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1939 Ensign 220, 6x6 / 6x4.5 Medium format Coupled Rangefinder Camera, , CLA'd, Freshly serviced!


1939 Ensign 220, 6x6 / 6x4.5 Medium format Coupled Rangefinder Camera, , CLA'd, Freshly serviced!

$ 245.00 USD

Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!

This is a somewhat rare medium format rangefinder camera manufactured for only three years from 1937 to 1940. This is the Ensign 220 Auto-Range produced by Houghtons Ltd which was located in London England. Production of this camera ceased after the factory was completely destroyed during the bombing of London by the German Luftwaffe on the night of September 24th 1940.

During the interwar years between the first and second world war, Houghtons Ltd. was a well-respected camera brand in the United Kingdom and had an excellent reputation for its products. It was England’s answer to Germany’s dominant position in photography and it competed for buyer against with the “big three” which was represented by Zeiss-ikon, Welta and Voigtlander imports.

 The Ensign was a successful design and it has design features that appear to have been inspired by the 6x6 Welta Weltur. Like the Weltur, it has a body wrapped in real leather and it’s fitted with a coupled rangefinder visible within the single viewfinder. As such the Ensign was one of the first cameras to have the viewfinder/rangefinder is combined into a single window. This feature simplified focusing and composition and this approach is still used in modern rangefinder cameras. Focus is achieved via a radial arm on the front of the lens bed that moved the lens and shutter moves together as a unit when focusing. This provides better lens performance (especially up close) than the more common “front cell focus” in which only the front element is turned in or out. This rangefinder finder makes focusing quick and easy and never leaves you guessing about distance or focus.

This camera uses 120 roll film, it features a built-in mask that allows you to set the camera to produce either 6x6 or 6x4.5 format negatives. The viewfinder supports this feature with a sliding mask for the correct view and the film exposure counter disk can be flipped over to reveal numbers suitable for whichever format you prefer. (1 thru 12 for 6x6, and 1 thru 16 or 6x4.5.)

This 85 year old camera is in excellent condition. It’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works as it should. The folding bellows are light tight. The coupled rangefinder works correctly and is easy to see. The shutter has also been serviced. It works smoothly and all speeds are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy.

 The lens is 4.5/75mm Ensign Ensar, which is a classic Cooke design with three elements in three groups. This design is well known for the attractive rendition and bokeh it produces. The glass is clean and clear and looks virtually new. It’s clean and clear and it’s capable of producing beautiful photos with modern color & B&W films.

All in all, an enjoyable camera and perfect for photographers with a historical interest.


Search terms:  Schneider , Compur, medium format, rangefinder camera, 120 film, authentic WWII, WW2, 2WK, reenactor, re-enactor, signal corps, war correspondent, war photographer, USAAF

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