Studio photo cameras, also called gazebo cameras, were intended for taking portrait photos indoors. This explains the solid and relatively heavy design of the camera and tripod, allowing for the long exposures of photos.
Cameras equipped with cardboard bellows, covered with leather and canvas, appeared in the 1850s, replacing heavier box-type designs of the sliding camera type. The use of lighter cardboard bellows not only deceased the weight, but also allowed for more precise focusing by sliding the front or rear section of the camera through the use of gears. Studio cameras, equipped with bellows of similar design, were still being made by some producers until the 1980s — an unusual phenomenon in the history of photographic technology.
Elaborated by Marek Maszczak (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved