Houghton Ensign Folding 3 1/4 A

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by chauncey_walden, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. This one came out also. A 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 roll film (122) folder from somewhere between 1904 and 1926. The back on this one is removable (with some difficulty!) by pushing hidden buttons on each end while simultaneously prying the back out of the grooves it fits tightly in. Four hands would be a help here. As the film gate is 5 1/2 inches long, the 4x5 had wiggle room at the ends. The pressure is provided by a bowed spring that rests on the middle of the film gate. Not as good for the 4x5 sheet as the Kodak was. Also, while trying to get the back replaced in the dark, the film managed to shift to one end as you can see in the shot. By the way. in both cameras I covered the red film number window with tape. The lens on this one is an f/8, a triplet perhaps. The shutter speed I used was marked 1/100 but checked at 1/50 so it was stopped down to f/22 for the test shot. The poor film flatness was apparent in the neg but the resolution was superior, as you might expect, to the meniscus of the Kodak. The vertical rails of the deck of the house in the distance at the far right edge center are easily resolved under magnification. This one would probably need a little modification to be an easy single shot 4x5 as regards film centering and backing. Here is the camera and, following, the test shot.
    00VeaQ-216147584.jpg
     
  2. And the test shot.
    00VeaY-216147684.jpg
     
  3. I should have mentioned that the horizon is actually level but that the viewfinder on the Ensign is not when it is flipped over to the horizontal position. Its reflex mirror is not as good as the Kodak's. I'll bet a lot of the feet or heads of dear relatives were eliminated from the image by this camera.
     
  4. That looks pretty good! I've got one of these but never tried it with film. Great idea.
     
  5. Chauncey, like this camera and photo,too. If, you have problems with film flatness. What I did with my 124 and 130 box was to tape the sheet film to a very thin piece of birch plywood. The kind used for model planes. Have a 120 Ensign box. Funny thing is that it's as tall as the 130.
     
  6. duplicate post
     
  7. I live a couple of miles away from the site of the former Ensign factory in Walthamstow, east London. It is now a DIY superstore. A few miles in the opposite direction is the site of the old Ilford film factory. Now a supermarket.
     
  8. If the buildings are the same as the old factories I'd love to see some photos of them. Sad how much of the industrial age has been destroyed.
     
  9. Congratulations, Chauncey, on getting those nice pics out of the old Ensign folder. I've got a similar model with the Oz importer Harrington's 'Ton' logo on the side. However, it only has an f11 lens and 3-speed Simplex shutter, and it's not in as nice condition as yours - but I shouldn't complain seeing I was given it as a freebie at a recent Cam Society meeting. (Pete In Perth)
     
  10. Russ, the original Ensign factory and the Ilford works have both been demolished and replaced by supermarkets and car parks.
     
  11. OK, so I can't let this chance go by without posting a scan of the picture you got back in the 30s of the Ensign Works at Walthamstow, on the reverse of the warranty certificate you got with each and every Ensign camera. It was certainly quite a size .... (Pete In Perth)
    00Vfw0-217101584.jpg
     

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