Ensign Ranger

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Ensign Ranger is the name of a series of 120 film vertical folding cameras made by Houghtons in England, under their Ensign brand.

The Ranger has a similar body to the contemporary Selfix 8/20, but with a cheaper lens and shutter. The body has a folding frame finder. The top plate carries the film advance knob, and a similar knob on the feed spool and the finder; the shutter release is a small button set radially on the edge of the shutter block. The knobs lift to release the film spools.

The original model was introduced c.1948[1], with a black crackle-finish body. The opening button is on the bottom plate.

The 1951 Ensign Ranger II was restyled with chromed plates (as on the Special) and leatherette covered front and back, larger knobs and a simplified design on the lens surround, and replaced the leather carrying handle with a plastic one. The opening button is moved to the top plate. The name is embossed in the leatherette, on the front above the bellows - instead of under the lens block. A cable release socket is fitted below the release button. In 1952 it cost £12-19s-6d.[2] Some Ranger IIs are fitted with an upgraded f3.8 Ross Xpres lens. The camera has two tripod sockets; one on the base, and another, filled with a threaded insert, on the folding front.

The 1953 Ensign Ranger Special, costing £13-18s-3d, has a chrome-plated top-plate and a 105 mm f/4.5 lens, either a Rosstar or more commonly an Ensar Anastigmat. This (the Ensar) has front-element focusing, down to about five feet. The shutter is Ensign's own Epsilon, with speeds 1/25 - 1/150 second, plus 'B' and 'T'; it is synchronised for flash, with a PC socket on the shutter body. The shutter release button is on the top plate, positioned for the left hand, whether the camera is oriented horizontally or vertically; the cable release socket is still on the shutter itself. The camera has folding blinds in the film chamber to allow 6×6 as well as 6×9 cm photographs,[3] and a folding Albada optical viewfinder, with frames for each format. There are also red windows for each format, with sliding covers. There is a depth-of-field indicator on the top plate. Like the II, the camera has two tripod sockets; there is also a table-stand on the bed, and another for horizontal orientation, behind the right-hand side of the shutter unit (the camera serial number is engraved on this).


Specifications

  • Format:
    • Ranger and Ranger II: eight exposures 2¼×3¼ inch (6×9 cm) on 120 film
    • Ranger Special: eight exp. 2¼×3¼ inch or twelve exp. 2¼×2¼ inch (6×6 cm) on 120 film
  • Shutter:
    • Ensign Trikon; 1/25 - 1/100 plus B & T (Ranger and Ranger II)
    • Ensign Epsilon; 1/25 - 1/150 plus 'B' & 'T'
  • Lens:
    • 105 mm f/6.3 Ensar Anastigmat, or f/3.8 Ross Xpres (Ranger II only)
    • 105 mm f/4.5 Ensar Anastigmat or Ross Rosstar (Ranger Special)


Notes

  1. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Page 400.
  2. Marriott World website
  3. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p401.

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