Bloc Métal 45
|Bloc Métal 41|
|Bloc Métal 45|
The Bloc Métal 45 was a 6×9cm folding camera, released in 1946 by the French maker Pontiac. It had an aluminium body with a rounded shape, reminiscent of the Lynx, and the same striated finish covered with black paint. It had a bright aluminium top plate, incorporating an optical finder, a depth of field indicator, an accessory shoe and the shutter release. Film advance was by knob and red window. The early bodies had a bellows made of cloth instead of leather because of the shortage in raw materials. At the opposite, the very last bodies received a leatherette or leather covering.
|Bloc Métal 45|
image by Geoff Harrisson (Image rights)
The lens and shutter combinations were:
- early: Prontor II shutter to 1/175, self timer, not marked Pontiac, perhaps not synchronized:
- Bloc Métal 45 Standard: Gitzo Zotic I 25-200 shutter, advertised since 1949 (see a Pontiac ad here and the Photo Plait 1949 catalogue here)
- Bloc Métal 45 Luxe: Prontor II shutter to 1/200, self timer and flash sync
- Bloc Métal 45 a: Roussel Trylor 105/4.5 (common)
- Bloc Métal 45 af: Berthiot Spécial 105/4.5 (common)
- Bloc Métal 45 b: Berthiot Flor 105/4.5 (common)
- Bloc Métal 45 c: Berthiot Flor 105/4.5 4-element (announced in a 1949 ad, probably never made)
- Bloc Métal 45 d: Berthiot Flor 105/3.5 4-element (announced in the same ad, probably never made)
- Bloc Métal 145: Compur-Rapid to 1/400 & Berthiot Flor 105/4.5
The Berthiot lenses were coated, the Trylor was not. The Trylor and the Berthiot Spécial were 3 element lenses. Unless noted, the Flor 105/4.5 was a 5 element lens, said to be specially designed for the Bloc Métal 45.
The Prontor II shutter had a self timer and a flash sync. The first ones had a top speed of 1/175, were not marked Pontiac, and maybe they were not synchronized. The Zotic shutter is said to equip the last series, but it is advertised since 1949 as the Bloc Métal 45 Standard. The Bloc Métal 145 variant, released around 1951, had a Compur-Rapid shutter marked licence française (French license), with a self timer but no flash sync.
Production of the 45 and 145 stopped in 1954.
Vial says that Pontiac announced a Bloc Métal 245, a variant with a Berthiot Flor f/3.5 lens. He also mentions other projects: a Bloc Métal making 4.5×6cm pictures on 120 film, and another making 4×6.5cm pictures on 127 film.
|Pontiac Bloc Métal 45, Prontor II shutter|
images by Mario Groleau (Image rights)
- Vial, Bernard. Histoire des appareils français. Période 1940–1960. Paris: Maeght Éditeur, 1980, re-impressed in 1991. ISBN 2-86941-156-1.
- Pontiac Lynx, Super Lynx, Baby Lynx, Fotofiche 15, Patrice-Hervé Pont, Fotosaga.
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