Taron Marquis

This is another fixed lens rangefinder from Japan. It is my second Taron – the first is a Taron Auto EE . To be honest, Japanese rangefinders became much of a muchness during the 1960s and this camera is no exception.

_1010632
  • lens: Taronar
  • focal length: 45
  • apertures: ƒ/1.8 to ƒ/16
  • focus range: 0.8 m to infinity
  • lens fitting: fixed
  • shutter: Citizen-MVL
  • speeds: 1 s to 1/500 s
  • flash: PC socket
  • film size: 35 mm

This camera measures 137 by 87 by 71 mm and weighs 781 g. The top plate is sparse. The film advance lever is on the right. It has no ratchet so must be moved in one move. It moves through 135º so that is not too hard to do for most of us. The threaded shutter release button is in front of the film advance, the accessory shoe is just left of centre and the folding rewind crank is on the left.

_1010641The rear of the top plate has the viewfinder eyepiece at the left. This is 8 by 7 mm which is large enough for easy use even if not large by modern standards. On the right of the rear of the top plate is the battery compartment. This camera is designed to use a 1.3v mercury battery cell which is no longer available. Between the viewfinder eyepiece and the battery compartment are two screws. Removing these gives access to two adjusters for the rangefinder.

The front of the top plate is mostly taken up by a rectangular fascia. On the far left of this is the maker’s name TARON. Next along is the CdS cell for the light meter. This is followed by a light grey area. This has two functions. First, there is a hard-to-see window for the rangefinder. Secondly, the rest of the grey area provides illumination for the bright lines and the meter readout in the viewfinder. On the far right of the fascia is the viewfinder window.

_1010633As always, the front of the camera is dominated by the shutter/lens assembly. The shutter is a Citizen -MVL shutter. This provides shutter speeds from 1 second to 1/500 seconds. Unfortunately, this shutter does not work. As the shutter is linked to the light meter, the problem might be the meter, the connection or the shutter itself. I do not have any red-out from the meter in the viewfinder so it is possibly the meter.

The aperture ring has apertures from ƒ/1.8 to ƒ/16. The ring is milled to make it easier to turn. The shutter speed ring is smooth and painted back, making it hard to turn. The aperture and shutter speed rings are linked so turn ing one turns the other. I gather the idea is to set the shutter speed and then adjust the aperture until the meter readout is neither red nor yellow. On the underside of the shutter speed ring is the film speed setting. This is in ASA only and runs from 10 ASA to 800 ASA.

The Shutter is flash synchronised and offers either M or X synch. There is also a self-timer lever. This offers 1 13 second delay but I expect that when new the delay will have been between 8 and 10 seconds.

The lens is a Taronar of 45 mm focal length. I aim fairly sure that this is a triplet – going by the number of internal reflections of a specular light source. Its is coated.

_1010634The focus ring is coupled to the rangefinder. The rangefinder appears to be well adjusted. The focus scale for this lens is on the body rather than on the focus ring. The focus range is from 0.8 m to infinity (2.5 feet to infinity).

The base has a standard tripod socket – 1/4 inch UNC (perhaps Whitworth at this age). This socket is quite  a way from the centre of the base which does not bode well for levelness and stability when on a tripod. At the other end of the base is there rewind button. This is nice and large and easy to get at. This needs to be pressed in the entire time you are rewinding.

The back is opened by a sliding catch on the left. Inside is pretty standard. In the centre of the back is the pressure plate. By the catch is a leaf spring to keep the film cassette in place. On the hinge end of the back is a chrome rod to help keep the film flat over the film gate. The film gate has a nice large surround which helps to keep the film flat.

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