Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

The Minia Camera

S. J. Levi & Company

Name / Model: The Minia Camera
Manufacturer: S. J. Levi & Co, London
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Production Period: Not known


Plate / Film Size: ¼ plate
Lens: Unmarked f8, lever set aperture.
Shutter: Thornton Pickard "Time" roller blind shutter
Dimensions (h x l x w):  
Date of this Example: c1895
Serial Number: No 1 stamped into frame behind screen. No other obvious markings.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 392

<Photographs to be added>


Very attractive and well built leather covered 1/4 plate Hand & Stand camera, with square section maroon double extension bellows (see photo). The shutter still has its pull string and toggle attached. The bellows are in very good order. The lens is unmarked apart from the f stops, and is quite tarnished. The drop down section has a built in lens cover made of soft leather, which has split, but still functions. The size of this and the lack of marks on the TP shutter suggest that the lens is original to the camera. The camera name & manufacturer are identified on the focus plate.

The camera has been fitted with brass sliders to accommodate a separate viewfinder.

The camera came with a Pullman plate changing box in good order, though it is empty of sleeves. This is also marked with the company name (as initials). The ground glass screen and view hood are intact and in good order.


These are often listed as tropical cameras, but just because they are not leather covered does not mean that they are a tropical version - to be suitable for tropical use a camera would normally be brass bound to reinforce the joints and probably made of teak rather than mahogany.