The Ciro-flex B is a simple medium format TLR. I love a good 6×6 negative, and the Ciro-flex delivers! I found it on ebay over the summer and since then I have had a lot of fun playing around with it. I recommend it to anyone as an option for a good inexpensive TLR if you don’t mind a bit of work.
I had my mind set on finding a TLR, however I was not keen on spending more than $100. So for that reason I spent hours on ebay bidding on various cameras. It became apparent to me that I wouldn’t be able to get the exact camera I was looking for that price so instead I began looking for a project camera.
I came across this Ciro-flex for around $20-$25. I did a bit of research and learned that Ciro-flex was based out of Ohio and produced a range of cameras A, B, C, D, E, and F in the 1940’s and 1950’s before the company was bought by Graflex and became the 22. The B is the simplest. It has shutter speeds from 1/10 to 1/200 and of course a B function, and a Wollensak 85mm lens with f/3.5 – f/22.
From the description I knew the shutter wasn’t working, but there was no fungus on the lenses. So I decided just to purchase it just for the experience. Luckily it was in decent shape, and it turned out that the shutter lever was just bent so that was simple. After taking apart the camera I found that the mirror was cracked and not wanting to spend anymore money I just came up with a makeshift solution. I reassembled the mirror by cutting a piece of tape to the size of the mirror and then putting it back together like a puzzle. But now I finally had a working TLR.
At first I had trouble with focusing because the mirror was taped on, but then after again tweaking the camera I managed to fix that problem. Other than the fact that every once in a while it needs to be tweaked I am pleased with the photos it takes!
Overall it is a great sturdy camera, and a perfect self-teaching tool due to its simplicity.
Historical information from Pheugo