Folding cameraA folding camera is a camera that can be folded to a compact and rugged package when not in use. The camera objective is attached to a pantograph-like mechanism, in which the lid usually is a component. The objective extends to give correct focus when unfolded. A cloth or leather bellows keeps the light out. When folded, the camera has an excellent physical size to film size ratio. This feature was very appealing when the only film formats available were large or medium format films.
The use of folding cameras began to decline after WWII with the developement of the 35mm film format, which allowed the construction of small-sized cameras without use of a bellows.
Typical pre-war folding camera in unfolded and folded postures.