The London Four

I recently took a weekend trip to London and decided to see what I could find in the way of British cameras. Happily, hours spent at the Portobello Road Market were not in vain as I came away with four interesting cameras, three of which can be considered British.

Houghton Ensign Cupid

This was the camera that first caught my eye in one of the stalls at the Portobello Road Market. With what quick research I had done before leaving the States, I knew what it was.

Houghton Ensign Cupid.

Unfortunately, though this example is in good working order, it is missing the clip-on bright finder. If anyone has a lead on one of these, please let me know.

MakeEnsign (Houghton)
Format120 (4x6cm)
SpeedI, T
 ~f14 ~70mm
Light MeterNo

Hunter Purma Plus

Hunter Purma Plus. This example has the screw on cap to contain the spring loaded lens.

This Purma Plus is rough, there is no getting around that. However, for the price I felt it was well worth it. Many of my cameras are not pretty, but they work. I love that you adjust the shutter speed with gravity. Depending on how you orient the camera the speeds are 1/25, 1/150, and 1/500.

The Purma appears to be in excellent mechanical order for its age and will not take much to get it in fine working condition.

ModelPurma Plus
Speed25, 150, 500
LensPurma Anastigmat
 f6.3 55mm
Focus1ft – ∞
Aperturef6.3 (fixed)
Light MeterNo

Ica Bébé 41

Ica, Ica, Bébé… can’t touch this. Photo Time! I found this camera at the same stall as the Houghton Ensign Cupid. Besides the obvious design characteristics, what stood out to me is the removable 120 roll back.

ICA Bebe
ModelBébé 41
Format120 (originally plate)
SpeedB,M,Z,1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200
LensCarl Zeiss Jena Tessar
 f4.5 120mm
Focus2ft – ∞
Aperturef4.5 – 36
Light MeterNo

Kershaw Eight-20 Penguin

Kershaw Eight-20 Penguin. I love that this camera was originally sold a couple of miles from where I picked it up years later.
ModelEight-20 Penguin
SpeedB,I (1/50-1/60)
LensCarl Zeiss Jena Tessar
 f11 120mm
Focus6ft – ∞
Aperturef11, f16 (lever-selected)
Light MeterNo

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