Houghton's Klito falling-plate magazine camera is made for twelve plates 3¼x4¼ inch (quarter plate) and other sizes in special holders, which slide forward under spring pressure on rails in the camera, and fall to the bottom of the camera after exposure. It has a two part back door; the lower quarter of the door can be opened separately to remove exposed plates.
On top it has a shifter to release the last exposed plate to fall onto the stack of used plates. The camera name "Klito" is imprinted on the box camera's carrying grip. On one side of the camera is a focusing knob. By turning this knob clockwise it moves the whole front part of the box forward by means of a gear rack. A bellows becomes visible through the slit between magazine and box front part. The gear rack becomes visible too. The distance scale of the gear rack is visible through a framed window on the camera's side. That frame bears the camera's full name "Klito No. 1" (in the example illustrated here). When the frame shows the setting "INFINITY" the box is closed, with no more gap between magazine and front part. Then it looks like a big common box camera, with three eye front side.
In the front part are the lens, the shutter, and two quite big and nicely framed brilliant viewfinders, one on a side for horizontal and one on top for vertical image subject spotting. Below the finder on the side is the lever to set the shutter from time to instant mode or vice versa. Below that control is the shutter release lever. In instant mode it opens the shutter when moved down or when moved back up. In time mode it opens the shutter when moved to the actual opposite position (up or down, depending on if its down or up).
A Klito No. 2 was offered for sale at Ebay; this has an iris diaphragm mounted in front of the lens, marked from f/11 to f/32, and a shutter-speed control on the front of the body, below the lens, giving speeds 2 - 1/100 second. A note pasted in the back gives directions on how to adjust the shutter speeds.
The whole camera is constructed of wood, covered with black grain leather or a good leatherette. On the front it bears Houghton's typical little round Ensign badge with the imprinting "Made by Houghtons Ltd London - British made".
There was also a Folding Klito - between 1900 and 1920 - a bellows camera, made in several sizes for different plate sizes. This did not have the falling mechanism for swapping plates.
|c.1905 - Klito No.3|
image by Geoff Harrisson (Image rights)
|image by Uwe Kulick (Image rights)|
- Klito models and sizes (1910 catalogue):
- No. 000 2½×3½
- No.00 3¼×4¼
- Guinea 3¼×4¼
- Post Card 3½×5½
- Example offered for sale at Ebay, November 2014 (item 231388719655).