Last weekend I shot two videos of my No. 2 Specials and this weekend I uploaded them to my website. Both cameras date from the period 1898-1904 and were better grade box cameras for the family photographer. The difference between the regular Bullet and Bull's-Eye being that the Specials have a better lens (Rapid Rectilinear) and shutter. This Eastman Triple Action shutter has Bulb, Instantaneous and Time setting (B, I, T). The I setting has three speeds: slow, medium and fast. There is also an iris diaphragm.
The first video shows the No. 2 Bullet Special. See the black insert in the back of the box? This was used when the camera was loaded with roll film, to fill the empty space in the back and to prevent light coming through the little side door and spoil the film. When the camera was used with double glass plate holders, the insert was taken out and the side door then permitted to insert the plate holder.
The second video shows the No. 2 Bull's-Eye Special. It can only take film, so there's no side door. Both cameras are fixed focus, meaning that the pitures where sharp from a few feet onwards. Not having to focus the camera made the instrument more simple to use. It is clear that these models were intended for the amateur who only wanted to take some snaps. The instruments were more expensive, US $ 18 and $ 15, than the regular models, and were aimed at the buyer with a bit more $$ to spend. The "poorer" snapshooter had to do with a camera with meniscus lens and simple rotating shutter.
A couple of days ago I received an invitation from the Fotogeschichte journal to write a small article about Theodor Scheimpflug. The journal is aimed at the professional photographer and photo historian and I am going to add some information about the context of Scheimpflug's work and inventions.