It is a form well suited for colour photography.

A great convenience to this type has recently been added to the "Sinclair Una " in the form of revolving back. This enables the plate to be instantaneously changed from the vertical to a horizontal position and vice versa.


The foregoing matter will give some idea of the various patterns and perhaps it would not be out of place to say on what lines the reader should be guided in selecting an instrument.

Firstly. Buy the best of the kind you want if you can afford it. Economy with the instrument is generally false economy, and a camera is as a rule worth what it costs, providing the makers are firms of repute. This does not mean that the most expensive is the best for your purpose, for your aim may be limited in scope. It is of no use buying a Gatling gun to kill a rook, but on the other hand, a rook rifle would be of little use in warfare. Decide on the limits of your work and then buy the best within those limits.

Secondly. Buy the Simplest, and this will probably not be the lowest in cost although cheapest in the long run. Camera makers are much like dressmakers. The cheap article has a superfluity of trimming to hide its defects. Should you only have a limited amount to spend and two instruments are listed at the same price, one on which every conceivable contortion is possible and with triple extension and the other simpler and consequently more lastingly rigid in design, then choose the latter. It will be doing good work when the former is firewood. Care in obtaining the best instrument will save many pounds in materials.


Having purchased your camera, consider its use seriously. Even if it is the cheapest possible instrument good work may be done, if you will recognise its limitations and understand its capabilities. Many beginners are extremely surprised and mortified when they find that the first dozen plates or films they expose are worthless because of movement or under-exposure. Did not they buy a camera with " instantaneous lens and shutter ? " Then how can the pictures be shaken and why are they under-exposed ?

Study Makers' Instructions. The first thing to do is to carefully examine the instrument, at the same time studying any instructions for its use issued by the makers. Many cameras, with Focal Plane Shutters especially, have been placed out of order by the purchaser forcing or winding some screw of which he did not know the use. Learn every detail about your instrument, as well as its limitations.

Examine your Shutter. I have for years preached to makers of shutters and tried to get them to restrict their imaginations regarding the speeds at which their shutters work. They always say that the public does not want to know the actual speeds but only what they think the actual speeds should be. So when one large manufacturer marks a shutter actually working at 1/35th as 1/100th second another maker whose shutter works at perhaps just over 1/100th second marks it at 1/300th just to keep the proportion right. The best thing for the serious photographer is to get his shutter tested by such an institution as the National Physical Laboratory and obtain what still goes by the name of a " Kew Certificate." Seeing that all exposure tables with rapid plates are dealing with fractions of a second it is really advisable for the photographer to have something within 50% of accuracy. A new shutter, the Newman and Sinclair " Accurate " is now announced, and the makers state that each one will be issued with a Kew Certificate. This is a step in the right direction, but whether it will be popular with the makers of plates or films is another matter for a large proportion of their present output is wasted by incorrect exposures.

Test the Focussing Scale. Place the camera on a table or stand and focus a distant object on ground-glass screen or where a screen is not supplied, put a piece of ground glass in the position which will be occupied by the sensitive surface. When the distance is microscopically sharp on the screen the index should point to Infinity, usually marked " I " on the scale, and the other distances can be tested in the same way. Convenient distances are 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 12 yards and Infinity. It is so easy to judge yards by taking long strides from the subject it is intended to photograph, whereas such distances as 7, 11, etc., feet are difficult to compute.