reflecting and eye-level finders were available as accessories to fit to the side of the camera.

Early instructions were produced on a duplicator from typewritten pages, later a small booklet was produced. Typewritten pages were again used when the Baby, New Special and New Ideal were introduced, the format then changed to a large pamphlet using a small black type-face, then to a pamphlet in a heavy blue face.

Universal Accessories

Changing Box
A changing box was usually fitted to the Universal, two versions were made, one for 12 plates or films the other for 24 films. An automatic exposure counter was fitted to the box. Two patents cover the changing box - 8329/1886 and 13857/1892 - early boxes carry only the 1886 patent, later both are listed, later still only the 1892 patent and finally none.

The box used with the ordinary Universal was known as type A and is finished in polished wood, the type SR was fitted to the Open Back version of the De Luxe and is leather covered. A box for 8 plates was made for the Closed Back De Luxe which could fit into the rear compartment together with a focusing screen, otherwise a 12 plate model without screen could be fitted.

Dark slides
The changing box could be replaced by three double-dark slides, a small spacing piece fitted in front of the slides. Single slides were fitted to half-plate models.

An Autochrome slide was also available, this took single slides and had a velvet covered pressure plate. In the late 1890s a slide was available for the Joly colour process.

Roll Holder
An Eastman roll-holder was available in quarter-plate (c. 1898) and 5" x 4" (c. 1901) sizes.

High-speed Shutter
A Celeritas high-speed shutter could be fitted in place of the normal shutter, the camera had to be modified to make the shutter removable. Introduced in 1892 for use on other cameras, fitted to the Universal from around 1895.

Wide-angle Front
By removing the whole of the front part of the camera a wide-angle front could be fitted. For this the camera had to be modified to enable the baseboard to retract further into the body. Introduced around 1895.

Stereo Fronts
The Half-Plate model could be modified for stereo use by fitting a different front section. The stereo model could be modified to take mono exposures by fitting a new front, one was fitted with a Linhof shutter for use with a single 'stereo' lens, another took a half-plate lens also in a Linhof shutter, a third type of front section had a N&G shutter.

Telephoto Lenses
A telephoto attachment could be fitted behind the rear lens of the camera, the magnification between 2 ½ and 4 was set on the attachment. The baseboard was marked to show the extension for different magnifications. To fit the attachment the bellows had to be disconnected from the front of the camera, for this there was a small button on the front standard. The lens in the attachment was a Dallmeyer Telephoto attachment, 3" for quarter-plate, 4" for 5" x 4" cameras.

The normal telephoto is the lower lens in the illustration. The other telephoto attachment shown is probably a special order and fits a Square Reflector. It has a magnification of 6 - 8 and a bayonet fitting at the negative-lens end to fit on the front of the camera, both elements of the prime lens, in their original mount, then screwed to the front of the attachment.


Naturalist's Stand
This was a large upright stand, the camera rested on a bracket fixed at the top of the stand. A horizontal shelf, of wood or glass, carrying the subject was able to move vertically. The extra tripod socket on the baseboard of some models may be to fix the camera to the stand; the front of the camera is fixed so to focus the rear part would move.

As well as leather carrying cases an air-tight metal case for tropical use was advertised. A waterproof dust cover for the camera is also listed. Both from around 1901.

Self-Focusing Reflex Accessories

Changing Box, Dark Slides, Roll-Holder
These are the same as used on the Universal cameras.

An auxiliary finder was supplied with the camera.

Extension Focusing Hood
An extension hood was supplied with the camera that fitted over the standard hood.

Pneumatic Release
This fits on the right side of the camera over the normal shutter release. Similar to the Square Reflector fitting.

Telephoto Lens
The 'N&G Reflex Telephoto' attachment was used in conjunction with the prime lens of the camera. These must have been similar to those fitted to the Square Reflector but the catalogues show that an adapter was required, possibly the bayonet mount on the camera was not as large as the lens.

Square Reflector Accessories

Dark Slides
Early double-dark slides had tambour shutters rather than draw-slides, these were quickly replaced by conventional slides with magnalium and then, c. 1909, vulcanite draw-slides. Slides had a different register compared to changing boxes, a thin frame (shown far right) was placed in the camera back when using slides to provide the extra depth. The slides are held in place by two clamping pieces on the camera.

Changing Box
These were leather covered and similar to those fitted to the Sibyl but the fixing arrangement was slightly different. In use the box fits into the back of the camera the two clamping pieces on the camera then lock into recesses in the side of the box.

Film Pack Adapter
Wood frame with leather covered back having a slot for the draw-slide.

A roll-holder is briefly mentioned in early advertisements, an Eastman model would have been fitted.

Single Metal Slide Adapter
This was a wooden adapter to hold the metal slides in place and provide the correct registration.

Mackenzie-Wishart Slide
The release catch to open the back is at the top near the draw-slide.

Focusing Magnifiers
These fit the Original model, although the camera is generally illustrated with the magnifiers in place they were sold as accessories. Later model cameras have simpler magnifiers built into the focusing hood.

On the right of the illustration is a filter that fits over the combined Protar lens, when the front component of the Protar is removed the filter adapter fits onto the bayonet lens mount and provides a screw-in filter mount, the filter shown unscrews from its push-on mount and can be screwed to the adapter.

Pneumatic Release
This fits on the right side of the camera over the normal shutter release.

Telephoto Lenses
The 'N&G Reflex Telephoto' attachment was used in conjunction with the prime lens of the camera. Conventional telephoto lenses were also listed.

Folding Reflex Accessories

Double Dark Slides
These are the same as fitted to the Sibyl, they generally have an aluminium frame and draw-slide.

Film Pack Adapter
These are the all-metal type as fitted to later versions of the Sibyl.

Roll-film Holder
A Plaubel-type roll-holder fitted with a wooden frame was available.

An inner frame fitted to the revolving back is removed to fit the roll-holder or the changing box.

Single Autochrome Slide
These are the same as fitted to the Sibyl.

Single Metal Slides
Available until c. 1925.

Changing Box
For 12 plates, they are the same as fitted to the Sibyl.

Antinous Release
A cable release attachment slides over the shutter release knob.

Pneumatic Release

Folding Lens Hood

These are the same as fitted to the Sibyl.

Telephoto Lenses
Dallmeyer Dallon, Ross Teleros and T.T.H. Cooke lenses were produced. A short extension tube was available for both models.


Nydia Accessories

Changing Box
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
Available in the 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 Back
Available in the 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
Available in 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.

Tripod Boards
There was no tripod socket on the camera, an 'L' shaped wooden bracket fitted to the struts and carried a tripod socket.

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.

Spirit Level
'T' levels were fitted onto some changing boxes, they were optional on quarter-plate models but always fitted to the half-plate unless the levels were fitted to the view-finder.

Russia Leather Bellows
These were recommended for use when in the tropics.


General Accessories

Folding Tripod
The first N&G Walking Stick tripod had a simple round handle, later a crook handle was fitted. Another, later, version had a fold-out platform to which the camera was screwed. The handle unscrews, three plates can then swivel out providing a larger base for the camera. A central column gives extra height.

Conventional tripods were sold by N&G as well as a distinctive leather covered tripod top and a tripod screw. A stereo tripod top, having a simple sliding top, was also listed.

Atkin Swan Tilting Table
For telephoto work, any suitable camera could be fitted.

Focusing Magnifier
The magnifier supplied by N&G had a long working distance so that it could be used within the back compartment of the Universal. When not in use it unscrews into two parts, the eye-piece section is then reversed and screws into the front section.

This was a simple distance gauge, similar models were made by other companies but the N&G version was probably their own work. It works by aiming a sight at an object, a plumb bob then shows the angle the object makes to the horizontal which is converted into a distance.

Advertisements show this, surprisingly, to have been made by N&G, it is based on the Watkins System but is different from their models. It could be carried in the pocket or built into the camera body.

Re-fill Box
These are for packing plates whilst travelling. The plates are held in metal sheaths and stored in the re-fill box, they can then be loaded into an N&G changing box using a changing bag or similar. The exposed plates are returned to the re-fill box, there is a small tablet for recording details of the plates.

Enlarging Camera
This was a well-made copying camera enabling negatives to be copied, enlarged or reduced. It consisted of a holder for the negative to be copied, a lens and shutter, and a holder for the new negative or print. The three parts attached to a substantial baseboard and were connected by bellows. A condenser and illuminant could be attached.

Lantern Slide Reducing Camera
This comprised a baseboard carrying a bellows camera holding the negative that is to be copied and a smaller bellows camera holding the lantern-slide. A lens and shutter were between the two. Produced in quarter and half-plate models. Introduced in 1893.

The N&G enlarger was a box-form type giving fixed size prints. Two sizes were produced: quarter-plate negatives to whole-plate prints and 5" x 4" negatives to 10" x 8" prints. Probably replaced by the folding models.

Folding Enlarger
This comprised a folding camera to which a smaller (quarter-plate or 2 ½" x 3 ½") camera is attached. Two forms were made, Model A used a Sibyl (or similar) as the smaller camera, Model B included a smaller bellows camera. For daylight use. The apparatus was made of blackened mahogany for either whole or half-plate copies. Introduced around 1909.

Sibyl Daylight Enlarger
This was produced in three sizes, for the Baby, New Special and New Ideal Sibyls. The camera is deployed as the negative holder. Introduced around 1915 and replaced in the early 1920s by the folding model.

Sibyl Folding Enlarger
This was produced in two sizes, for the Baby and New Special Sibyls. The camera is deployed as the negative holder. Either daylight or magnesium ribbon could be used as the illuminant.

Daylight Developing Autochrome Box (Autotank)
This consists of an enclosed developing dish with a light-trapped inlet and outlet for the chemicals. Made of nickel plated brass. Probably introduced in 1914 and announced in the BJA of that year. It was intended for the development and reversal of single Autochrome plates when away from a darkroom, the plate was loaded into the tank using a changing bag. It was particularly useful for travellers who wanted to check the exposure of a plate.

Pneumatic Shutter
A single blade return type shutter, spring powered with pneumatic regulation, it operated in the slot for Waterhouse stops. The Original had the speeds shown on a cap at the top of the pneumatic cylinder. An improved model differed in setting the speed by a pointer against a scale.

Studio Shutter
Double-flap shutter with pneumatic release working behind the lens. Introduced in 1892.

Roller-blind Shutter
This has a metal body and the unusual feature of being regulated by a pneumatic delay. The upper spindle has attached to it a pinion, this works within a rack the bottom of which is connected to the piston of the delay cylinder. The early models showed the speeds on a quadrant-shaped scale, later an arm along the lower edge of the shutter was used. Introduced in 1892.


The following is a list of patents by Newman & Guardia and A.S. Newman, not all relate to N&G cameras.

7156/1886 Pneumatic shutter. Used on the early Newman shutter (fitting in the diaphragm slot of e.g. field cameras).

8329/1886 Changing box where the exposed plate is raised by a crank lever in the bottom of the box.

19274/1890 Shutters, pneumatic regulation. Patent refused.

19480/1890 Shutter. Used on the Adams Hand Camera.

20299/1890 Changing boxes especially the use of sheaths to hold the plates. Found on Newman and Guardia and Adams cameras.

13857/1892 Changing box, use of a pressure plate.

20649/1892 Shutter, pneumatic regulation.

9599/1902 Focal-plane shutter and mirror for a single lens reflex.

19363/1902 Focal-plane shutter and mirror in a single-lens reflex.

25285/1903 Reflex cameras. Used on the Square Reflector.

16857/1905 Folding hand camera especially the view-finder. Used on the Sibyl camera.

8721/1912 Describes the side struts of a folding hand camera. Used in the Sibyl range of cameras. Where the struts join at the top and bottom a short separation piece is introduced. The end struts have a notch to fit over the separation piece. This allowed the struts to fold into a smaller space.

8722/1912 Sector shutter. Used on the Sibyl camera.

158194/1919 Reflex cameras and focal-plane shutters. Used in the Folding Reflex.

158601/1919 Reflex cameras and lens fittings. Used in the Folding Reflex.

183626/1921 Hood for a rear focusing screen.

182237/1922 Tripod that folds into a walking stick. A later patent BP 321007/1929 was for a stick with fold-out platform for the camera.

271330/1926 Shutter, two blade pivoted return type. Used on the Sibyl Vitesse and Excelsior cameras.

290023/1927 Hinged back to a roll-film camera. Used on the Sibyl Excelsior camera.

Further Information:
Two very good series of articles on the Sibyl and Universal by Antony Manthos were published in Photographica World numbers 58 - 63 and 130 - 133.



Self-Focusing Reflex

Square Reflector

Folding Reflex



N&G Accessories



Self-Focusing Reflex

Square Reflector

Folding Reflex


General Accessories


Camera Models

Shutter Mechanisms

Serial Numbers