Regula IP.a

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The Regula IP.a is a 35mm viewfinder camera made at Bad Liebenzell in the Black Forest by King KG in 1954-56 as a part of their Regula range. There appear to be three different designs of this camera. Two are the same, the only difference being the design of the writing on the top plate. The third has a Prontor-SV (not SVS) shutter, a different top plate and depth of field ring, similar to older King cameras, and is perhaps the first model made.

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 film also cocks the shutter, an improvement upon earlier Regulas, which require manual cocking. If the film frame is removed from inside the camera the cocking linkage can be seen. It 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, it goes backwards and this is a good way to tell if the film has been fully rewound (it will stop clicking once the film 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 which prevents the shutter from firing until the counter has increased by one. The film is rewound with a knob on the other side. A button on the bottom of the camera must be pressed while rewinding.

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 is 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 through to f/16. Shutter speeds are in the range from one second to 1/300th second with a bulb setting. The camera does have a 10 second self-timer (set the V/X/M lever to V to activate the self-timer). There is a PC flash sync point on the left side of the lens housing; it is capable of syncing in V, X and M modes.

Extinction Meter Guide

The camera has 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 still 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 here converted for use with ISO 100 film, times below 1 second 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 1/300 - - - -
f/3.5 & 4 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/300 - - -
f/5.6 1/5 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/300 - -
f/8 1/2 1/5 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/300 -
f/11 1s 1/2 1/5 1/10 1/25 1/50 1/100 1/300
f/16 2s 1s 1/2 1/5 1/100 1/25 1/50 1/100
EV Number 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15


images by Morinaka. (Image rights)