Regula IIa

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The Regula IIa is a 35mm viewfinder camera made at Bad Liebenzell in the Black Forest by King KG in the early 1950s as a part of their Regula brand. There are several versions of this model; they have slight cosmetic differences and minor functionality differences. This model was also re-branded and exported as the King Regula Duke and the USC 35 in the USA.

The construction of the camera is mostly metal, the only plastic (maybe Bakelite) part is the film take-up; the camera feels very solid but not that heavy like the previous Regula I models. The film is advanced with a lever on the top of the camera, advancing the lever also cocks the shutter for the next shot, this is an advancement as with earlier Regula's you had to manually re-cock the shutter. If you remove the exposure window from inside the camera you can see this is achieved by a watch chain connected just above the film take-up to a spring loaded ratchet on the other side of the camera.

The film counter is under the film advance and will only count when there is film in the camera, when rewinding film it also goes backwards and this is a good way to tell if the film has been fully rewound as it will stop clicking once it has come off the spool. The counter is driven via a toothed wheel that sits in the film perforations; it is also connected to a latch and will prevent the shutter from firing until the counter has increased by one. The film is rewound with a knob on the other side, you need to hold down a switch on the bottom of the camera whilst doing this.

The viewfinder has no frame lines to help guide you. The camera has a film speed reminder for film speeds between DIN 10-24 (ASA/ISO 8-200) that you set with a dial under the film rewind knob, but is easily knocked out of place. The lens is a Cassar type (three element anastigmat) and goes from f/2.8 (or f/3.5) through to f/16. The shutter is a bit more basic with only 4 speeds (1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200th) and a bulb setting. The camera does have a 10 second self-timer using a lever under the lens.

Extinction Meter Guide

Some versions of the camera have a built-in extinction meter that is viewed through a separate window on the rear of the camera. To use the meter, look through the meter eyepiece with the camera pointing towards the subject. Note the last well-defined number on the scale and use this number on the table below to work out the exposure. When using the meter it is recommended to shield it from direct sunlight by using your hand as a shade above the camera.

This table was originally for ISO/ASA 40 film but is converted here for use with ISO 100 film, times below 1/25th would have to be done in bulb mode. The numbers can also be roughly converted to EV values for easier calculation. Using ISO 100 film, number 1 on the scale works out to EV 8 and number 8 on the scale works out to EV 15.

Aperture Exposure Table for Extinction Meter (ISO 100)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
f/2.8 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/200 - - - -
f/3.5 & 4 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/200 - - -
f/5.6 1/5 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/200 - -
f/8 1/2 1/5 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/200 -
f/11 1s 1/2 1/5 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/200
f/16 2s 1s 1/2 1/5 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100
EV Number 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

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images by Just Plain Curt (Image rights)
images by Just Plain Curt (Image rights)