A miscellaneous selection
of cameras which all have something unusual or innovative about
their design this time, starting with a a precision miniature camera
taking 127 roll film.
The Nagel Pupille was one
of several early precision miniature cameras which did not take
35 mm. film, but instead used 127 roll film, or vest pocket, as
it was then known. 127 film gave 16 pictures, 3 cm. x 4 cm. on a
standard roll. Nagel was a highly regarded German camera manufacturer
who was eventually bought out by Kodak when they wanted to enter
the precision camera market in the 1930s. The Pupille remained in
the Kodak catalogue after the take-over of Nagel, certainly until
1935. The cheapest version of the camera had a Leitz Elmar 50 mm.
f/3.5 lens; other lenses offered were the Zeiss Tessar and Schneider
Canon are famous for their
single-lens reflex cameras. Some, like the Canon Ae-1, are almost
household names. What is not so well-known is that they also produced
a single-lens reflex camera which, like the celebrated Contaflex,
had interchangeable front elements rather than fully interchangeable
The Canon EX EE appeared in Britain in about 1969.
A later model, the The Canon EX Auto, was introduced in about 1974.
Both of these cameras have the same basic specification, and the
convertor lenses will fit both cameras.
The two cameras both have a focal plane shutter
(unlike the Contaflex), offering 1/8 sec. to 1/500 sec., plus B
and delayed action. There is a microprism centre spot in the viewfinder
for focusing, which several test reports of the time criticised
as being imprecise, and therefore both difficult and slow to use.
Surrounding the central spot is a fresnel screen. Supplied with
the camera was a 50 mm. f/1.8 lens.
The body is based on the Canon FT, and shares many
of the same parts, e.g. feed, gate, register rails, transport, quick-load
system. The camera body has a matt silver chrome finish with black
The remarkable thing about the cameras is their
metering system, which offers t.t.l. metering through two CdS cells
in the pentaprism, powered by a PX625-typoe mercury battery. The
film sensitivity range of the metering system is ASA 25 to 800.
The EX EE was Canon's first single lens reflex to offer fully automatic
t.t.l. metering. The reading is slightly centre-weighted, and with
practice it is apparantly possible to hold down the shutter release
to lock the automatic meter reading before framing the picture.
There is no external aperture setting scale; instead,
in automatic use the aperture is set by the meter (depending on
the shutter speed and meter reading) and displayed in the viewfinder.
A control wheel round the rewind crank switches the meter off, on
to EE (the automatic setting) or on to "1.8-16" which
is the manual metering setting, and which gives 90 degress of arc.
Moving the wheel through the arc changes teh aperture and the viewfinder
displays teh chosen setting.
The two cameras differ in the way they handle flash
pictures. The EX EE has a coaxial socket for flash, and an accessory
shoe on teh pentaprism. Flash sync. (X, FP and M) is at 1/60 sec.
The EX Auto has a hot shoe for use with the Canonlite
D flash and a coaxial socket for use with all other flashguns. When
the Canonlite D is in use, the meter needle stays in the lower 'red
zone' until the flash is charged, at which time it moves out of
the red zone. A flash switching knob on teh side of the lens matches
the lens aperture to the appropriate distance setting, giving a
degree of automatic flash exposure. This system only works with
the 50 mm. lens.
When the EX EE was first announced there were two
accessory lenses for it; a 35 mm. f/3.5 and a 95 mm. f/3.5. In 1970,
the cameras cost £99 19s. 8d. and teh case was an extra 35
19s. 6d. The 35 mm. lens was £27 13s. 3d. and the 95 mm. lens
was £35 11s. By 1972, the 125 mm. lens had been introduced;
it cost about £60.
In 1974 the EX Auto cost £143 with case,
but a note in one contemporary test report claims the camera was
on offer at under £85 in some outlets.
By 1977 the camera had disappeared from the British
50 mm. f/1.8 lens
48 mm. screw
35 mm. f/3.5
48 mm. screw
95 mm. f/3.5
62 mm. screw
125 mm. f/3.5
72 mm. screw
Pentacon and its predecessors
in Dresden and elsewhere have produced some interesting cameras.
The Penti is unusual on three counts:
The standard Rapid cassette gives 24 half-frame
pictures to a film. When the shutter is fired, the wind-on plunger
springs out so the film must immediately be wound on before the
camera can be put away.
The first Penti appeared in about 1959. It was
previously the Welta Orix. It has a gold coloured body with various
different colours of enamel trim.
The Penti II has a built-in
match-needle exposure meter. It was made in several striking colour
combinations including black and gold, black and silver and ivory
and gold. It is fitted with a 30 mm. f/3.5 Meyer Domiplan lens(a
Tessar-type lens which we would expect to give excellent results)
and a three-speed shutter, with X and M flash synchronsation via
a 3 mm. co-axial socket.
A later version, which came
out in about 1965, was designated the Penti I and had no exposure
Top of Page