Chris's camera pages


Rectaflex 35mm SLR camera

The Rectaflex was the first 35mm SLR camera equipped with a pentaprism to reach the market, and was first manufactured from September 1948, beating the Contax S by about a year. This particular example is what is known as a type 25000 Rectaflex, and was probably manufactured around 1953.

The main points of the design are as follows.

The film advance is by knob rather than by lever.

The shutter speeds are divided between the main dial, with speeds from 1/25 to 1/1300 second and the B setting, and the slow-speed dial below it, with speeds from 1 to 1/10second. Earlier examples had top shutter speed of 1/1000 second.

Instant return mirror, unlike many early SLR cameras.

Rectaflex 35mm SLR camera

This model also has a film speed reminder dial under the rewind knob, a feature lacking in earlier examples.

The focus screen is a plain fine ground glass with a diagonal focus aid at the centre.

There is no exposure meter, but in other aspects the camera is much like any later 35mm SLR camera to use.

This camera is equipped with an Angeneiux 50mm f/2.9 lens, which lacks any method of automatically stopping down the diaphragm to the set aperture. Other standard lenses were also used, including an Angenieux 50mm f/1.8, a Schneider 50mm f/2.0 Xenon, and a Voigtlander 50mm f/2.0 Ultron.

When I received this camera in May 2014 the shutter was inoperable, one of the shutter blinds actually having split in half, but replacing the blinds is certainly on my list of "things to do" when I find the time.

Rectaflex 35mm SLR camera

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