HOUGHTON ENSIGN BUTCHER CARBINE

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by anthonymarsh, May 30, 2021.

  1. I have bought this from E-Bay perhaps foolishly. I just liked the look of it. I will post more photos when it arrives. I'm assuming that it is medium format, the seller did not know much about it. Can anyone provide information about it? Sorry about the poor photo I took it from the E-Bay listing photo.

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  2. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    Carbines come in a range of sizes and specifications, denoted by a model number. For an idea of the range, you could look at a catalogue reproduced at Pacific Rim Camera:

    Pacific Rim Camera Reference Library

    The 1930 catalogue has the most Carbines to look at, though the style of the shutter, with that air-release attachment (I think?) suggests yours is earlier than that. I also see that catalogue doesn't offer the cameras with Beck lenses; in this and the 1935 catalogue, they seem to be mostly 'Aldis-Butcher' (i.e. made by Aldis for Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing, who made the Ensign cameras), plus some more expensive options.

    'Carbine' was a name that belonged to the Butcher company. They ran into trouble when the First World War came along because most of their business was importing German cameras into England. That was why they joined with Houghton, who had a big factory of their own, and so Houghton-Butcher began making Carbines in London.

    I have two Carbines: one for 2¼x3¼ inch on 120 film, and one for quarter plate (3¼x4¼ inch) - that's as sheet film in single holders, or originally there would have been roll film that gave eight pictures that size.
    I have exposed a film in the smaller of the two, but not yet developed it. I'm ashamed of how long I've owned the big one and not used it (I haven't even photographed the camera). I bought it in part because I already have an Ensign Reflex in the same size, and I guessed the same film holders would fit both cameras; and they do; so when I fancy doing it, I can actually use the big camera. It has a Ross Expres lens, so it should be pretty good.

    Good luck with yours!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
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  5. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

  6. Please forgive the multiple images. I tried to cancel dupes with no success. Can someone tell me how? At age 81 some technology presents challenges. I need info about the camera. The rear opening measures 5 5/8"x 3 3/8" the spool 3 3/4". It also appears to take either a cartridge or a film holder, this measures 3 1/2" x 6 1/2 "
     
  7. Sounds like "some big & long ago discontinued LF roll film" to me. Is it worth hunting down plate holders + film sheats and pre-ordering film once every year to you?
     
  8. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    3¼x5½ inch would be either a 122 or 125 roll film (see this page at Camera-wiki); a 'postcard' size.

    As far as I can see, neither sheet or roll film close to this has been offered in Ilford's annual 'ULF' unusual-sizes programme.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
    Jochen likes this.

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