Vintage and Classic Cameras
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Sanderson Regular hand & stand 5 x 4" plate camera c1902

Sanderson cameras were designed by F. H. Sanderson, his camera incorporated improvements allowing architectural photography to be undertaken without distortion and the first arrived in 1895-6, see advert below. The heart of all Sanderson cameras are the four lensboard support struts which allow the lens to be moved off and about its axis to correct undesirable perspective effects in the image. The principle one being lens rise. Other than this the camera follows conventional practice. Production was entrusted to specialist camera makers, notably Houghtons. These early models were intended for tripod use only, which is understandable as the image has to be inspected carefully on the ground glass screen to get the full benefit of the lens movements. In 1899 a 'hand and stand' version was introduced and the strut design was refined in 1902 to become the definitive version, with sprung pins that allow the lensboard to tilt. A further two sprung pins mounted on the lensboard itself disengage to allow the lensboard to swing. Re-engaging is simple and the camera can be set to the neutral positions easily, without the need to inspect the image, essential in a hand camera, and the reason for the inclusion of these design elements.
Our example was acquired in October 2007, missing some vital parts but restored from our collection of spare parts. This is an early example with the 1902 pattern struts. Square cornered bellows give away its age, these died out very early in the century owing to the ease of 'pin holing'. These early ones don't appear to have been fitted with spirit levels. Houghtons played around with many small aspects of the construction and the quality of the build improved noticeably over the first three to four years of production. This one is quite rough in places!

These types of camera were often owned by professionals who saw them more as tools of the trade, subsequently modifying them as better lenses and shutters became available. It is not unusual to find that the focus scales have been deleted or moved and the original shutter long gone. This example is no exception and has been restored using an appropriate Unicum shutter and other parts from a long dead example. At some time in the past it was modified to have a rear focus rack fitted, to allow fine focus with short focal length lenses, this has been retained as it has been well done, perhaps even by Houghtons, though it is definitely not from new.

Sanderson Camera 1902

Serial No.2848
Shutter, Bausch and Lombe Unicum, speeds T, B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 & 100th
Lens, Dalmeyer Rapid Rectilinear, F/8
Condition, F5

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Earliest pattern Sanderson in advert from c1896

Earliest pattern Sanderson in advert from c1896

Early Hand and Stand pattern Sanderson                 in advert from c1902

 Early Hand and Stand pattern Sanderson in advert from c1902

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