Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Sinclair Una Camera

Sinclair & Company Ltd, [James A]

Name: Sinclair Una
Type: Hand & Stand Camera
Manufacturer: Sinclair & Co Ltd, [James A]
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Extremely well made hand & stand camera. Similar in design, and in competition with, the Sanderson hand & stand cameras of the same period. Like the Sanderson it has a flap on the top face to allow use of wide angle lenses.
The Sinclair Una was offered in several different models; the one shown here is the Standard model that was leather covered. There was also a Tropical model in teak and two De Luxe models.
Production Period: 1904 - 1940
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Plate / Film Size: ¼ plate
Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar f4.5, F=13.5cm
Shutter: Ring Set Compur, T, B 1 - 1/200
Movements: Rising and tilting front
Dimensions (w x h x l): 5¾ x 6 x 3¾ (closed)
Date of this Example: c1915
Serial Number: No obvious serial on the camera body. Lens serial 1187556, shutter 1114045
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 396


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This is an example of the Standard model of the Sinclair Una camera, covered in black leather. The camera is in good condition, partly no doubt as it has been kept in its hide case. Only known faults are that the viewfinder has been removed (and lost), there is a slot cut in the leather on the top that looks like it once held a name plate and the brass screw for the rising front has been replaced with an ugly round head screw.

It has square section black bellows, which suggest an early model, but it has a revolving back rather than a reversible back (so post 1909). Further it also has a flat spring on the top of the lens board to release the tilt mechanism, which according to a summary of changes on the Early Photography web site makes this post-1914. So perhaps about 1915?

The camera is equipped with a Zeiss-Ikon ring set Compur shutter and Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar lens.

Camera and accessories are held in a very neat red velvet lined hide case with 6 DDS (3 mahogany, 3 ebonised), marked with a Westminster Photographic Exchange retail badge.


The previous owner had been a professional photographer and had bought the camera in about 1970.