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Art Deco Cameras

Ensign Mickey Mouse


Ensign Mickey Mouse Box
Ensign Mickey Mouse
Manufacturer: Houghton-Butcher
Produced: 1935
Body Type:Box
Film Type:M10 Rollfilm
Film Width:35mm
Image Size:1⅝ x 1¼
No. of Images:6
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:60mm
Focus Range:10ft to inf.
Aperture Type :Fixed
Aperture :f/18
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B,I*(1/50 sec)
Size (w x h x d):60 x 87 x 83 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

star star star star
Significant: Pronounced and self evident

  • Produced during the main Art Deco period;
  • Repetative geometric pattern on body covering;
  • Chrome highlights on winder and door catch;
  • Ensign and Mickey Mouse embossed on covering;
  • Mickey Mouse foil decal.
Cardboard Box
Cardboard Box


Embossed Name
Embossed Name

The Ensign Mickey Mouse Box camera is a very small camera only 9cm high. It is made from wood. The name 'Ensign' is embossed in a diamond on the front as well as the 'Mickey Mouse' name embeded in a ribbon shape. The synthetic covering has a repetative geometric pattern. There is a foil decal of Mickey himself on the front below the lens. It is difficult to find and example of this camera with a decent foil Mickey as well as an intact strap.

It uses special M10 film which is similar to Ensign's E10 rollfilm. It takes six 1⅝ x 1¼ images. It is fitted with a simple and rather ineffective wire frame viewfinder.

It has a fixed focus meniscus lens. Shutter has two settings: instant or time, although the time setting is more like 'bulb'. Frame advance is achieved using a tommy bar winder and registration of the frame is via a red window.

Both the camera and film were made by arrangement with Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Limited.

How to Use

This camera takes M10 film which is no longer available. The spools are 36mm wide so it is possible to use 35mm film with some backing paper. You could make your own film by cutting down 120.

As the shutter speed is only 1/50s, it is advisable to use a tripod to get clear shake free images. However, holding it against a wall or other solid object would work as well. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summers day (May - August) in the UK.

Remember that the exposure guide in the manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/50s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/18+1½ Stops
SunnyDistinctf/18½ Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/18-½ Stop
OvercastBarely visiblef/18-1½ Stops
Not Acceptable
Heavy OvercastNonef/18-2½ Stops
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
Nonef/18-3½ Stops
Not Acceptable

Photographs taken with this Camera

Kodak Portra 160 film cut down to 35mm. Developed in Tetenal

Dolly and Ted
Dolly and Ted