This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
42. Box Cameras. The Box Camera is the cheapest and simplest of all types of cameras. Some are made for use with films, others for plates, but they are seldom obtainable in sizes larger than 4x5. Box cameras are fitted with single lenses, and the shutters supplied usually allow of both instantaneous and time exposures, although there are more elaborate types of box cameras provided with more perfect shutters, giving greater range of exposure. All box cameras are arranged to take pictures both vertically and horizontally, being fitted with finders on both the vertical and horizontal sides. The majority of such cameras have an arrangement for changing the size of diaphragm or lens opening. To effect the movement of the shutter most of these cameras are provided with a lever or button, which, for a time exposure, in the first case must be pushed over in one direction to open the shutter, and back to the original position to close the shutter; or, in the latter case, where a button is provided, it requires one pressure to open the shutter and another pressure to close the shutter. When set for instantaneous exposure one movement of the lever, or one pressure of the button, will cause the shutter to open and close. Any length of time can, of course, be given for a time exposure, while the instantaneous exposure will generally average about 1-33 of a second. Box cameras are not provided with rising front or swing-back attachments. (See Illustration No. 1 of Box Cameras.)
43. Magazine Cameras. The Magazine Camera is a form of box camera, but is loaded with a given number of plates that can be dropped into position, one at a time, ready for exposure, by the mere pressing of a button or the pushing over of a lever.
44. Folding Cameras. A folding camera is, in effect, a box camera, but with this difference, that the lens support is attached to a collapsible bellows. This bellows, folding into small compass, enables the camera to be made more compact. The front of the camera, on being released by a
A Modern Camera - Bellows Extended.
A. Modern Camera. Bed dropped and wide angle attachment in use.
Illustration No. 1 - Box Camera See Paragraph No. 42.
Illustration No. 3 - Pocket Film Camera See Paragraph No. 45.
Illustration No. 2 - Folding Camera See Paragraph No. 44.
Illustration No. 4 - Inserting Film Pack See Paragraph No. 46.
The Camera - How to Operate It A7 button, drops on its hinges and is held rigidly in position at right-angles to the body of the camera, disclosing a track attached thereto, on which the lens support can be moved in or out, extending or collapsing the bellows according to requirements. The better types of folding cameras are fitted with a rack and pinion on the front of the camera, which enables a very careful adjustment of the lens support. A finder is usually placed on the front board, or attached to the lens support. The lens board in the support is also frequently made to raise or lower, for reasons which are shown in future paragraphs. There are, of course, many other attachments and adjustments on folding cameras, the more expensive types affording greater possibility of movement. (See Illustration No. 2.)
45. Film Cameras. Film cameras are practically the same as plate cameras, but are arranged with a particular reference to the use of daylight loading roll films instead of glass plates. They are made in both box and folding types, with all the various adjustments and movements already given in previous paragraphs. As each manufacturer provides a descriptive booklet with each camera he puts out, it will be unnecessary to describe more closely the various workings of the different cameras. The film camera is more generally known as a kodak, in distinction to the plate camera. The operation of the kodak, aside from the manipulation of the film, is practically the same as the plate camera, and the rules regarding focusing and the securing of the proper register of the image are exactly alike. Illustration No. 3 shows a pocket film kodak.
46. Film-Plate Cameras. The Film-Plate combination camera is one in which either plates or cut films may be used. The cut film is put up in the shape of a pack and arranged so that the pack may be slipped into what is known as a film pack adapter, a substitute for a plate holder, being the same shape and size. A pack of films may be slipped into, or removed from, the adapter in daylight. Adapters are inserted in the camera in exactly the same manner as the plate holder. Film-plate cameras are provided with adjustments and attachments similar to plate or film cameras, and are operated in the manner previously described. (See Illustrate No. 4 of Film-Plate Camera.)
47. View Cameras. The view camera is an instrument not unsimilar to the Folding Camera previously described, but is not made in the enclosed box form of the latter, and its particular purpose is to be used on some form of a support or tripod, as against the folding camera, which is more essentially a "hand camera." In its attachments and method of setting up for use it is almost identical with the folding hand camera, although, generally speaking, the view camera may be considered to have a greater range of use. View cameras are made in all sizes from 4x5 up to 11x14, and larger, whilst folding hand cameras are rarely made in sizes over 6 1/2 x 8 1/2.
48. Reflex Type of Cameras. Another form of camera more recently introduced, yet finding great favor with amateur photographers, is the Reflex type of camera. This is a box form of camera, which is provided with a mirror arrangement in its interior, enabling the worker to see his picture the full size of the plate, the right way up (all ground-glass images obtained in folding and other types of cameras show the image upside down), and visible to the moment of exposure. Such cameras are provided with a special type of shutter, called the Focal Plane Shutter, which works at very high speeds. The Reflex camera, of which the Graflex and its various prototypes are its best examples, is especially adapted for the photographing of moving objects, children and scenes of everyday life.
49. . Lenses. The camera, whatever its type, is not complete without a lens. The similar types of cameras are provided with the simpler forms of lenses, the simplest of all being the single, or Meniscus lens, which is generally fitted to box cameras and the cheapest folding cameras of the fixed focus type. The single, achromatic, or view lens, as it is sometimes styled, is limited in its scope. For instance, it is not capable of accurately reproducing lines such as the corners of buildings. It is not a fast lens, and its angle of vision is a narrow one.
50. Of greater general use is the Rapid Rectilinear lens which being made up of two or more lenses attached to each end of the lens barrel belongs to the doublet type of lenses. Most hand and film cameras are supplied with such lenses, which are capable of accurately rendering straight lines and give a more or less even definition over the plate for which they are adapted. The single set of lenses of a doublet can be used by itself as a view lens, and then gives an image of twice the dimensions of the doublet lens.
51. For a still further type of lens, which has all the advantages of the rectilinear just mentioned, and adds to these the further advantages of great speed, great brilliancy and fine definition, is the modern or anastigmat doublet. Such lenses are of various types, and when fitted to hand, view or reflex cameras enable the worker to do the very highest type of work. For certain forms of work, such as the photographing of buildings and interior views, where the worker is not able to recede far enough from the object to be photographed, a fourth type of lens is necessary. Such a lens is called the wide-angle lens, which is so constructed as to enable the worker to get near to his object and still get it all within the dimensions of his plate.
52. Shutters. To enable a picture to be made, some sort of a contrivance is necessary, by which the light can be admitted through the lens for a stated period of time. Such contrivances are called, in general, shutters, and are of varying types - being placed in front of the lens, or between the lens, or behind the lens and in front of the plate, according to their type and the results they are called upon to produce. In box type cameras and the cheaper folding cameras which are fitted with single lenses only, a shutter that works in front of the lens is used, either the simple rotary shutter, such as we find on the box type of kodaks and cheap plate box cameras, or the single valve shutters, such as are usually fitted to cheaper folding cameras - film or plate. Doublet lenses have the shutter fitted into the barrel midway between the two lens cells. These shutters, being either of the single valve, double valve, or automatic type, work either by pressure on a small external lever or by the pneumatic pressure of a rubber bulb or tube attached to an air valve on the shutter. The remaining type of shutter is that which is commonly fitted to reflex cameras, and con-sists of an opaque curtain which passes rapidly in front of, and very close to, the sensitive plate, admitting the light through an adjustable longitudinal slot in the curtain. Infinitesimal exposures can be obtained with this shutter, known as the focal plane shutter, the theory and operation of which are fully explained in Volume VI.