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Ensign E29 Box Camera, 129 roll film, about 1930s

This Ensign E29 Box camera owes its existence to the need to reduce picture taking to a simplistic operation the average 'man in the street' could contemplate, literally millions of these box cameras and others like it were made and have taken countless family pictures. In common with most box cameras, the shutter is the over centre release type - which works in both directions, a very common feature on box cameras, essentially a partial disc with a sector hole in it that sweeps the lens. Regrettably the Ensign E29 made use of the now extinct 129 roll film, making just six exposures. Only 120 is commonly available now, with 127 possible to find if you are prepared to look around. 129 is between these two formats. One possible solution would be to adapt a roll of 127 and mask off the film plane with stiff card, otherwise the films' natural curve will tend to pull it out of the ideal position as it travels across the opening. So far as operation is concerned the E29 shares a very basic set of rules as do most of these simple box cameras. Load in some film, wind on until there's a fresh frame in the gate, compose and release the shutter. In theory the camera was optimized to take tolerable pictures on bright days outside, at least some part of the picture would be correctly exposed and the rest would be sorted out at the printing stage. This one has the added complexity of a portrait attachment, which is just another lens mounted in front of the camera's main lens, in much the same way you or I might wear glasses. The point is to shift the focus closer to the camera so that "head and shoulder " pictures can be taken. These cameras were available in black or a variety of colours as in the case of this blue example. Of all the coloured cameras made, the blue E29 crops up fairly frequently, and is far from a rare camera.

Ensign E29 Box Camera, 129 roll film, about 1930s

Body No.Not numbered
Shutter, speeds T and I (instant, roughly 25th/sec.)
Condition, 5F

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