A still more compact camera is shewn at page 110. This form possesses all the advantages of that just described, but its movements are simplified in such a manner that it can be unfolded, and made ready for taking a picture in the space of a very few seconds. This camera is of square section, but is made to take the usual standard sizes of plates. The object of making it square, is that the back may be reversed if necessary. In the older forms of cameras, if it were desired to take a picture on the long diameter of the plate, as in the case of a full length portrait for instance, it was necessary to unscrew the camera from its stand, and screw it up again so that it rested on its side. A screw hole was always provided for this purpose. The operation not only consumed some time, but it was awkward in the extreme, to use the instrument in an unaccustomed position. In the camera under discussion this is obviated by making the back reversible, and it can be reversed in about 4 seconds. We can thus obtain horizontal, or vertical pictures at will, and change and change about with the greatest celerity, while the camera remains fixed to the tripod stand. This camera illustrates a new adjunct which must not pass unnoticed. It shows a patent focussing screen that can be fitted to any camera, which will slide in and out, so that it can be adjusted to the focussing position of any dark slide, roll-holder, or other contrivance which may be invented for taking negatives on paper, and other material. There are at present several roller slides or holders in the market which are used for producing pictures - panorama fashion - on long bands of paper. These contrivances are at present on their trial, and it is impossible to say whether they will or will not partly supersede the use of glass for photographic work. Should they prove to be as successful as their promoters believe they will, the purchaser of one of these cameras with its adjustable focussing screen, can march with the times without relinquishing his old apparatus. Any roll holder can be readily fitted to a camera with this adjunct. This camera may be folded up into a marvellously small compass for travelling.
In page III is shown a camera of another description, known as The Universal, which is intended for portraiture in the studio, or sitting room. Now, thanks to dry plates, most excellent portraits can be, and are constantly taken in private rooms. The camera in question is of a more solid description than those previously described, and has a fixed base. The focussing screw is placed at the back immediately underneath the ground glass screen, and the camera has a repeating back, an arrangement by which two portraits in different positions can be taken upon one plate.
The camera depicted at page 126 does not call for any special remark, but it illustrates two accessories which are worthy of mention, and which are used for taking instantaneous pictures. The one is a "view finder" placed on the top of the instrument, and the other is an instantaneous shutter, to be presently more fully described, which covers the lens aperture. These valuable additions can be fitted to any form of camera. The object of the view finder is to give a reduced image of the same picture which falls upon the sensitive plate directly exposure is made. In taking a picture of a moving object, such as a ship in full sail, it is all important that that object should fall in its right place in the composition, so that an harmonious picture may result. The operator can secure this end by watching the image in the view finder. Directly the moving object gets into the best position with regard to the other elements of the picture, the instantaneous shutter is released, and in the twinkling of an eye the picture is taken. The other cameras figured do not require any description, but we may notice a useful type of quarter plate instrument, with its three double backs and leather case, page 112, which is peculiarly fitted for the tourist, who does not require large pictures. A still smaller instrument is made for those interested in the Magic Lantern, its double dark slides carry plates 3¼ square, the usual size for lantern slides. The weight bulk of this camera is quite inconsiderable.
A camera which is rigid and firm in all its parts is of little avail unless it be mounted on a stand having the same qualities. Figs. on page 119 show different forms of stands in which these characteristics are carefully preserved. In this page the stand is shown extended ready for the reception of the camera, and is also shown closed and strapped up for transport. The way in which the legs fold up is also well shown; and it may be observed that each leg can be readily shortened at will without shifting the camera. This is an important advantage, especially when the operator is obliged to place his apparatus on uneven ground. The rigidity of these tripod stands is ensured in setting them up for use by utilizing the natural elasticity of the wood. In spite of their light weight - the smaller sizes weighing less than 3 lbs., a weight of 56 lbs. can be suspended from the centre of the triangular top without causing any undue strain upon the various parts. The camera is in all cases attached to the stand by a brass thumbscrew, which is supplied with the apparatus.
An ingenious improvement in portable stands has recently been devised. It is styled "Rayment's Patent" tripod top (see page 126). This, instead of being made in one piece as such tops usually are, is in two pieces, one above the other. In the lower portion a sliding board runs, which is hinged to the upper half; this enables the camera to be turned instantaneously on its side for the purpose of taking upright pictures. By using the sliding piece already described, the camera is brought central over the legs of the tripod, the structure remaining perfectly rigid. Another advantage gained by this contrivance is, that by turning the camera when fixed by the T screw to the tripod top, so that the lens points upwards, photographs may be readily secured of the beautiful ceilings to be found in many of our ancient and modern buildings, thus meeting a want often experienced.