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Art Deco Cameras

Ensign Midget Model 33



Ensign Midget Model 33
Ensign Midget Model 33
Manufacturer: Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co Ltd
Produced: 1934 - 1941
Body Type:Folding Strut
Film Type:E10
Film Width:35mm
Image Size:1¼ x 1⅝
No. of Images:6
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:55mm
Focal Range:5ft - inf.
Aperture Type :Multihole
Apertures :f/11, f/16
Shutter Type:Variable
Shutter Speeds:T, B, I(1/25, 1/50, 1/100)
Size Open (w x h x d):90 x 45 x 62 mm
Size Closed (w x h x d):90 x 45 x 18 mm

Art Deco Credentials

star star star star
Significant: Pronounced and self evident


Metal bodied (pressed steel) miniature folding camera with tapered supporting struts that fold away into the body. When extended, the struts are designed to hold the front panel in a rigid position. It features a simple viewfinder that folds out from the back and top, and also a brilliant finder that is normally closed for vertical views but can swing out when a horizonal view is required. It has two stops, one marked 'small' (f/16) and one marked 'large' (f/11). It has a T,B,I shutter with shutter speeds of 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100 s.

It is one of a set of midgets which have model numbers 22, 33 and 55. These numbers refer to the cost when new - ie. 22 shillings, 33 shillings and 55 shillings. A shilling is 5 pence in today's money. However, in 1935 this was a lot of money. 22 shillings=£75 today.

How to Use

Find the manual here.

This camera takes Ensign E10 film which is not available except as expired film. It is possible to roll 35mm film into old backing paper. Or you can make your own backing paper and cut your own film from 120.

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. Number of stops over or under exposure shown in brackets.

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

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

If you are not sure about the light level, err on the side of overexposure - i.e. assume the smaller f number.

Where there is a choice, a larger f number will give a larger depth of field.

For the slower speeds, you may need a tripod to stop blur through shake.

Using ISO 100/125 film


Small= f/16, Large=f/11

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf16
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/11f/11
Heavy OvercastNonef/11f/11
Open Shade

Photographs taken with this Camera

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

Clock Tower, Cardiff Wales
Clock Tower, Cardiff, Wales
Animal Wall, Cardiff, Wales
Animal Wall, Cardiff, Wales
Park House by William Burgess, Cardiff
Park House by William Burgess, Cardiff
Cardiff University, Wales
Cardiff University, Wales