No. 4 Bullet (1896 - 1900)
This shoe box like camera takes 4 x 5 inch (10 x 12.6 cm) pictures on roll film or glass plates.
It is a rather basic instrument with a simple shutter and lens. There are only a few settings:
In cameras that took larger pictures it was not possible to use a fixed focus lens, like in the smaller No. 2 Bullet. So the photographer had to set the proper distance on a small scale at one side of the camera.
- Instantaneous speed or Time setting
- The choice of three apertures
The simple rotating shutter had one speed: about 1/30 of a second. (I measured 1/28 on my example.) To take photos indoors or outdoors in dull light, one could use the Time setting by pulling out a small lever. It stopped the rotating disc of the shutter halfways, where the opening in the disc crossed the lens. After the exposure of a few seconds, one could close the shutter.
The three apertures have values of f/13.4 - f/18 and f/36. The stops were not marked with these values.
The largest stop of f/13.4 was used for all normal circumstances. The middle stop was used for very bright scenes, like at the beach, and the smallest aperture was used in combination with time exposures.
The camera could be loaded with a spool of film (size 103 was introduced for this camera and the No. 4 Bull's-Eye in 1896) for 12 pictures. It cost 90 cents.
When not loaded with film, the photographer could use it with a single plate holder. This holder was inserted through a narrow door in the bottom panel. One single plate holder cost 75 cents and a dozen glass plates cost 65 cents.
The camera had a price tag of $ 15. About 10,000 were made.
Above a sample picture showing the kind of photo that could be made with a No. 4 Bullet and a No. 4 Bull's-Eye camera.
Below the back side of this photo.