10 March 2008


Filed under: Ensign Selfix 420, film, film cameras, photography, retrophotography — Howard @ 6:00 am

Getting ready for a serious exercise in April. I have found my old Ensign Selfix 420 (my first camera) and I plan to be using it on a holiday with friends in a couple of months.

Ensign Selfix 420

The camera dates from the 1950s, and I started using it in the 1960s. It’s spent the last 15 or so years in my attic, and I found it again yesterday, along with some old films and prints.

This camera takes 120 film and has flaps that allow for eight pictures at 6×9 cm or twelve at 6×6 cm. The lens is 105mm f/4.5 (to f/22) and the shutter runs from 1 s to 1/150 s with T and B. Focusing is manual, with no aids, from about 4 ft to infinity. Mechanically it is very sound considering its age. I think it has lost a viewfinder component that attached to the lens assembly.

I ran a film through today, using my dSLR as an exposure meter. If anything usable emerges I’ll post comparisons of the dSLR images and scans of the 120 contact sheet.

More fruits from the attic: how things have moved in 40 years of photography:


From l to r

  • Compact Flash 2 GB
  • Compact Flash adaptor with 0.5 GB Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • 116 roll film (discontinued 1984)
  • two 120 rolls (FP4) dating from mid-1980s
  • (front out of focus) 127 Ektachrome

116 film

The Kodacolor II 116 roll film in detail. Discontinued by Kodak in 1985; this is an unused film. The film is 70 mm wide and fitted some box cameras from the early decades of the twentieth century. Question is – do I still have the camera?

1 Comment »

  1. Hi, there. Your Ensign Selfix 420 dates not from the 1950’s, indeed, latest models were built 1939-1940.
    (yes, the brilliant reflex finder is missing, but can be replaced).
    These are rather fine cameras though, if you want 6 X 9 pics, there are models built in the art-deco period with highly decorative lensplates. Another good one in this format, and from about the same period, was the Ensign Autorange. The Selfix 820 dates from the 1950’s and has a superb Ross lens. The Selfix 820 Special is a rangefinder model, both these also feature the 6 X 9 taking format. With kind regards, John.

    Comment by John — 6 October 2010 @ 3:14 pm

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