Ensign Selfix 420

English medium format folding camera from Houghton-Butcher.

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  • lens: Ensar
  • focal length: 105 mm
  • apertures: ƒ/4.5 to ƒ/22
  • focus range: 4 feet to infinity
  • lens fitting: fixed
  • shutter: Epsilon leaf
  • speeds: 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/150, B, T
  • flash: No!
  • film size: 120

When closed, the camera is a rectangular box with rounded ends. It measures 164 mm (6.5 inches) by 83 mm (3.25 inches) by 34 mm (1.4 inches) and weighs 802 g (1 pound, 12.25 ounces) – I have added the Imperial measurements as the camera was made in England using Imperial units. The end of the box its extended by the catch and a small leather handle.

_1010552The top of the camera, on the right, has a small knurled knob. This pulls out to facilitate loading a new roll of film. At the other end is a larger knurled knob which is the film advance knob. Between the two is the viewfinder. This is just two hinged frames with no glass. The larger is chrome plated and the smaller is painted black. These are sprung so when you lift the chrome frame, the two snap into position. Between these two is a third frame which is not sprung. This is a mask with a square hole for use when taking square pictures – more later. The last thing on the top is a bright plated shutter release button. This is right by the film advance knob and is operated by the left hand.

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The back of the camera is plain apart from the red window – and there are two of these. each of these red windows has a shutter to prevent light from entering and fogging the film. These shutters are far from essential – many medium format cameras have no shutters – but they are a nice touch.

One red window is right in the centre of the back and is used when using the internal mask to take 6 x 6 cm pictures. The shutter on this window is marked ’12’ as that is how many 6 x 6 negatives you get on a roll of film. The other red window is on the lower right and is for when taking full-frame 6 x 9 cm pictures. The shutter on this red window is marked ‘8’ as that is how many 6 x 9 negatives you get on a roll of film.

The base of the camera has two items on it. In the middle is a tripod socket which has the standard 1/4 inch Whitworth thread (not UNC at this age). Also on the base is a small button to release the lens door. According to the manual, the shutter/lens assembly should snap forward to the shooting position under spring [power. My camera needs a helping hand but it is over 70 years old – I am a few years younger than this camera and I no longer do much springing.

The shutter/lens assembly is connected to the camera body with leatherette bellows which appear to be in good condition – I can detect no light leaks but my test film might well tell me different. There are two chrome struts holding the shutter/lens assembly in place which will have been rigid when new but now have some play in the joints. I do not know what the design life of this camera was in 1946 but I expect that it was rather less than 70 years so I cannot complain about a bit of play.

_1010550The shutter issue an Epsilon leaf shutter which was made in England and I suspect was made by Ensign (or, rather, Houghton Butcher – the makers of Ensign cameras). This Ensign Selfix 420 was offered with a choice of two versions of the shutter. My camera has the cheaper option with only four speeds plus B and T. The speeds are the usual (for the time) 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 and 11/150 seconds. The first three are one stop apart but the last, 1/150, is only half a stop faster than 1/100. I assume that the basic design did not allow for 1/200 seconds.

‘B’ is for Bulb (or Brief, according to the manual) and with this setting the shutter will remain open while the shutter release button is depressed. ‘T’ is for Time and this setting opens the shutter which will remain open until the shutter release button is pressed a second time. This is useful for long exposures. On many cameras, there is no need to cock the shutter for B and T but here the shutter must be cocked first. The cocking lever is on top of the shutter housing, at the front, and must be pulled as far as it will go towards the cable release socket. There are two shutter speed scales, one on the front and one on the top of the housing. Speeds are selected by rotating the milled ring at the front of the shutter housing.

There is a useful range of apertures available. These range from ƒ/4.5 to ƒ/22. There is a serious weakness in the design here as the positions of the index marker for ƒ/16 and ƒ/22 are hidden beneath the brilliant viewfinder. There are two sliders available to adjust the aperture. The one on the top is the easiest to use between ƒ/4.5 and ƒ/11 but for ƒ/16 and ƒ/22 it is almost impossible to use. The second slider is underneath the housing and is hard to find by feel – it is just a flat tab – but is necessary for ƒ/16 nd ƒ/22.

The lens is an Ensart which was probably made by Ross. research on the Interweb tells ne very little about this lens. I got the feeling the Ensign used the same name for a number of lens designs. My assumption is that it is a triplet – going by the number of reflections in the lens from a point source of light – four in the front of the shutter and two behind – six reflections = six surfaces = three pieces of glass. This is not a foolproof method of determining the number of lens elements b ut does usually work. There is a slight blue tint to the glass so I think that the lens is coated at least on the front surface but, again, this is not a foolproof method  – it is the best I have available.

The focal length of the lens is 105 mm which is ‘normal‘ for 6 x 9 negatives and a bit long for 6 x 6 negatives. The focal scale runs from five feet to infinity but the closest focus is nearer to four feet.

On the top of the shutter housing is the brilliant viewfinder mentioned earlier. I really do not like these and I find it hard to understand why they added one when they already had the easy-to-use folding frame finder. This brilliant finder is on a swivel so its can be used in either portrait or landscape orientation.

The front of the lens door has the standard folding foot to enable the camera to be used on a firm surface together with a cable release for long exposures. For any indoor photography in 1946 this would be essential as typical film speeds were around 50 ASA (aka ISO). Also on the lens door is a second 1/4 inch Whitworth tripod socket. This socket has a chromed screw-in cap.

The back of the camera is secured by a sliding catch at one end under the small leather handle. Inside, there are two spool chambers, one each side of the film gate. When loading the camera, the new film goes on the right and the spool is located on two pegs – the top peg can be retracted to facilitate insertion by lifting the small knurled knob on the top of the camera. The empty spool from the previous film must be moved to the chamber on the left. Again, there are two pegs and the top one can be retracted by pulling up the film advance knob. This top peg is a key which locates in the slot on the end of the spool.

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Before loading the film you need to decide whether you are wanting to take 6 x 6 or 6 x 9 negatives. If you wand 6 x 6 negatives, you need to fold out the two masking flaps that are stored inside the the top spool chambers. If you want 6 x 9 negatives you need to make sure that the masking flaps are tucked neatly out of the way in the two spool chambers. Once you have loaded the film, it is no longer possible to change your mind.

Test film:

I have finally developed the test film – Ilford FP4+, using the square format. Unfortunately, I had a mishap with my changing bag when loading this film onto the development spiral and managed to cut the fabric as well as the end of the film – this allowed a small amount of light in, sufficient to ruin most of the frames. But a few are not fogged and I will present them here.

Zeiss Ikon Ikonette 504/12

This is a very small folding camera from 1929. The maker is the renown Zeiss Ikon. This is one of the first cameras to be designed by Zeiss Ikon rather than being inherited from the companies that merged to become Zeiss Ikon in 1926.

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The camera is very much a pocket camera – or handbag camera, as according to Zeiss Ikon advertising this was aimed at ladies. Kodak used the name Vest Pocket to describe both their small cameras and the 127 size films used in them (this is the USA usage of ‘vest’, Kodak were not suggesting that you should carry your camera in your underwear). The camera when closed measures 122 by 65 by 25 mm and opens to 122 by 65 by 98 mm and it weighs 290 g.

To open the camera for use, you lift the nickel plated lever/leg in the middle o0f the lens door. The door can then be pulled open – there are no springs involved here. The shutter/lens assembly must then be pulled forward by hand. There is a stop which will leave the lens focused at infinity. The base of the shutter/lens assembly runs between two chrome rails and is pulled by two chrome studs.

P1010355The shutter/lens assembly is connected to the camera body with folding bellows. These are made from black leatherette and, after exactly 90 years, are still flexible and light tight. This is one of the advantages of Zeiss Ikon as Agfa bellows of this age are rarely light tight. The lens board/lens door is held in place by two chrome struts which click easily into place.

The shutter is anonymous, is an everset type and only offers one speed which is labelled I. I suspect this speed is somewhere between 1/25 and 1/60 seconds. As the negatives from this camera are unlikely to have been enlarged – contact printing being usual in 1929 – a small amount of camera shake will not have been important. The shutter also has a B setting where the shutter remains open while the shutter release lever is depressed. The selector for this is on the top of the shutter housing.

The shutter release lever is just below half-way down the right hand side of then shutter housing. About one quarter of the way down is a small, threaded, hole. This is for a standard cable release.

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The aperture control is on the left hand side of the shutter housing. Three apertures are provided. These are ƒ/9, ƒ/16 and ƒ/32. As this is a cheap camera, the apertures are provided by Waterhouse Stops which are a series of holes which can be moved behind the lens. Where only three apertures are provided this is much better than can iris diaphragm. On the front of the shutter housing is the Zeiss Ikon logo above the lens and the camera name “Ikonette” below the lens.

The lens is in the centre of the shutter housing. The lens is a Goerz Frontar lens. Goerz was one of the camera makers that combined to form Zeiss Ikon in 1926. According to the Interweb, the Frontar is a cemented doublet – two pieces of curved glass glued together. The name “Frontar” appears on the lens bezel above the lens (no mention of Goerz!). Below the lens on the bezel is the information 1:9 and ƒ=8cm. The first is the maximum aperture – ƒ/9 – and the second is the focal length – 8 cm or 80 mm. Before WWII, it was usual to designate focal lengths in cm rather than mm (or inches in the British Empire and the USA).

The diagonal of the  negative is 75mm so an 80 mm lens is very slightly longer than ‘normal‘.

P1010359To open the camera for loading a film, you must slide a small chrome stud on the base and then pull the top and bottom apart. The base, back and both ends of the camera come away in one piece, leaving the body with the bellows and shutter/lens assembly. The body is made from pressed steel which is painted black. On the base of the camera body is the body serial number in the standard ICA/Zeiss Ikon format. It is R12311. The ‘R’ tells us that the body was made in 1929 (or very early 1930).

P1010361The film plus empty spool fit at either end of the body. There is a hinged flange at the base, with a hole to take the end of the 127 film spool. The film spool fits into a hole at the other end of the spool chamber where there is a chrome spring to stop the spool moving in use. The take-up spool (the empty spool from the last film) needs to rotate to wind the film on so one end locates in the film advance key. this key will only rotate in one direction.

The outside of the camera is covered with black leatherette with the edges of the camera painted black. there is a square pattern embossed in the leatherette. On the front of the camera, near the winding key, the legend “Ikonette” is embossed. On the other end is the catalogue number 504/12. The back of the camera has the Zeiss Ikon logo embossed on one end. The centre of the back has a red window to allow the user to read frame numbers when winding the film on. As this is a full-frame 127 camera, there will be a total of eight frames on each roll of film.

Plaubel folder

This is a dual-format folder from Germany. There is no name on this camera apart from the name “Plaubel A.G. Frankfurt a. M.” on the lens bezel. Plaubel are better known for their range of folding large format cameras – the Plaubel M.

P1050330This camera is a run-of-the-mill medium format camera. The camera has a rim-set Compur shutter with a serial number of 275xxxx which gives a date of 1934 for the shutter. The camera will have been made that year or the next year. The entire serial number is not visible but I know the general date by the fact that it is a rim-set shutter – introduced in 1929 – which means a seven digit number so two million, seven hundred thousand and some.

Research on the Interweb tells me that Plaubel bought in their roll film cameras from Balda and that this particular camera is really a Balda Gloria. The Balda Gloria was made in 1934 which ties in with the shutter date.

Visually, it is very like my ICA and Zeiss Ikon Icarette cameras but the details show this to have been a cheaper model – but still not cheap. The body is made from pressed steel (rather than aluminium alloy) with the bulk of the camera covered with leather (and not leatherette as you might expect on a cheaper camera) and the edges nickel plated. The camera has clearly been kept somewhere damp as there is rust coming through the nickel plating and the nickel itself has significant green verdigris.

It was usual at this time to emboss maker and model names in the leather but, apart from some straight line ornamentation, there is no embossing here. Also missing is the legend “Made in Germany” indicating that this is unlikely to be an export model (it is slightly possible that it was embossed with “Made in Germany” and that the embossing has disappeared but you can usually see such embossing even if it is too faded to read).

When closed, the camera measures 156 by 78 by 39 mm and weighs 612 g. When open for use, the baseboard extends to 130 mm. The top of the camera is plain apart from the folding viewfinder. This is just two hinged frames with no glass. The eye-piece of the finder is a plain steel plate with a 10 by 6 mm hole in it. The other frame has a 30 by 20 mm hole with a 14.5 by 20 mm central portion. If you are using the 6 by 9 cm format, you view the scene through the outer hole and if you are using the optional half-frame insert (6 by 4.5 cm) you view the scene through the inner hole.

P1050332The ‘bottom’ of the camera contains more items. About 1/3 of the way along is a large – 28 mm diameter – disc with a 3/8 inch tripod socket in the centre. At the far end is the film advance knob – also 28 mm. The film advance knob pulls up to facilitate inserting and removing the take-up spool – more later. Just by the film advance knob is a small button which releases the hinged lens door.

P1050331The back of the camera has two red windows. These are for viewing the frame numbers on the film’s backing paper. If you are using the camera full frame (6 by 9 cm negative) then you use the red window near thew the left edge of the camera. If you have inserted the 6 by 4.5 cm mask, then you use both windows – number 1 on the outer window, then number 1 on the inner/right hand window followed by number 2 on the outer/ left hand window followed by number 2 on the inner/right hand window and so on until number 8 has been used on both windows, giving 16 negatives on one roll of 120 film. Both of these red windows have a swivelling brass cover to prevent light coming in through the window and fogging the film.

P1050333The front of the camera opens by the small button already mentioned. The front opens itself on a spring – it does not open all the way but I suspect that it did when new. This is a self-erecting camera – the shutter/lens assembly moves forward to the shooting position on its now – which was a new idea in the early 1093s.

The shutter is a Compur shutter which was the up-market alternative to the prontor shutter (both were owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung, by the way). This shutter offers speeds from 1 second to 1/250 seconds. There are also B and T options. B is where the shutter remains open while the release lever is depressed. T is where the shutter opens when you press the shutter release lever and stays open until you press the shutter release lever a second time.

P1050335This shutter needs to be cocked before it will work. The cocking lever is towards the top of the shutter housing by the shutter speed scale and must be turned clockwise towards the top of the housing. When the shutter is set to 1/250 seconds, the cocking lever requires significantly more effort to move. At the top of the cocking lever’s travel is a small flush button. moving this towards the camera body allows the cocking lever to move 5 mm further. This additional movement sets the delay timer. On my camera this is a delay of 23 seconds but when the camera was new would have been 8 – 10 seconds. This self-delay cannot be set with a shutter speed of 1/250 seconds, not can a shutter speed of 1/250 seconds be set if the self-delay timer has already been set on another shutter speed. When using B and T settings there is no need to cock the shutter as the timing mechanism is not required. If the shutter is already cocked, you cannot set B or T.

P1050334The shutter release is a lever on the lower right of the shutter housing. Above this, and just below the cocking lever, is a threaded hole to take a standard cable release. The serial number for the shutter is between the cocking and release levers. Unfortunately, this number is mostly obscured by the mounting struts but enough is visible (three digits) to date the shutter to 1934.

The apertures are set by a lever below the shutter housing. This offers apertures from ƒ/3.9 to ƒ/25. This is the older, European aperture scale which became obsolete during the first decades of the 20th century. It works in exactly the same way as modern aperture scale as moving to the next higher number halves the diameter of the aperture. The maths from which the scale is derived is also the same: the physical diameter of the aperture is divided into the focal length of the lens. So, ƒ/6 is the lens’ focal length (100 mm divided by the aperture diameter (16.7 mm) giving 100/16.7 = ƒ/6. The scale on this camera is continuous without click stops so intermediate apertures can be set.

The lens is a Plaubel Anticomar. Information on the Interweb leads me to think that this is a Tessar clone – four elements in three groups. The maximum aperture is ƒ/3.9 and the focal length is 10 cm (which, obviously, is 100 mm). The change from declaring focal lengths in cm to mm occurred slowly through the 1940s. Focusing is by way of a helical rather than the older system of sliding the lens. This is front cell focusing – only the front piece of glass moves, rather than the entire lens. The focus range of the lens is from 1.5 m to infinity. This lens has a serial number of 89043.

P1050336On the top of the shutter housing is a viewfinder which is a brilliant finder. This finder swivels to allow the camera to be used in either portrait or landscape orientation. There is also the folding finder mentioned earlier which is much easier to use and also includes framing for the half-frame option.

Then shutter/lens housing is connected to the camera body  by leatherette bellows. These bellows are always a weak point with folding cameras. All my Zeiss Ikon and Voigtländer folders from the 1920s and 1930s have bellows in good condition yet Agfa folding cameras are notorious for having bellows with small light leaks. The bellows on this camera have been repaired inside with black fabric tape so I must assume that each piece of tape represents a light leak.

On either side of the bellows are the metal struts that hold the camera lens door and the shutter/lens housing in place. When open, the shutter/lens housing is held rigidly in place with no p-lay – this is important as the lens needs to be exactly parallel to the film. There are three struts on either side, the front and rear struts are chrome plated and the middle strut is painted black.

To close the open camera, you need to press the tops of the struts towards the back of the camera and then lift the camera.

P1050337Inside the back of the camera are two spool carriers, one at either end. The reason for having spool carriers light baffle against any stray light coming in the hinge or the catch. German cameras never used foam light seals.

The spool carrier near the hinge takes the new, unexposed film. The spool carrier swings out on a hinge and, as it does so, one end springs out a few mm to ease the insertion or removal of the roll of film. At this end, the film spool is held o0n two short round pegs.

P1050338The take-up spool for the exposed film goes at the other end. The spool carrier at this end needs to be released before it can be swung out. Releasing the spool carrier is achieved by pulling the film advance knob away from the camera body. The take-up spool fits o0nto a short round peg on the lower end and then, once the spool carrier has been swung back into place, the film advance knob needs to be pushed back into position. The film advance knob locates in the take-up spool with a flattened key which sits in the slot at the end of the spool. The take-up spool is actually the film spool left over from the previous film and must be moved from one end of the camera to the other.

Incidentally, spools from various makers and from various times differ in detail. The empty spool that was in this camera when I bought it only has a slot at one end (it is a metal Kodak spool) and needs to be fitted the right way around. All the plastic spools I can recollect have the slot at both ends.

The film gate sits between the two spool carriers. This has four grooves, top and bottom, to allow for air movement. Oner of the weaknesses of folding cameras is that when you extend the bellows you generate a partial vacuum which can pull the film towards the lens resulting in a curved piece of film in front of the lens. This would cause the image in the centre of the frame to be soft. The grooves allow air to move into the bellows without the film moving.

At either end of the film gate is a chrome roller. These are to prevent film scratches as the film moves across the film gate.

With the front of the camera closed and the back open, you can inspect the rear of the lens. The rear lens element is clean, clear and fungus free. Unfortunately, I can also see the iris diaphragm. One blade of this is out of place and is obscuring the lower part of the aperture. It still moves as the aperture is adjusted but remains in the wrong place.

Kiev 35A (Киев 35A)

A Kiev 35A folding camera from Ukraine.

This Kiev 35A is an attractive, folding and compact 35mm camera from the Ukraine. This is my second Kiev, the other being the much larger Kiev 4 rangefinder camera. When closed, the camera fits nicely in the palm of my hand and is unobtrusive in my trouser pocket. These cameras have a very poor reputation and I am assured that it is next to impossible to find a working exemplar. Well, Odin must be smiling on me as my Kiev 35A works – the meter is responsive and the shutter fires; the test film will tell me about the light leaks that this camera is notorious for. Even better – I have the original box and printed instruction book. The instruction book is dated 1992 so I assume that the camera was made soon after this date. It was made in the Ukraine (in Kiev!) in the Arsenal factory. (I have scanned the instruction book and it is available for download from my Google Drive here [there are several other manuals available the same place]).

Kiev 35A www.oldcamera.blog
  • lens: Korsar
  • focal length: 35mm
  • apertures: f/2.8 to f/16
  • focus range: 1 m to infinity
  • lens fitting: fixed
  • shutter: leaf
  • speeds: auto
  • flash: hot shoe
  • film size: 35mm

When closed, the camera measures 100 by 64 by 33 mm. When open, the camera extends to 84mm. The camera weighs 190 g. The camera body is made from a textured grey plastic. Actually, the plastic is black, the textured grey being paint. The inside is black plastic with a chrome plated metal film gate. The camera feels very solid.

The camera uses aperture priority automatic exposure. The user sets the film speed and aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed which is steplessly varied between 4 seconds and 1/500 seconds. There is no manual option.

When the camera is closed, the lens is hidden, the electronics are switched off and the shutter release button is locked. In this closed state, the only controls available are the film advance lever and the rewind crank. the film advance lever (which is very stiff in my camera) moves through 90º and needs to be swung twice to advance the film one frame. This lever is on a ratchet so you can move the lever a smaller amount repeatedly. This lever is attached to a milled wheel and it is possible to ignore the lever and rotate the wheel instead. I am not sure what is going on there. 

The other accessible control is the rewind crank. This is 18mm diameter when closed and opens to 30mm. As is usual, it is necessary to press a button on the base to free the film advance mechanism but there is no need to hold the button in while rewinding. Also on the top is a red, square, plastic shutter release button. This is threaded for a standard cable release. This button is locked while the camera is closed. There is also a hot shoe accessory shoe with a black plastic cover. Also on the top is the frame counter. This has red numbers but only zero and then every fifth number – the rest are not even dots. The numbers go up to 36 (which is also there in red) and further film advancing will not move the numbers any further.

The camera is opened by pulling down the lens cover in the front – there is no catch of any sort. this cover clicks firmly in place and pulls the lens/shutter forward. The lens/shutter housing is rather small and sits between the struts that hold the cover in place. the lens/shutter housing is 30mm in diameter. There are two control rings – focus and aperture. The focus ring is on the outer edge of the lens/shutter housing and moves easily through just shy of 90º to move the focus from one metre to infinity. this is entirely scale focus – no rangefinder or other focus aid here. The aperture ring is more problematical as it sits right between the struts, close to the camera body. Moving this is rather awkward for my large fingers. The aperture range is from f/2.8 to f/16. 

The shutter is anonymous, presumably the Arsenal factory’s own design. It is a leaf shutter sitting between the lens elements. The manual (which, for once, came with the camera) states that the shutter speeds are from 4 seconds to 1/500 seconds. If the meter needle is in the lower shaded area in the viewfinder, the shutter speed will fire at a slow speed (slower that 1/30 seconds) and the camera will need support. The camera can be set on a firm level surface or on a tripod. In this case it would be sensible to use a cable release. If the viewfinder needle is in the upper shaded area, one of two things will happen: 1) the shutter will fire at 1/500 and the picture will be over exposed or 2) the shutter will not fire at all.

The lens is a Korsar lens. The manual tells me that this is a five element lens and is multicoated. It has a focal length of 35 mm which is distinctly wide for 35mm photography but using a short focal length lens allows the camera to be more compact which will have been the main selling point of this camera (shorter focal length means closer to the film/sensor). Part of the lens bezel is cut away to provide the window for the light meter.

Above the lens is the viewfinder window. The image within the viewfinder has bright lines to assist in framing the picture. There are no additional bright lines for close-up work. There is also, on the right of the viewfinder image, a readout of the selected shutter speed. This reads from 1/30 to 1/500 seconds. There are shaded areas at the top and bottom of this scale. See above for details of how this works for the slower, unmarked, shutter speeds.

Beside the viewfinder is the battery chamber. This takes four LR44 or equivalent batteries (which are still easily available).

The base of the camera contains several items. There is a lever to release the back. Swinging this lever reveals a red dot and allows the back and base to be removed in one piece.

Next to this is the film speed selector. This is a knurled button which moves between 15 DIN/25 ISO to 30 DIN/800 ISO. There are no Soviet GOST speeds here although the manual does refer to GOST speeds. For some reason, the DIN speeds are printed in green on the dark grey body – very hard to read. The ISO speeds are printed in white.

Next to the film speed selector is the tripod socket. This is 1/4 inch UNC thread (which is very close to the Whitworth thread used on older camera and tripods – the two are mutually compatible). On the far right of the base is the rewind button to disengage the film advance mechanism to allow the film tome backwards. The base on my camera is clearly marked “Made in Ukraine” although the box the camera came in says it was made in the USSR.

There are no strap lugs on the camera but for a camera this small and light a strap really is not required. The camera came with a rather nice leatherette pouch (which is stamped inside with “3-2-93” which I take too be the date of manufacture of the pouch. This ties in with the date on the back of the manual.

The hot shoe is synchronised for electronic flash – by the 1990s flash bulbs were passé. Attaching a hot shoe flash gun sets the shutter speed to 1/30 or 1/60 seconds (the manual gives no clue as to which or when each is selected). This is achieved by a concealed switch in the left side of the accessory shoe. The provided plastic cover for the hot shoe has a small cut-out on the left to prevent the cover from activating the switch.

Test film:

I have run a test film through this camera now and had it developed (by Snappy Snaps in Lincoln, as usual). Three main things to note: 1) there is an occasional light leak. This occurs at the bottom of the picture, indicating that the leak is where the top of the back meets the camera body. Most of the frames in my test film do not have a noticeable light leak. 2) the negatives are a bit thin – not too thin to be usable but thinner than is ideal. This tells me that the automatic exposure system is underexposing slightly. As there is no manual option with this camera, I can either live with it or adjust the Film’s ISO setting to compensate. 3) there are tram-line scratches on all frames. Might be the film gate, might be dirt in the cassette felt light trap. Who knows?

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