I was on a trip to Mount Fuji recently and on one of the days, it rained heavily all day. Fuji was not visible and driving in the town I was staying in sucked. So I decided to do a bit of wombling. There were only 2 places to go to and most of the stuff available really was junk. And then I saw this in a cabinet, looking right at me. It was in a junk cabinet but was still about $60. I asked for the cabinet to be opened so I could look at it more closely.
The lady in the shop said it didn’t work, the shutter was broken. It seemed to have some similar buttons as the C2 I already have, though in different locations. Therefore, I cocked the shutter first and it fired. The film would not advance, but there was a button to press to release the lock so I tried that. And it moved. I changed the speed setting and kept firing it, it always worked at every speed. The lady said again it didn’t work and was I sure I wanted it. YES. It did work, I was sure of it. I didn’t know anything about this camera only that I wanted it.
I had to play around with it at first because it seemed different to anything else I had tried. The focusing is the different part. The lens does not move forward and back, the film plate does. The focusing dial is on the back plate behind the shutter button. That means when you load the film you have to do it carefully and lock it into place behind the removable pressure plate. The pressure plate slides out to the right and goes back in once the film is in place. Then, just like the C2, you click the film advance switch and advance until it locks. Then you cock the shutter before the button will fire it.
The interesting part of the camera is the 12/16 switch on the back. Inside the camera, under the pressure plate is a built in mask system to switch from 6×6 to 6×4.5…cool. Once you fire the shutter a red flag pops up inside the viewfinder to let you know it has been exposed. You can override this by cocking the shutter again, but it is a handy reminder.
But was I right, did it work. Here is my test film.
I love this camera, I love how it looks, how it works, the 12/16 switch. It is the kind of camera that makes me want to take photos forever. It fits neatly into a bag, is light and easy to use. So much easier and lighter than the C2.
I love that I got this camera for $60 when it is usually much more than that on eBay. I love that I knew it wasn’t broken when the people in the shop thought it was. I love that it is from 1954, older than my C2, but works just as well.
I wish I had kept this one, but alas I parted with it to fund other projects.