Micro Precision Products Ltd (MPP) was a British optical company that between 1941 and 1982 produced cameras and related equipment. (From 1976, its name was MPP Photographic Products Ltd.)
MPP was formed in 1941 to sell equipment produced by Celestion Ltd.; in its early days, MPP employees also worked for Celestion or the related McMurdo Instrument Company. MPP was based in London: in Kingston until 1976, Wandsworth thereafter.
Products[edit | edit source]
MPP's first major product was the Micro Technical Camera, in 1948. This was far in advance of any other camera produced in Britain. Mark II followed in 1949; Mark III in 1951; Mark VI, Mark VII and Mark VIII in 1952, 1956, and 1963. (Mark IV and Mark V were not sold.) These were versatile professional folding bed cameras, designed as sturdy compact view cameras, almost like press cameras but without sports finder. Some are still (2005) in professional use.
The Micro-Press Camera was a press camera available through the 1950s priced £85 (1951 & 54), it differs substantially from the Micro Technical cameras and was based on the Graflex Speed Graphic (Pacemaker) with its top mounted rangefinder pre-dating the Graflex top mounted rangefinder by at least 4 years.
MPP is the only postwar British manufacturer of TLRs. The Microcord (1951) was based on the Rolleicord; it was soon (1952) followed by the Microcord Mk II, with an improved shutter (the German Prontor). The Ross lens is of high quality. In 1958, MPP brought out the lever-wound Microflex, inspired by the Rolleiflex. This had excellent optics (by Taylor, Taylor & Hobson) and the camera was well made, but the crank invited hard use for which it was not designed. Shortly after its introduction, Britain dropped the high duty rates that had made Rollei equipment prohibitively expensive, and the Microflex had to be heavily discounted.
MPP had some kind of agreement with Iloca (West Germany), as a result of which MPP produced and marketed in Britain a number of cameras identical to the Iloca Rapid 1L, a leaf-shutter 35mm camera. They are marked on the top with the names of both companies.
Other products included monorail cameras, fixed-focus prison "mug shot" cameras, enlargers (even for large format), projectors, and a flashgun that was later used for Darth Vader's lightsaber in "Star Wars".
Further reading[edit | edit source]
|Adams & Co. | Agilux | APeM | Artima | Barnet Ensign | Beck | Billcliff | Boots | British Ferrotype | Butcher | Cooke | Corfield | Coronet | Dallmeyer | Dixons | Dollond | Elliott | Gandolfi | Gnome | G. Hare | Houghtons | Houghton-Butcher | Hunter | Ilford | Jackson | Kershaw-Soho | Kodak Ltd. | Lancaster | Lizars | MPP | Newman & Guardia | Perken Son & Rayment | Purma | Reid & Sigrist | Ross | Ross Ensign | Sanderson | Shackman | Shew | Soho | Standard Cameras Ltd | Taylor-Hobson | Thornton-Pickard | Watkins | Watson | Wray|
- Skinner, Basil. Micro Precision Products: The MPP story and the products. Newquay, Cornwall: MPP Publications, 2004. ISBN 0-9546070-1-5 (See mpritchard.com.)
- Wakefield, George L. Camera movements. London: Fountain Press, 1955. The book first describes the movements possible with an MPP Micro Technical Camera Mark VI, and then discusses the use of those movements with this camera.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- "Micro Precision Products" (21 February 2006 version of Wikipedia article).
- Skinner, Basil. Micro Precision Products: The MPP story and the products.