F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.

Pieces An on-line look at cameras etc. by Stephanie Marriott

Nagel Pupille

Penti II

Penti I

November 2004 - Miscellany

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 Xenon.

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 lenses.

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 trim.

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 market.

Filter requirements

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:

  • it is a 35 mm. half-frame camera which was made in Europe (most half-frame cameras were Japanese)
  • it loads with the Agfa Rapid (or the Agfa Karat) cassette
  • the film advance is by means of a plunger on the side of the camera (the Vitessa also uses a plunger-style film advance but it is mounted on the top plate.)

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 meter.

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