Canon IV SB2

My first camera post of 2019. I saved this one in my draft folder for ages.

I have now been back in the UK for 5 months, to be honest, it seems longer. During my last couple of weeks in Japan, I met a friend to give her some film cameras. I couldn’t bring home all the ones I had, so I gave a few away. When we met she asked me how I chose the cameras I buy. So I took her to a little shop I knew in Akihabara and looked in the window. I pointed to a couple of cameras I thought were a good deal, they were both Canon IV SB2. One was slightly more expensive than the other. I asked to look at the more expensive one and cocked the shutter. It sounded clunky and the movement was stiff. So I asked to look at the cheaper one. Now, to be honest, I had no intention of buying either…until I tried the cheap one. It felt smooth and everything worked. It was less than £30. Plus, I had a Canon f1.4 LTM lens that would fit it nicely.

Hello Canon IV SB2, surely I could fit one more camera in my luggage?

This camera was released in 1954 and you can find lots of technical details on the linked site. When you load the camera the leader of the film has to be cut in the same style as the Leica Barnacks. It felt super to hold, a piece of quality machinery. I loved the viewfinder with the magnifier built in. I put an expired film in as soon as I could as I only wanted to take fresh film back with me.

Not too bad for a dull day in Minami Senju. As soon as I got back to the UK I tried another roll. The rangefinder’s second image was a bit light so I put a little square of tape on the window which helped.

Oh dear, this time the shutter seemed to be less smooth and the photos show the curtain was sticking. This was beyond my fixing abilities and I am out of work. Hmm, is it worth paying for a CLA?? Only if I sell some cameras to pay for it, so I did.

I took the camera to Newton and Ellis in Liverpool and waited, and waited, and waited. I am not patient, but this was different. I had never had a camera CLAd before this, I have now, but this was my first and it was going to be expensive. Would it be worth the wait and expense?

Finally, after a near 3-month wait and a few camera sales, I got the call. I rushed to Liverpool and picked it up. As soon as I did I could feel the difference. The shutter was so quiet. I could see the second image. The film advance moved like a hot knife through butter. They said they replaced the shutter curtain as it was crispy. They cleaned the rangefinder among other things. After a brief chat, I loaded some pre-cut film and not just any film. I tried my first roll of Kosmo Foto and wandered the area.

I didn’t quite finish the film as I had to head to Manchester to meet a friend. I love that, how English am I? I was in Liverpool and drove to Manchester 🙂

As I am from Yorkshire, I decided to finish the film in Haworth, because I can. This is a beautiful village and the former home of the Bronte Family.

Holy moly, I can quite honestly state…

  1. I love this film
  2. I love this lens
  3. I love this camera
  4. It was worth getting it CLAd
  5. I might have paid more for the CLA than the camera body is worth, but I don’t care
  6. I am keeping this camera
  7. Oh and England is lovely

Plus, now I have well and truly decided to sell most of my cameras. Soon I will be putting notices on my camera review posts for ones that are up for sale. I will no longer put them on eBay. That means if they sell, great. If they don’t, I get to keep them a little longer.

I will still write new reviews, especially as I have a shelf of about 10 cameras to get through. But I am going to move towards getting to know a few cameras better.

This is definitely a keeper.

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Werramat

I have previously tried a Werra and mentioned that I bought a junk/parts camera for less than £5 in order to get the front lens cover. Well, this is the junk camera I bought minus the small lens cover which I put on the other camera.

I sent the original Werra off for a CLA to a well-known place in Liverpool. This one initially didn’t work and I was about to consign it to the rubbish bin. Then I heard about another person who serviced cameras. He was much cheaper so I thought I would send him this one, nothing to lose really. Well, in a week he sent it back. Apparently, a small piece of plastic was stuck in the shutter mechanism. He took it out and voila, I now have two Werras. Actually, I also sent my Leica to the hobby guy for a CLA and that came back much cleaner and smoother too. The lens was unrepairable, but the viewfinder is now brighter. I am not sure why I took the risk with that, but it worked out well.

Ok, so what about this unexpected Werramat. It was made around 1961 and is completely manual. The lens cover was damaged as on my original. The manual states to put the lens at infinity before putting it back on as it will get damaged. I found that out with the original. I loaded this one with a roll of very expired slide film a Jessops 100. I set the camera to 25ASA.

Do you see the dial on the bottom? I left mine in the “R” position which means rewind. So when I finished the roll I actually hadn’t taken any photos as the film had not advanced. The arrow needs to be beyond the black circle, as it is in the photos. Then the film will advance.

So did my cheap, junk, bargain CLA’d camera work. Yeap! but the expired film was rubbish It had a massive colour cast which I removed. You can see some sharp photos though. There is no rangefinder, so it is a matter of guesswork and using the distance scale.

I think it needs a trial with a better film. But it does work and I now have two Werras.

Keep or Sell: I think I might give this one to a friend, I definitely don’t NEED two..but do I want two?? No, my GAS has gone and so has the camera.

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