Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

All Distance Ensign

Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co Ltd.

Name: All Distance Ensign
Manufacturer: Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co Ltd.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Metal bodied box camera, with hinged back for loading. Twin reflex finders and a wire frame direct vision finder. The De-Luxe model was available in various colours (black, red, brown, blue) in a crackle finish, described in the 1932 Ensign catalogue as "crystalline enamel".
Plate / Film Size: 2 B (E20) rollfilm
Lens: All-Distance, with 3 stops
Shutter: Simple T & I
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Production Period: TBD

The photograph below shows the full set of the All Distance Ensign DeLuxe cameras side by side, along with the basic block model. Details about the individual cameras follows below.

Image of All Distance Ensign box cameras (colours)

Model / Variant: De-Luxe / Black finish
Date of this Example: c1930
Serial Number: None
Availability:
  • Common [x]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 638

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (black)

Description

This is an example of the common black metal bodied version of the All Distance Ensign box camera.

The bodywork is in very good condition, with only minor scuff marks to the metal finish. The chrome frame finder and the shutter release are in very good condition, although the finder shows some sign of corrosion as seems to be almost inevitable with these cameras. The strap is intact, bearing the "Ensign" name. Orange Ensign flash on the front face.

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (black)

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (black)

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Model / Variant: De-Luxe / Brown finish
Date of this Example: c1930
Serial Number: None
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 636

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (brown)

Description

Coloured version of the common black metal bodied All Distance Ensign box camera, finished in the brown.

The bodywork is in good condition, with only minor scuff marks to the metal finish. The chrome frame finder and the shutter release are in reasonably good condition, although the finder shows some sign of corrosion. The strap is finished in brown, to match the camera body. Orange Ensign flash on the front face.

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Model / Variant: De-Luxe / Blue finish
Date of this Example: c1930
Serial Number: None
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 305

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (blue)

Description

Coloured version of the common black metal bodied All Distance Ensign box camera, finished in blue. This is apparently the most common of the colours: brown comes next followed by red.

The bodywork is in very good order. However the chrome frame finder and the shutter release are corroded - a common problem with these cameras. The strap is finished in blue to match the camera body, and has the "Ensign" name stamped into the surface. Orange Ensign flash on the front face.

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (blue)

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Model / Variant: De-Luxe / Red finish
Date of this Example: c1930
Serial Number: None
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 399

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (red)

Description

Coloured version of the common black metal bodied All Distance Ensign box camera, finished in the red. This is apparently the rarest of the colours (according to McKeown).

The bodywork is in very good order, with only minor scrapes and paint loss. The chrome frame finder and the shutter release are also in very good order.

The strap is finished in dark red to coordinate with the camera body, bearing the "Ensign" name.

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (red)

Unlike the other models, the Ensign flash on the front face does not have a coloured backing.

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (red)

Notes

The metal bodied coloured variants of the All Distance Ensign box camera turn up from time to time, but are often in rather poor condition.

The photo below shows a close up of the front of the red camera with the lens tube pulled out for close up work.

Image of All Distance Ensign box camera (red)

The De-Luxe model is listed at a price of 21/- in the 1932 Ensign catalogue.