1893 Lancaster Instantograph

I bought this camera many years ago hoping to be able to use it a little. The shutter worked and the lenses were dusty but OK.

The trouble was that the holders were meant for glass plates – unobtainable at the time – and were half plate which meant film was difficult to get too. I opted to try and build adapters to allow regular 4×5 holders to be used instead, but without modifying the camera in any way.

They were made from scraps of aluminium sheet and angle which was cut with hand tools and pop-rivetted together. I made one to fit a regular Lisco film holder and one to fit a Grafmatic.

The camera had no ground glass screen, so I took the opportunity to make an adapter to take a spare 4×5 screen that I had. Again, this is a piece of sheet aluminium cut and shaped with hand tools. As you can see the screen is held in place by the brass washers at the edges. To get the correct registration you need to measure carefully from the front face of the back to the ground glass surface and then makes sure that the distance from the front of the adapter to the film surface in the holder is the same.

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