I found this body and a different lens in one of my favourite second-hand shops. The only reason I even thought about buying this camera was because I had recently read an article about the auto-reflex camera. When I saw this version I jumped at it even though it was a regular SLR, not a full/half-frame camera. Originally released between 1973-75, it is quite a big, heavy camera.
The original lens had so much fungus on it that I just decided to take it apart to see if I could. AND then try and put it back together…I could not. So I got another, very cheap lens which still had some fungus, but not too much to bother me.
I was really interested in the M.E. switch on the side of the speed selector. Could it mean multiple exposures? Yes, it could, awesome. Did the meter work? Yes, it did, another awesome point! Although it did feel a bit like a metal brick I was starting to really like this camera. You can find all the technical details you like here.
After using it on auto for a while I had the feeling that the camera was choosing the wrong aperture for the lighting situations. It was too high for the low light available. I thought the LR44 batteries I had inserted were just too strong. Also, the on/off switch was quite loose and when I went to use it again I found it was in the on position. The batteries were dead. So, I set about putting in some fresh 675 hearing aid batteries. They turned out to be slightly too small. Never mind I will just bend the connector up a bit. And this is where anyone with one of these cameras shouts NOOOO. And yes, the connector broke off and fell inside the camera body.
Bugger, but maybe I can fix it? Nope. Apparently, the only way to reach the battery compartment is to almost take the whole camera apart. It just wasn’t worth it.
Now it is a manual camera only 😦
Anyway, other things I like about this camera are, the green/red spot near the film winder that lets you know if the shutter is cocked, the speed selected showing in the viewfinder and the red flag that adjusts the aperture from f1.4 to f1.7 depending on your lens.
When I finished my test film, I was a little ticked off to find the camera had been working just fine in automatic mode. There had been no reason for my heavy handed battery adjustment.
You can see I tried the multi-exposure button. When you slide this towards the red/green circle, it unlocks the sprockets. So when you push the film advance, it does not advance the film but still cocks the shutter.
After I broke the battery compartment I reloaded the film to finish it in manual settings.
Usually, I would not add photos of my students, but these two photos are multiple exposures and do not look like the actual children involved…unless you actually know them. Some of the photos look a little out of focus. That was my issue, not the camera. I think I was tired or wearing my glasses.
Keep or sell: I am inclined to keep this camera. I do not have another slr that allows multiple exposures quite so easily. I am currently undertaking a project where I have to go through a lot more steps to acheive this effect. So for now I will keep it, but man-oh-man is it ever heavy.