Rochester Optical Co.

New Model Improved Variation 1.5
(Cam Back)

8 x 10
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Celluloid Label - Front Panel: "New Model Improved  Manufactured by Rochester Optical Co., Rochester, NY"
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Date Introduced: 1885 ; Years Manufactured: c.1886 - c.1887
Construction: back focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single or double swing; three-piece lens board; non-reversing
Materials: Honduras mahogany body; cherry bed; red leatherette bellows; brass or nickeled brass hardware; varnish wood finish
Sizes Offered: 3x4; 4x5; 4x6; 5x7; 5x8; 6-8; 8x10

New Model Improved vs. New Model:
     The New Model Improved is a New Model, but with rack and pinion focusing rather than push-pull.  The two models were produced simultaneously over a long period of time, and each had a number of variations, not all of which are illustrated in catalogs.

     There are at least three variations known of the New Model Improved:

New Model Improved Variation 1:
     Variation 1 has a very thin wood frame around its ground glass.  Therefore, for any given plate size, Variation 1 is a smaller camera than either the Variation 1.5 or Variation 2. 

New Model Improved Variation 1.5:
     Variation 1.5
has the thicker frame around its ground glass.  It has the cam-type releases for the ground glass frame, seen in other models, most commonly The Ideal, e.g. The Ideal Variation 1.

New Model Improved Variation 2:
     Variation 2
continues the thicker frame around the ground glass, but goes back to the simple center clip for the ground glass frame.  The cams were would seem to have been more expensive to make than could be continued for this very low cost camera.

American  Journal of Photography, March, 1885, p. 9
Catalog P, Photographic Material, J. W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1886, p. 50
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), distributed by C.H. Codman (Boston, MA), 1886, p. 9

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