Burke & James Rexo

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The Rexo cameras were a series of rollfilm cameras made by Burke & James.

The Burke & James No. 3A Rexo was a folding bed camera for large postcard format rollfilm. It had a single extension bellows and a cast metal front standard frame which allowed vertical and horizontal shift movements of the front standard which was made of thick chrome-plated tin. The vertical shift adjustment had to be done with a chrome-plated lever on the lens standard, the horizontal adjustment with the knurled screw that fixed the lens standard frame on the slide. The whole slide/lens-standard unit had to be pulled out of the camera body onto the folding bed rails where it locked in place for infinity focusing. A knurl at the folding bed allowed to adjust focusing down to 6 feet. The two finger grips of the slide where also its unlock levers.

The brilliant finder was tiltable to use it for vertical/landscape shots. It had a turnable hooded viewing frame around its ocular lens, also for switching to landscape view. The 5-blade leaf shutter with 10-blade aperture was labeled Burke & James but was an Ilex General. It had two inscriptions, "Burke & James" and "Ilex Optical Co. pat apl'd for Rochester N.Y.". The shutter had the old U.S. standard aperture scale ranging from 4 to 128. And its speeds were T, B, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100 sec. The Burke & James No. 3A Rexo Special had an Ilex ACME shutter which also offered instant speeds down to 1 sec. and also faster speeds, i.e. 1/200 and 1/300 sec..

The removable camera back and the front-door/folding-bed-base were made of solid tin, the rest of the body mainly of wood. In the back was a red window. All outer metal and wood parts were coated with robust kind of black leatherette.

The same kind of body was used for the smaller and simpler Burke & James No. 1 Rexo Junior, a quite large folding bed camera for type No. 120 film rolls making 6x9cm images. Its Ilex shutter had fewer aperture settings and just the speeds 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 sec. plus B and T mode. It held a Rapid Rectilinear lens in its lens threads. Its brilliant viewfinder was simpler than that of the big 3A Rexo, as well as its focusing. It offered no shift movements of the front standard.

The box cameras of the Rexo series were named Rexoette.

Rexo was also used as brand name for other photo products of Burke & James, for example the renowned were Rexo filters. Another product was the Rexo paper cutter.