Miranda Automex, Automex II
image by Peter M Lerman (Image rights)
The Automex was a 35mm SLR introduced by Miranda in 1959, and was the company's first substantial redesign.The Automex 1 added all the new developments of the day, plus integrated match needle metering. This new body was the basis for all subsquent top level Mirandas until the EE of 1971, and even this camera and the last Sensorex II used many of its features.
The new model boasted a linear, non-rotating shutter dial mounted over the rapid wind lever. This allowed a match needle metering system, using a Selenium cell mounted prominently in front of the pentaprism. To complete the design of this system, the lens system for the new Automex added two new features. Each lens had a fully automatic diaphragm operated from within the camera body, and an external arm as part of the aperture ring, which coupled to a matching arm on the camera body which transferred the set aperture to the metering system.
The basic Miranda features were retained: interchangeable viewfinders (but not screens), the same dual lens mount, and quiet mirror and shutter. The body overall was about 12mm higher than the original series, but other dimensions were the same. (The tripod mount is in the same location too, so that ever ready cases for the Automex and later Sensorex cameras will comfortably fit the first series of cameras.)
Minor features included a split image central rangefinder, self timer, film wound indicator, and self-zeroing film counter. Lenses for the Automex included a slider switch for manual diaphragm operation to preview depth of field. The Automex I only had a cog on the baseplate to accept a motor drive, an accessory which was never made available. There is no shutter speed or aperture indication in the viewfinder, only the two meter needles for matching exposure.
Viewfinders for these Automexes were new. These had to be deeper in mount depth compared to the earlier series Mirandas. At the front of the prism, the camera sported the meter plate, and the new viewfinders were built accordingly. These are not interchangeable with the earlier viewfinders for Mirandas.
Specification differences between the Automex I and 1963 Automex II:
(a) The ASA range for Automex I is only 10 - 400, for Automex II it is 10 - 1600
(b) Meter cell changed in appearance between these two models. The first model has a "bubbled" front glass, the second has a flat face with fine gold delineation lines, and a black lattice grid behind it. (This change appears to be during the run of the Automex, based on several cameras with the old ASA and flash but flat cell) (c) Automex I has a custom flash synch and mount, perhaps styled after the Canon V1 series rangefinders of the same period. (I have never seen a Miranda flash that bayonets into this mount - does anyone know of this? ) To provide a standard PC outlet, an adaptor is provided, which fits into the bayonet mount. The Automex II provides instead a standard outlet behind a little black and gold cover, in the same position.
- Automex I and II at collector site MirandaCamera.com
- Miranda Automex manual at Mike Butkus' OrphanCameras.com
|1961 Sears catalog listing for Automex|