Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Long Focus Cycle Camera

Bullard Camera Company

Name: Long Focus Cycle
Manufacturer: Bullard Camera Company
Country of Origin: US
Production Period:  


Plate / Film Size: 5 x 4 plate
Lens: Missing (see notes)
Shutter: Missing (see notes)
Movements: Rising & cross front and tilting / rotating back
Dimensions (h x l x w):  
Date of this Example: c1902
Serial Number: No obvious serial on the camera body
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 587


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This is a good example of the uncommon Long Focus Cycle Camera made by the Bullard Camera Company. The makers name is identified on a plate below the lens standard. The name of the camera is not stated; the identification is based on information found on the internet.

The camera is constructed of mahogany, covered in good quality black leather.

The lens panel and shutter are missing. Based on information about other Bullard cameras of the same era, the camera is likely to have had a Victor or Wollensak double pneumatic shutter, with a combination lens to suit telephoto work, possibly by B & L, Rauber, Wollensak or others.

The extending bed that provides the triple extension is of an unusual design, consisting of two nickel plated steel rails, one within the other. The outer rail engages with the rack and pinion; the focussing knob has to be pulled out from the bed when in use but pushed back in to allow the camera to close. The inner rail does not engage with the rack & pinion; rather it is clamped to the outer rail by a wingnut below, which has to be loosened to allow the inner rail to be extended by hand.

The maroon triple extension bellows have chamfered corners and have two loops on the top to allow the free play in the bellows to be taken up when used at shorter extensions. The lens standard provides rising and cross front and the reversible back has a swing back movement (see photos). The reversing back has an unusual button release mechanism.

Bullard also produced another version of this camera equipped with a magazine back (see article).


The camera was bought in the UK and, as far as I can determine, was originally bought in this country. According to the Historic Camera site, the Columbia Optical and Camera Company of London became the sole agents of Bullard in London in 1901.