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Art Deco Cameras

Houghton Ensignette No.2



Houghton Ensignette No.2
Houghton Ensignette No.2
Houghton Ensignette No.2 Folded
Houghton Ensignette No.2 Folded
Manufacturer: Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co Ltd
Produced: 1920
Body Type:Folding Strut
Film Type:Ensign E2
Film Width:2"
Image Size:3" x 1⅞"
No. of Images:6
Lens Type:Achromatic meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:90mm
Focal Range:10ft - inf.
Aperture Type :Iris
Apertures :f/11 - f/32
Shutter Type:Variable
Shutter Speeds:T, B, I(1/20, 1/40, 1/60)
Size Open (w x h x d):127 x 74 x 110 mm
Size Closed (w x h x d):127 x 74 x 30 mm
Serial No.:1034

Art Deco Credentials

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Acceptable: Modest and restricted


The Houghton Ensignette No.2 is a strut folding camera for 3" x 1⅞" pictures on Ensign E2 rollfilm. It takes 6 exposures on the standard E2 film. It is an aluminium bodied camera with leather bellows.

The shutter is a pivoted two-blade return type which is spring powered, giving speeds 1/20, 1/40, 1/60, B, T. Apertures available are f/11 to f/32 by using a lever that adjusts the iris diaphragm.

It has a brilliant reflex viewfinder which folds down when used for storage and in portrait mode. For landscape photos, the viewfinder is raised by swinging it out of the storage position.

Film advance is by red window which does not have a cover. Film advance is not coupled to the shutter. No tripod bush is provided. A small chrome tab pulls out below the lens standard to act as a table stand.

How to Use

View the Houghton Ensignette Manual.

This camera takes Ensign E2 film which is not available. To use this camera you will either have to source some expired film or cut your own from 120 size film. Using expired film will give unpredictable results. Cutting down film will be similar to cutting 120 to make 127 film.

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

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 (May-August) 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 wil need to hold the camera against something solid to avoid blur through shake.

Using ISO 100/125 film

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/22f/16f/16
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/11f/11
Heavy OvercastNonef/11--
Open Shade