Monday, 29 October 2012

King Regula Ip

King Regula Ip
 This is a quite well designed and cheap 35 mm camera from the 1950s. On looking at the Interweb to research this camera, it seems never to have been made.  This highlights a problem with the Interweb articles - they all rely on the same sources and then repeat the mistakes they find.  I have an actual example of a King Regula Ip in front of me and I am quite sure that they made the configuration of this camera.  Therefore, the Interweb articles that exclude this particular configuration are wrong.

The inside of the camera is engraved Regula Ip (not I-p), the shutter is a Prontor SV (not a Prontor S), the lens is a Cassar f2.8, 50mm, and the film advance is a knob (not a lever).

The shutter is still a manual cocking shutter made at a time when Voigtlander's cameras were self-cocking - I assume that Gauthier were still offering both options.  Similarly, the shutter release  is a lever on the shutter housing with an indirect linkage to a shutter release on the top plate.  Again, Voigtlander cameras from this time  have a direct  internal linkage between the shutter release on the top plate and the shutter mechanism.

The SV designation tells us that the shutter is synchronized for flash (s) and has a delay mechanism (V for Vorlaufwerk).  In the SV version there are separate levers for flash synchronisation (either M or X) and for delay.  In this particular camera, the delay is marked on the shutter bezel as 'M' rather than 'V'.

There are eight shutter speeds from 1 second to 1/300 seconds  and apertures from f2.8 to f16. The lens is a triplet and appears to be coated ( there is a blueish sheen to the lens).

Prontor shutters, although the poor relation of Compur shutters, are very good pieces of kit - witness the fact they are still working after (in the case of my oldest camera) 75 years with no attention or servicing.   All other parts of this camera are clearly cheap - or at least built down to a price.  The general feel of the camera is tinny especially when compared to a Zeiss Ikon or Voigtlander  equivalent.

The top plate contains the film advance knob, rewind knob, frame counter and accessory shoe.  It also has the King logo embossed in the metal just in front of the accessory shoe.  There is also a fairly crude serrated lever to free the mechanism for rewinding the film.

Inside, the take-up spool  is permanently attached and there is a toothed wheel  which engages with the film sprocket holes to advance the frame counter and free the double exposure mechanism which has no effect on the shutter itself but prevents the secondary button on the top plate from being  depressed.

The base plate is completely clear apart form the tripod boss which is the 1/4 inch Whitworth thread.  The camera back is hinged and fits without light seals which is always a plus on an old camera.