The original Naturalist (or Telephotographic) camera was introduced in 1894 and redesigned in 1901. The camera incorporated a 'neat reflex arrangement consisting of a surface silvered mirror suitably placed so as to reflect the image upon the field lens of a specially constructed eyepiece one of the surfaces of which is finely ground'. The design, although practical, could not compete with the new mirror reflex cameras being introduced from first years of the twentieth century and in 1905 the New Naturalists Hand reflex camera was introduced.
The 1908 model (shown here) took the camera to the standard reflex form and combined the 'best features of the well-known Naturalist's Camera with those of the Ledon Reflex'. The camera had 'the capacity for carrying large lenses and the long extension necessary for telephoto and ordinary long focus lenses, and at the same time the full-sized finder with magnifiying eye-pieces and perfect shutter arrangement of the Ledon together with the revolving back.
The camera was produced in to the 1920s and advertising from this period stated: 'The Dallmeyer Naturalist's Reflex Camera has been designed for the use of Naturalists, Zoologists, Big Game Hunters, and others with the view of enabling them to photograph living and inanimate objects at such distances as would otherwise prevent good results'. The Grandac telephoto lenses was fitted in this later period and 'models can be supplied specially made for use in the tropics'.
The camera was made in Kershaw's Leeds factory and made use of their 1904 patented shutter (as had the Dallmeyer Ledon reflex). The camera sold for £42 in 1908 rising to £60 in the 1920s.