|Butchers "The Midg" Falling quarter plate camera, c1905|
Box form 'falling plate' camera , manufactured with variations from 1902 -1920, for twelve plates 4.1/4 x 3.1/4". Glass plates were loaded into carriers which slid onto rails in the back of the camera, the plate change mechanism caused the exposed plate to fall forwards into the bottom of the camera, whilst the next in line moved forwards under the pressure from a fairly hefty spring mounted on an internal hinged plate. This camera was probably made in Germany before WW1 and prior to the arrangement between Houghton and Butchers that ultimately led to their merger. Shutter speeds are altered by varying the shutter spring tension, whilst aperture is altered with an external iris assembly - the large single element lens is mounted internally. Focus can be controlled using four supplementary lenses that are rotated into the relevant position. There are few marks that give away it's identity, a circular plate that was located above the lens and between the circular viewfinder windows has dropped off at some time. A photograph of another Midg has been found and the badge printed and stuck on to fill the gap for the time being. The falling plate mechanism still works quite well but needs to be weighted, as glass plates were considerably heavier than modern cut film stuck to plywood. One Midg camera had the distinction of taking at least some of the famous Cottingley Fairy photographs taken in 1917.
Click on "this camera's gallery" button, below, to see sample images.
Shutter, Built in, in front of lens, speeds T, 5, 10, 25, 50, 75 & 100th
Lens, although considerably larger the maximum aperture restricts it to f/11.
© Living Image Vintage Cameras 2000-2019