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A Decent Piece of British Design

Box cameras have always had a certain appeal to me. Their simple design, their vintage look. Even if you don't use them, they look great on every shelf. Until recently, I hadn't actually used a box camera before. Luckily that all changed recently.

When I visited a market full of curious objects, I found a beautiful small camera. I hadn’t seen a shape like it before and I didn’t know the brand either: Ensign Ful-Vue. After bargaining for a bit, the camera was mine for only a couple of Euros. It seemed to work just fine and best of all was that it took regular 120 film.

Of course, the first thing I did when I came home, was to look this camera up online. This originally British camera was built back in 1939, and was quite literally only a little box. In 1946, a new design was introduced with more round shapes to it. That’s the version I have now. The camera takes 6×6 pictures on 120 film. Its simple shutter has 2 settings, 1/30 and “B”. It has a set aperture of f/11. I now know that I have an early version of this camera, because it doesn’t have the focus option that later models do have, neither does it have a contact to connect a flash. In short: a simple camera with a fun look.

And now for the results. The first roll I shot with the Ful-Vue came out of the camera completely damaged. You can open the camera by pulling the entire inside out by the side. I didn’t pay close enough attention with loading the film, through which the film got stuck to the inside. To some degree I managed to remove the film undamaged and get them developed. The damages show on the photos and the b/w photos I wasn’t impressed much with. At least I knew the camera worked properly.

As a second test, I used a roll of Lomography Redscale 100, and this time I paid close attention to how I loaded the film. Thankfully the results came back a lot better. The camera requires some getting used to, because the viewfinder is something else, it is hard to form a clear picture with it.

All in all, it is a fun camera, which I’m certainly going to use some more in the future.

written by bbijlhout and translated by headlock

1 comment

  1. alex34

    alex34

    I have one too. A nice camera, but rather unpredictable in my experience.

    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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The original version of this article is written in: Nederlands. It is also available in: Deutsch.