Mercury II Model CX

I was lent this camera by a fellow camera blogger. He wrote about an LC-A and if you read that post you will see he didn’t really like it. So I proposed a swap as I wanted to try that camera again. He also suggested a temporary trade when we send the swap cameras. He wanted to try my Werra and suggested this in return. So this isn’t mine and I have to send it back at some point.

Now I could write a long history of the camera with lots of technical details, but why spend the time doing that when Mike Eckman has done a much better job that I could ever do. Check that out here. If you have followed my blog a while you know that isn’t my style anyway 🙂

Plus here is a super video all about it too…

With those two sources of information you should have everything you could ever need.

The video was interesting as I didn’t equate the dome on the top to the circular shutter, durh. Plus I like how it explained the shutter as I had wondered why the sound of the camera didn’t change when I changed the speed. BUT, god damn it, it’s a half frame! Not my favourite.

The sender of the camera said the circular shutter might make windmills look interesting. So I loaded some film and set off to see some near my home. The new kind of windmill, not the sail type.

Using the camera was tricky for a number of reasons. It was hard to see the aperture the lens was set to, ok in bright light, but tricky in shade. Everything was a little stiff, not surprising given the age of the thing. When I tried to change the aperture, the lens unscrewed. I didn’t bother with the light meter information…

  1. The film speeds are not the same as when the camera was made.
  2. The numbers are very small.
  3. The movement of the dials was also very stiff and broke my nail.

So I mainly left the camera on f8, 1/100th and set to infinity. For the few shots that I did change this the results were not great. Changing the focus point was guesswork and seemed to blur everything, as you can see in the results.

The viewfinder was very small so it wasn’t my favorite camera to use. It did remind me of the first Leica and Zorki one, but to be fair, this one was a bit brighter.

After the windmills, I went to a local park to finish the film. It took some time to get there and the light was fading. Also, I have been sick with a cold for a week…so I was getting weaker too. I waited for the results of a covid test before I headed out and only did so when I knew I was not covid positive. It was still a knackering day out though.

Then, after a nap I developed the Fuji Across II film. Here are some of the results.

You can clearly see where I tried a focus point other than infinity, but on the whole the results are quite pleasing. I tried taking a few photos of the windmills at various speeds, but I don’t notice any difference.

For a half frame the results are quite sharp, much better than the Diana Mini I just tried, as it should be given the difference in cameras. I don’t like it as much as my Olympus Pen FT.

What cannot be in doubt is the look of the camera. It looks unlike any other I have tried, a real eye catcher. I wish it had strap lugs to make it easier to carry.

Both sources I used say the camera can be found for a reasonable price on ebay. When I looked the prices ranged from £50 to £500, and none were in the UK. So this camera is quite rare in the UK at the moment. Maybe I should keep it 😉

Nah, I would prefer my Werra back, which I still haven’t used since it was serviced 🙂

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