Closter Princess

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The Princess is a 35 mm fixed-lens rangefinder camera made between 1950 and 1952 by the Italian company Closter, based in Rome. It has a rim-set leaf shutter; at least in the Princess 2 and 2a, this gives speeds from 1 to 1/300 second, plus 'B'. It is synchronised for flash (X-synchronisation, according to Sylvain Halgand),[1] with a PC socket on the lens barrel, but no accessory shoe. The shutter is manually cocked, not linked to the film advance.

On all models, focusing is done with a knob strangely placed in the center of the top plate of the camera; it is scaled in metres, down to about one metre. The shutter release button is also rather further to the left than usual on a 35 mm rangefinder. Film advance is by a wide, flat winding knob, and there is a mechanical frame counter on the top plate.

The original Princess has a round rangefinder window and an Aries 50 mm f/4.5 lens.

The Princess 2 has an f/3.5 Aries,[2] and has a rectangular rangefinder window.

The Princess 2a has an f/2.8 Zemen lens.[1] It has a depth-of-field calculator engraved on the top of the film advance knob, and a film speed reminder arranged around the rewind knob. Princess and 2a are engraved on the top of the viewfinder (both earlier models are only engraved Princess here. all have 'Closter' on the front).

There are also viewfinder models. The Princess Junior, from about 1950, has similar styling and features to the Princess, apart from lacking a rangefinder. It has an f/3.5 Aries lens, and shutter speeds from 1 to 1/300 second, plus 'B'.[3] The Princess Junior S has the same lens, and a smaller range of shutter speeds, from 1/25 to 1/200 second, plus 'B'.[4] The Princess Record also has the f/3.5 Aries, and shutter speeds 1 to 1/300 second.[5] It has a somewhat larger viewfinder.

All the cameras are somewhat rare; the examples cited here all have serial numbers of only three or four digits.


Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Princess 2a at Collection d'Appareils.
  2. Princess 2 at Collection d'Appareils
  3. Princess Junior at Storia della Fotografia (archived); text in Italian, with two pictures of the camera.
  4. Princess Junior S at Collection d'Appareils
  5. Princess Record at Japanese collector Orio's Orioweb; text in Japanese with several good pictures of the camera.

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