Tiny but hefty rangefinder camera that exudes quality. Built on a cast alloy chassis, it is equipped with a premium four element Ektar 44mm, f3.5 lens that can focus (through a ball bearing driven helix) down to 22 inches. Set on a Synchro 300 leaf shutter with rather limited speeds B, 25, 50, 100 and 300, this shutter has a reputation for being unreliable. Perhaps I belong to the fortunate few who acquired a sample with a functioning shutter. ;) The camera has a double exposure prevention mechanism but the shutter has to be manually cocked. When I received the camera, the combined VF/RF was a bit cloudy. But this was easy to clean. Access is through the removal of the top plate - undo the set screws for the wind and rewind knobs and the top comes off. After cleaning, the bluish tinted VF offered bright contrast with the yellow tinged triangular split image RF.
|ERA 100, 60 minutes in Rodinal 1:100|
This Ektar lens seem capable of giving the Leitz Elmar 50/3.5 a run for the money. The simple handling of this camera reminded me of the Leica II + Elmar 50/3.5 combo with it's own set of pros and cons. Shooting with this camera was a time travel experience to 50s snap shot style photography!