The camera doesn’t say Coronet on it, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…it probably is a duck.
This is the last experimental camera from the a big haul of box cameras I got a while back. I have tried quite a few of them, gave some away, and sold a few more. I sold the final ones as a job lot a few days ago. I already had a film in this one, so I kept it to finish.
This camera was produced in the 1950s, made from bakelite, and is operated by a spring shutter button next to the lens. That is it, nothing extra. A simple, art deco style camera that was mass produced in England. I found getting the back off a little tough, but at least I knew there would probably be no light leaks. To get the back off, you lower the side bars and push the wind on mechanism as that is attached to the back not the body.
I loaded it with Fomapan 100, but only took 2 shots myself. I then handed the camera to my friend’s children during a picnic. They loved it. They remarked on how light it was. They both said said turning the winder was tough and I saw that they sometimes braced their fingers against the lens to get sufficient force to move it. The horror. Anyway, considering they had never shot a film camera before, let alone one with only 10 shots left, they were both very patient and careful with it. They shared the camera, took their time and thought about the shots. Unfortunately the slow shutter speed and long minimal focal distance didn’t make things easy for either of them. They did end up getting a few interesting shots though. I also gave them another camera to try which they much preferred, mainly due to the shutter noise and auto winder.
Here are the shots from the Rex.
The shots do have a very 1950s feel to them, especially the last one of the lady in the sunshine. I have photos like that of family members from the same era.
As for the camera, nope. It will look good on a shelf, but I won’t be using it again. Even an older Box Brownie can produce sharper pictures than this.
As for the children, they loved their day with film cameras and didn’t even seem slightly perturb that they would have to wait to see the photos. Being allowed the freedom to wander around with the cameras, away from the adults seemed to make them less shy about posing. Here are a few shots from the other camera they tried…with permission from their mum to post.
See, with a manual focus, aperture priority camera, they did really well. Budding photographers in the making.