Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Twin Lens Reflex Camera

Ross Ltd

Name: Twin Lens Reflex Camera
Type: Twin Lens Reflex Camera
Manufacturer: Ross Ltd
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Unlike the Ross Portable Divided camera, this later form is a magazine plate camera for 12 plates in sheaths and incorporates a plate changer mechanism. It has an integral extending viewing hood with magnifying lenses built in to aid focussing.
Production Period: 1901 - ?


Plate / Film Size: ¼ plate
Lens: R.J. Beck No 2 Biplanat  Lenses
Shutter: Bausch & Lomb Unicum
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1902
Serial Number: No serial visible on body. Lenses are serial 30681 & 30682
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 416

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This Twin Lens Reflex camera carries a label on the front panel for 'R.J. Beck Ltd, Opticians' so it seems unlikely that they were the manufacturer, although Beck lenses are fitted. The format of the camera matches the description given in Cameras from Daguerreotypes to Instant Pictures (Brian Coe [3], p152) for a version of the Ross TLR introduced in 1902, which has the plate changer mechanism (almost identical to the London Stereoscopic Company Daylight Artists camera) and a square sectioned bellows style of focussing hood, held up on side struts.

The camera body is covered in leather (but not the hide finish of the earlier example) and has sustained some wear, most notably on the front door panel. Internally the camera is in very good condition. Comes with 12 plate sheaths in the back. The plate changer mechanism still seems to operate correctly.

Volume Three (Still More) Photographic Advertising from A-To-Z [8] features a Ross advert that shows this camera. Unfortunately the advert is not dated, but it states that Ross won a Gold medal at the 1900 Great International Exhibition, suggesting that the advert must be from around that time. However the advert shows a line drawing of the camera but with little supporting text.


Compare this camera with the earlier Ross Portable Divided TLR, which uses single plates in a DDS.