The J. Lizars Challenge plate folders were made since ca. 1898. Luxurious "Tropical" models made of teakwood and a stereo version were available. Plate formats were quarter plate (3¼×4¼") or small 2½×3½" plate, stereo plates were for two 3×3" exposures. Typical were the brass fittings. The common model was covered with black leather. The De Luxe version was available in leather covered body or uncovered body, the uncovered wood parts made of mahogany. That luxury model is more versatile since its bellows and universal swing front allow "enormous rise, extreme side movement, great extension with perfect rigidity, and can be set back for extreme short focus lenses, and tilted to any degree upwards or downwards" [Lizars 1905]. Lizars preferred teak for the tropical variants since this oily wood seemed to be more resistant to humidity than mahogany.

specifications of common 3¼×4¼" versionEdit

  • Type: Folding bed camera
  • Manufacturer: J. Lizars
  • Year of launch: ca. 1905
  • Film: 3¼×4¼" plates (8×10cm)
  • Lens: original lens might have been a Ross Rapid Symmetrical f8/5" or a Ross Homocentric f6.3/5"
  • Shutter: original shutter was of Bausch & Lomb
  • Viewfinder: reflecting type
  • Dimensions: 11.4×14.4×6.7cm (folded)
  • Weight: ca. 740g

specifications of Challenge De Luxe Hand CameraEdit

  • Type: Folding bed view camera
  • Year of launch: 1905
  • Film: 3¼×4¼" plates (8×10cm)
  • Lens: Beck Neostigmar Ser. IIIn No. 3 , or Beck Symmetrical lens

Another series of Challenge folders were the combined plate and roll film cameras in wooden bodies with rounded sides.


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