Bencini Comet 44

Bencini Comet 44
Comet 44, front view

This is a later development of the Comet line.  I also have a Comet S which is a half-frame camera.  This Comet is a full-frame camera.  It is a well designed and well made cheap camera.  In that respect it compares well with the Japanese Meisupii and Halina ranges which are not that well made. This is a 127 camera which takes square pictures 4 x 4 cm (hence the ’44’ in the name?).

The main body is made from cast aluminium alloy with an anodised finish.  Internally, there are some aluminium plates as well.  The back, which is also aluminium, comes away entirely to load the film.
The lens is marked as Bencini Acromatic 5.5 cm, f8.  The lens is actually a simple single meniscus lens.  In this camera, the lens is loose because someone has attempted to dismantle the camera.  Unfortunately, it is not possible to tighten the lens without a special tool which I do not have.
The shutter is a simple shutter with two speeds – 1/100 and 1/50 – and includes flash synchronisation.  The flash sync. mechanism is rather crude and is unlikely to work with electronic flash.
On the top plate on the left is the spool release to allow the insertion of a new roll of film – this is pulled up while putting the film in or taking the used spool out.  It is spring loaded to keep the film securely in place.
Bencini Comet 44
Comet 44, top view


Next to the spool release is an accessory shoe with a large chrome spring.  Next to this is the shutter release.  This is nicely placed for the index finger.  The last item on the top plate is a knurled chrome knob to advance the film.  This also pulls up to allow the insertion of an empty spool and removal of the finished film.
In the centre of the top is a bright yellow viewfinder.  That is, it looks yellow until you use it but looking through it, it is purple.  As is usual with roll film cameras, there is a red window on the back to allow you to see the frame numbers when you are winding the film on.

Author: John Margetts

I am a keen photographer who also collects cameras. I am retired with about 50 years photography experience.

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