Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Pony Premo E Camera

Rochester Optical Company

Name: Pony Premo E Camera
Type: Hand & Stand Camera
Manufacturer: Rochester Optical Company
Country of Origin: US
Construction: Conventional self-casing hand & stand camera, with shutter integrated into the lens standard. Leather covered wooden body, with polished ("shellacked") baseboard and brass fittings. This was marketed as a simpler camera, suitable for amateur use and especially the young (refer to 1898 reproduction catalogue entry).
Production Period: 1883 - 1899


Plate / Film Size: 4 x 5 plates
Lens: Single achromatic lens. Two apertures available on slider built into lens board
Shutter: Safety shutter for time & instantaneous; integrated into standard and set by turning the milled screw on the front of the standard
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l): 6 x 5½ x 2 inches (closed)
Date of this Example: c1898
Serial Number: Serial 52428 marked on edge above fixing for lens board support strut
  • Common [x]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 73

<Photographs to be added>


This example of the Pony Premo E camera has Rochester Optical Co inscribed on the brass track and so this has to date between 1883 and 1899. The camera is listed in the (reproduction) Premo catalogue for 1898, where it is priced at $8 (including lens, DDS and case).

The Pony Premo E is a 4 x 5 plate camera, with shutter built into the lens board, and therefore an early model. Name carried on brass plate on lens board. Ground glass screen missing. Sprung viewer that allows dark slide to be slid into place.

Needs a good clean, but otherwise the camera is in good order. Leather has some damage on rear with a small section missing, but the remainder is in pretty good condition. Some edge damage to the front door. The shutter is working, though it is a bit sluggish and intermittent.