Ensign Bellows Camera


I don’t really know much about this camera, I tried doing a bit of research about it but came up with not a lot about this camera and a whole lot about other ensign cameras, it was made by the ensign company which started production of cameras in 1905 after many years of producing optical glass etc. as far as i can gather/guess this camera started production in the late 1920’s.

I received this camera as a gift from my girlfriend which she bought from a charity shop for around £6, not too bad for the age etc. it has a “synchro” shutter with three shutter settings, Normal, Bulb mode and Timed mode which leaves the shutter open when the shutter leaver is pressed and shuts when pressed again, all of which are changed by a small circular dial on the front of the lens. it has apertures of F11, F16, F22 and F32 which are changed by a small lever under the lens. the door of the camera is opened by pushing a small silver button on the side of the camera and the lens is pulled out manually till it clicks into place in the distance plate.

The distance is set by pushing down the plate and moving the lens backward or forward, it isn’t a quick process so this camera is more suited to when your not in a rush. it takes 8 pictures on a 120 roll which isn’t the most cost effective but you get great detailed negatives from it. I found the pictures varied a little from this camera some came out a little blurry while others were nice and sharp, wether that was down to me or not I’m not sure but this camera can produce some great photo’s. Some of which had some lightleaks but I’m just putting that down to age and general wear and tear of the camera. I found the viewfinder a little hard to use as its small and a little unclear but gives you a good idea of the picture your taking.

Over all i found this camera great and will definitely be pulled out for use again in the near future.

written by dogtanian on 2010-10-17 #gear #tower #120 #review #pigeon #pond #lightleak #bellows #folding-camera #1920 #ensign #user-review


  1. saintjacques
    saintjacques ·

    i couldnt find the history of the camera, but here's a little history on the company. judging by the logos and stuff, i'd assume it's a late 1800's - very early 1900's british camera.

  2. dogma
    dogma ·

    I love folding cameras! Great review!

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