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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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From my Biggest and Oldest SLR.
Old 09-19-2018   #1
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From my Biggest and Oldest SLR.

Single Lens Reflex cameras which expose 6x9cm on 120 film are a rare breed. I have a couple. A K.W. Reflex box which is much like a big brother to the much more compact Pilot 6, and two versions of the Ensign Roll Film Reflex. The Ensign I've talked about before, in detailing how to get it to work. Neither of my copies worked well, and after I repaired them - they didn't work at all! I was mystified, because when I took them all apart, they worked perfectly. And little by little I would build them up, and they would work - until I screwed the last pieces on and closed the film door. Then the shutter would stick. Every time.

It finally struck me, that the mirror box - which is constructed of quite large expanses of thin tin plate steel - was "oil canning" when the camera was completely assembled and closed. This slight distortion caused the shutter to hang up, and the camera to become inoperative. The solution? Simply enough, was to place my thumbs into the mirror box and bend it slightly so the mirror's felt light seals wouldn't catch on the sides as the mirror swung up. Problem solved.

I loaded a roll of Ektar and went out on an overcast day to shoot eight frames.

Untitled by Berang Berang, on Flickr

Untitled by Berang Berang, on Flickr

Untitled by Berang Berang, on Flickr

It's a pretty unwieldy camera. There's one shutter speed (about 1/50) and the Aldis Uno lens maxes at f/7.7 so even this weather was a stress test for the camera. About half the images showed a slight double image, the result of the massive mirror and its associated masses moving around during exposures. But if you can hold it tight enough, the results are surprisingly sharp. And the Uno's OOF quality is quite pleasant.

I will use it again, but it's not going to replace my Pilot 6 any time soon. It's a pretty massive box that, though, it is only slightly larger than a Kodak Brownie of the same era - is magnificently cumbersome in use, and doesn't really lend itself to casual shooting or carrying around.
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Old 09-19-2018   #2
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Nice results, and thanks for posting this interesting thread and pictures.
just give me good light and a roll of film
RFF Gallery
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Old 10-06-2018   #3
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That takes some determination!
Immanentizing the eschaton since 1987.
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Old 10-06-2018   #4
Kostya Fedot
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I skipped the text and observed the pictures. Good qualify, but...
Nothing special, size and age of SLR is irrelevant. Those are easy to get, static pictures.
But I must miss something, for sure.
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Old 10-06-2018   #5
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Having spent no small length of time toying with older cameras , I can almost sense the satisfaction of over coming the stubborn device . Peter
ps: love the old beetle pics.
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Old 10-06-2018   #6
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I love it when we think a little farther and go a long ways.
Art is the ability to make something...even if it is a big mess...
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Old 10-06-2018   #7
Steve M.
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Congratulations on sticking with it and diagnosing the problem. Sometimes things just need a little bending, but figuring out what needs bending and in what manner can be tedious and frustrating.

It took me a while to track down some info on your camera. It is really quite the beastie! Not sure if this one is like yours though.
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Old 10-10-2018   #8
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I haven't repaired the Reflex Box yet, as I don't know how to fix the mirror. The Ensign Roll Film Reflex (the sort I repaired) can be read about here: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Ensign_Roll_Film_Reflex

The Reflex Box is a rather well thought out camera by comparison, but also was made about a decade later.
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Old 10-10-2018   #9
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I have enjoyed collecting and using Plaubel Makiflex cameras for thirty-five years. I've hacked all sorts of interesting lenses to the three that I own.

A trio of Plaubel Makiflexes by Nokton48, on Flickr

150 Xenotar Auto Makiflex Foma by Nokton48, on Flickr

Automatic Makiflex 150 Xenotar by Nokton48, on Flickr
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