Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Folding Reflex Camera

Newman & Guardia

Name: Folding Reflex Camera
Type: Single Lens Reflex Camera
Manufacturer: Newman & Guardia Ltd
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Folding single lens reflex camera, fitted with trellis style side struts to hold the lens standard rigid. To erect the camera the front standard is pulled forward until it catches, the focusing hood being unfolded at the same time. The internal focusing screen is raised into position by a lever on the side of the body. Focusing is achieved by a use of a helical mount on the lens rather than by movement of the lens standard, which remains fixed in a single position.
Production Period: 1921 - 1950s


Plate / Film Size: 2½" x 3½" plate in double dark slides or rollfilm adapter
Lens: Ross Xpres F=136mm f4.5 (serial 104055) with bayonet mount
Shutter: N & G focal palne shutter, speeds 1/10 - 1/800, B, T
Movements: Rising front, tilting front
Dimensions (w x h x l): 15 x 32 x 19 cm (open)
Date of this Example: c1924
Serial Number: Serial FR208 stamped onto plate just in front of hinge line
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 604

<Photographs to be added>


This example of the Folding Reflex camera by Newman & Guardia is the Standard model but in the smaller 2½" x 3½" size.The revolving back has an inner frame that is removable / interchangeable to allow plates or a roll-film back to be fitted. Unfortunately the inner frame adapter needed to take the DDS that came with the camera (9 in all, three in a separate leather pouch case) has been lost. The camera has a Plaubel rollfilm back fitted, the inner frame for this having survived.

The serial number is FR208 and based on information on serial data from the Early Photography web site this example is likely to date to about 1923-24. The camera was introduced in 1921. In 1924 this camera retailed for £48, when fitted with this lens, a considerable sum of money at that time.

The leather covering is showing some wear with edging having come away along the hinge line and near the shutter dial. However the camera is generally in good sound condition.

The focal plane shutter appears to be operational. There is a simple speed selector on the right hand side and the dial to wind up the shutter. The release is on the left hand side (looking from the rear). The width of the slit is varied by a second blind, thus controlling the exposure.

The camera has been held in a solid leather case which has therefore protected the outer leather on the camera to some degree.

The Ross lens is fitted in a helical focus mount (standard N & G arrangement) as the camera itself has no focusing. However the lens standard is equipped with a conventional rising front and an unusual tilting mechanism that acts on the lens panel, controlled by a rotating dial just above the lens panel.


The camera came with an original N & G leather case, which has two partitions. The larger takes the camera and, just about, the fitted rollfilm back. The narrower partition is not full depth and has a push in lid with a leather tab. Inside were a number of other components. One is a solid aluminium extension tube (one end fits to the bayonet mount while the the other face has the mounting ring to take the lens). There is also a second bayonet plate but mounted on a round aluminium plate with 4 mounting holes and a shallow aluminium flared tail section and it is assumed that this was intended to fit to another camera in order to reuse the bayonet mount and thereby share lenses with this camera.