Calotype camera, c 1850.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 32cm

Calotype camera, c 1850.

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Early calotype cameras were simple boxes; the familiar bellows did not appear until later. This 1850 example, fitted with a lens made by British optician Andrew Ros, is especially interesting in that the camera has a primitive 'rising front' movement. This enabled the photographer to raise the image on the plate, so as to include the tops of tall objects such as buildings without tilting the camera, and thus ensure that parallel lines in the subject did not converge on the print (converging verticals).

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