Ilford Sportsman

This is the second Ilford/Dacora camera I have tried recently. Actually, I tried them on both on the same day, while in Saltaire and Undercliffe Cemetary. While the previous camera used 120 film, this slightly older one from 1957 used 35mm film.

This was the first model in this line, you can tell by the placement of the name badge.

After loading the camera, you have to set the film counter to the number of exposures as it counts down. This is a zone focusing camera with aperture choices from f3.5 – f16 and shutter speeds of B, 1/25th, 1/50th, 1/200th. On the film rewind knob, there is a film memory aid. There is also a flash sync socket and a cable release on the shutter button.

I loaded mine with an unfamiliar film that I bought as a mystery film package from Northern Film Lab, an Orwo NP55. I found times for developing it with Rodinal here. I used the timer app I usually do and manually adjusted the times to match a setting for another Orwo film. That way it could work out the times for different temperatures if I was off the 20 degrees by any amount. It was a bit technical, but it all worked out well.

So, here is my test film for this camera.

The viewfinder on this camera was a little small and dull, but other than that it is quite a nice looking camera. There is something about Ilford cameras I like, simplistically perfect. They just work. There was no rangefinder on this camera so the focusing was done by estimating, but the flash shoe means an external one can be added if you so desire. The results are dull as it was a windy day with a storm approaching. Plus the unfamiliar film adds to the effect. Dark and brooding, just as I like them.

This camera was made in Germany and it does seem to have a quality about it. It was comfortable to hold, sturdy but small enough to fit in a pocket…so long as you took it out of the case. There were no strap lugs on the actual camera, but I decided the convenience of my pocket outweighed the probability of dropping it. That is a choice you will have to decide for yourself. I was wearing my big coat, so big pockets, plus it is not a very expensive camera…a bargain.

You can read another review here:

6 thoughts on “Ilford Sportsman

  1. Darrell Meekcom says:

    What a great little camera providing proper nostalgic results.
    For 1957 a typical example of quality German engineering of its time.
    I just love the photos you’ve taken with it, you can almost feel the atmosphere. Lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Thanks, the area is very nostalgic and suits film photography. The residents take part in a 40s or 50s weekend. I haven’t been yet but would like to.


  2. Toby says:

    I like the results, there Orwo film seem quite nice. I’ve seen it for sale on eBay before. I have a spare shoe mount rangefinder I think if you would like it Peggy?

    Liked by 1 person

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