Checking a vintage camera’s shutter

This post is the next in my series about testing the health of your vintage camera. It covers how to test the shutter which, along with the aperture, is one of the most important parts of any camera since it controls the amount of light reaching the film. Initially it covers focal plane shutters, but will eventually be expanded to cover other shutter types. If you’re not sure if your camera has a focal plane shutter then open the back of […]

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Observations when shooting with a folding camera

I recently loaded a roll of FP4+ black & white film in my Selfix 1620 and took it for a spin around the town. Because it’s been a very long time since I took photographs with a medium format folding camera, I thought I’d record my impressions and observations. The first thing I realised quite early on is that you have to do everything manually in order to capture the picture. OK – that’s obvious I suppose, but although I […]

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Praktica IV 35mm SLR

The Praktica IV 35mm slr was manufactured in East Germany between 1960 and 1964. There were a few different models – the one I have is a version 2, which was the first made by the newly formed Pentacon company, and is fitted with a Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primotar 50mm f/2.8 lens. Praktica IV Images My Praktica IV Camera. I bought this camera from a charity shop outlet on EBay for £7-10 and received the camera a few days later. The […]

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Pentax Z-1 Pro 35mm SLR

This Pentax Z-1 camera is the latest addition to my 35mm vintage camera collection and without a doubt both the most expensive and the most full-featured of any 35mm Pentax camera I own. It’s a 2nd generation, 35mm, Autofocus camera manufactured in the early 1990’s which places it after the SF series and before the MZ series. My Pentax Z-1 Camera I decided to buy one of these cameras after my problems with the Pentax MZ series. I want a […]

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Pentacon Six Project. Step 5 – attempted initial shutter setup.

In my last post I gave some observations and conclusions I’d reached from my initial examination of the shutter assembly in my Pentacon Six. In this post I’m going to describe the progress I’ve made to get the shutter working again prior to trying to calibrate the shutter speeds. After my initial attempts to lubricate the mechanism, and getting the mirror and shutter blinds out of sync, the whole mechanism was not working anymore so I decided to try to […]

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Pentacon Six Project. Step one – removing top plate and examining the shutter.

This evening I took my first steps to repairing my Pentacon six by having a look at what was stopping the second curtain closing when the shutter is fired. To do that I had to remove the top plate of the camera so I could examine it and I’ve detailed that procedure here. I won’t give any more details than the pictures because it is all pretty self explanatory and was actually quite easy. To see the pictures in full […]

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Taron Vr 35mm rangefinder camera

Up until a few days ago I had never heard of Taron as a camera make, but as I was searching through eBay for anything interesting to add to my collection, I discovered two which both looked interesting enough to take a punt at. They were both slightly more than I usually pay for vintage cameras, but I decided to give it a go and managed to get both with my first bid. One unit was a Taron Unique and […]

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Edixa Reflex D strip down

As I said in another post earlier today I recently acquired an Edixa Reflex D 35mm SLR to join my vintage camera collection but discovered that the shutter assembly wasn’t working properly. The shutter release button seemed to jam and feel ‘gritty’ when pressed and the shutter operation was not at all reliable. I decided to have a go at stripping the camera down to see if I could find the cause so I took pictures along the way as […]

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Praktica BMS 35mm electronic camera

This Praktica BMS is the sister of another Praktica camera in my collection that I posted about a while ago, the Praktica B100 electronic. Whereas the B100 was an attempt at a fully automatic camera, on the BMS the exposure is set completely manually. Praktica BMS Images My Praktica BMS Camera I obtained this camera, as with most of my vintage camera collection, from eBay uk for a very reasonable £5.73 + £4.90 p&p. It seems to be in just about […]

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Rank Mamiya Auto Lux 35

This Rank Mamiya Auto Lux 35 is the latest addition to my collection of 35mm film cameras. It is a fixed lens, SLR camera with a leaf shutter and a Mamiya Sekor 48mm F/2.8 lens which was made about 1963. In many ways this camera reminds me of the Topcon unirex and IC-1 Auto cameras that I own because of the fact that it is an SLR camera but fitted with a leaf shutter rather than a focal plane shutter. […]

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Vintage camera collection – Illford sportsman

This is a camera which I inherited from my Dad a few years ago. It’s a simple 35mm viewfinder camera with a Dacora Dignar 45mm f/2.8 lens made about 1959. I’ve had this camera in a box in my office since the day Dad gave it to me and never really looked at it until today when I decided to dig it out. I had always assumed it was just a cheap ‘throw away’ camera but now I’ve had a […]

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Voigtlander Vito Automatic 35mm camera

This is the second Voigtlander camera I’ve bought in the last couple of months. I bought a Voigtlander Vito B for £5 a few weeks ago, but I didn’t splash out as much on this camera – it cost me 99 pence! This is a 1960’s viewfinder camera with a selenium cell which controls the camera’s aperture, making a fully automatic ‘point and shoot’ model. There is a neat ‘green dot’ exposure system which shows up in the camera viewfinder. […]

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Mamiya 135 EE 35mm rangefinder camera

This post is a review of the Mamiya 135 EE, a small 35mm rangefinder camera made by Mamiya in about 1977. For the £10 it paid for it I received the camera, a National PB-3 flash gun, a case for the flash, a camera handbook for the Mamiya, a ‘focal Photo Guide’ entitled “All about Flash” and a small brown leather (or simulated leather) case for the camera. Although the camera is nice the item which really attracted me to […]

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Pentax MZ-50 35mm autofocus slr

It’s a bit odd thinking of this camera as an addition to my Vintage Camera Collection, because in many ways this feels like writing a post about a modern DSLR. The Pentax MZ-50 has all the features of a modern slr – auto focus, multiple exposure modes, scene modes, camera body control for aperture and shutter speed etc but instead of recording to a digital sensor it records to film. The subject of this post is the Pentax MZ-50 – […]

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Pentax ME Super and SMC 50mm f/2.0

I picked up this Pentax ME Super for a very reasonable £15 from ebay uk because the seller thought it may be broken. He sold it as ‘spares or repair’ because the ‘plate behind the film has lines on’. I took this to mean the shutter and I took a gamble that it was probably ok because I know my Pentax P30 has similar ‘lines’ on – the shutter is not a cloth which rolls up, but a metal shutter  […]

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