TYPE B and C
The problems of manual plate changing were largely overcome in August 1915 when a semi-automated exposed plate transfer and shutter operation mechanism was attached to an A Type camera body. The resulting camera was designated the C Type. The plate transfer mechanism was fitted with three 18 plate magazines, two containing the unexposed plates, the other empty ready to receive the first 18 plates once exposed. A series of magazine switching mechanisms allowed the exposure of all 36 plates without the need to remove any of the magazines from the camera. This camera fitted with a 10 inch lens, three magazines, two containing 18 plates each, weighed about 26 lbs. The C Type camera, fitted on a wooden frame and mounted on the side of the aircraft became the standard RFC issued camera until the spring of 1917.
16 Wing Photographic Section (RFC/RAF) in Salonika 1917-1919 - Type C camera carried by fitter © IWM (HU 97468)
Type C camera fitted to a BE2c © IWM (Q 33850)
The Type B was developed and introduced in mid 1916 a delay due mostly to shortages of optical quality glass. It was manufactured solely at the RFC repair depots in France and was developed to satisfy the requirement for high resolution oblique photography. This was an enlarged version of the Type A using 81/2 X 61/2 inch plates and a means of fitting longer lenses through the use of a metal tubular extension to the main body of the camera of up to 20 and 40 inches. Most of the first B Type cameras were constructed using captured German camera lenses. The Type B illustrated has been fitted with a semi automated plate changing mechanism.
Type B camera with changing mechanism © IWM
Type B camera fitted in a FE2 © IWM (MH 33756)