Mecaflex

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The Mecaflex is a 35mm SLR camera, initially made in Germany starting in 1951. The camera was designed by Heinz Kilfitt, designer of the original Robot camera and the Kowa Six.[1] First sales were in 1953. Bodies were made for Kilfitt by Metz Apparatefabrik in Fürth, Germany;[2] McKeown states that Metz withdrew from the deal after making only a small number of the cameras. in 1958, body production was resumed by S.E.R.O.A. (Société d'Etude et Recherche Optique et Acoustique[3]) in Monaco - until the end of production in c.1965.[4] Lenses were made by Kilfitt's company, based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, but apparently manufacturing in Munich, Germany. Examples have also been seen with Kilfitt's Kilar lenses made under licence by Berthiot.[5]

The camera is unusual in having a flip-up cover on top which both opens the waist-level viewfinder and uncovers the top-plate controls - winding lever, rewind knob and shutter release. Another slightly odd feature is the use of a 24×24mm frame format, giving 50 exposures on a 35mm film, like the Robot.

Photographs of some examples show a release button standing above the cover, and the winding lever having a slot allowing use with the cover closed; others show both the lever and release hidden inside the cover. Some pictures show the Mecaflex with various other finders, including what looks like an add-on prism type[6].

The Mecaflex uses interchangeable lenses made by Kilfitt, and a Prontor leaf shutter - with a setting ring (1-1/300 + B) around the lens mount.


Notes

  1. Kilfitt prototype of the Mecaflex, sold at the first Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 15 November 2002.
  2. Metz Mecaflex serial no. 1809, with Kilfitt Kilar 40 mm f/3.5 and Tele-Kilar 105 mm f/4, sold at the fourteenth Westlicht auction, on 30 November 2008.
  3. SEROA Mecaflex at Sylvain Halgand's www.collection-appareils.fr.
  4. SEROA-made Mecaflex serial no. A-319, with Kilfitt Kilar 40 mm f/2.8, sold at the second/third Westlicht auction, on 23 May 2003.
  5. SEROA-made Mecaflex serial no. A-554, with Kilar 40 mm f/2.8 engraved BENOIST BERTHIOT PARIS Lic. KILFITT, sold at the twelfth Westlicht auction, on 17 November 2007.
  6. Mecaflex at Tigin's Classic Cameras.


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