Dallmeyer Studio Camera - information sought

Some time ago I bought this camera. It needs some sort of restoration as its been well used! I can either try to find out what it looked like and rebuild it as it originally was or slide in a 5" x 4" back (easy solution). Originally the space where the ground glass was (now missing) suggests that it was 6.25" x 6.25" format. Does anyone have any information regarding its likely date, whether it was wet or dry plate and any other data or links? I have the bellows which will just about serve as a template for replacements and it works fine (some swing/rotation on the back, gear drive and front moves correctly). The ground glass holder had a bent hinge (rectified but has something (two hinges?) missing at the base of the rear of the camera and I'm unsure what these supported.I assume that it had a slide or repeating back at some stage although the 'groove' of 0.35 inches depth is an odd measurement. The dovetails are probaly not machine cut as they are proper dovetails rather than square cuts.I have two JHD lenses which I can fit to it. Any information gratefully received!




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  • I would love to but I'm up on Arran. Next time I'm heading down perhaps!

  • No Problem Paul, If you are ever in the Wigan/Leigh are pop in to the studio and take a look.


  • Thanks Tony. And yes, they are different but very similar so I wouldthink that they are from the same maker which looks to be W Watson & Sons as they were makers from around the 1880s. Introguingly the earlyphotography website suggests that camera parts were 'standardised' from 1888 and looking at yours it would seem that some sections may well be near identical. Mine is single extension but the back rotates around a vertical axis which explains this. So it looks like I have a start date for it now too. Many thanks.

  • Very similar in style to my Watson and Sons studio camera that I renewed for wet plate use.

    Mine still has the sliding back mechanism in place, but I often see these hinged backs, not sure if they came like that or were a later adaptation

    Here's a link to mine before work.





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  •  Why not put the bellows back and leave it in peace.
    There should be a serial number on the bottom.


    • The serial number is unfortunately unreadable (I can't tell whether it is even 4 or 5 figures). If it was a really good condition I would leave alone, but as a hacked about camera with a completely disintegrated bellows its not exactly collectable, but can be brought into working/usable condition again (I have done so with well used Gandolfis, always ensuring that they can be returned to 'oroginality' as much as possible). Unless of course it is actually a very rare Dallmeyer in which case it should be in a museum. Hence my query.

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