Ucaflex

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The Ucaflex (at first named Uniflex, for less than a year) is a 35 mm SLR camera with 'periscopic' viewfinding, designed by Franz Robert Neubert and made from about 1950 in Flensburg, Germany, by UCA (the camera is often named as the ELOP Ucaflex; UCA was the successor company formed after ELOP failed in about 1949).[1] The camera is the successor to Neubert's Neucaflex camera. It has a pentaprism and mirror, which are arranged to give a magnified view of the central part of the frame in the viewfinder, for focusing. Both the prism and mirror are swung out of the optical path when the shutter release is pressed. The viewfinder eyepiece then forms part of a reverse-Galilean finder used for framing the picture before exposure.[2]

Several sources (including Novacon) state that the Ucaflex has a 39 mm lens mount,[3] but Hugo Ruys states that it is an M40 thread.[4] Certainly, the camera uses a longer flange-to-film distance than the Leica (whereas the Neucaflex uses Leica lenses). The standard lens is an Ucalux 50 mm f/1.9 (presumably the same lens as ELOP's f/1.9 Elolux). Other lenses were available.[5]

The camera has shutter speeds 1 - 1/1000 second, plus 'B', with a separate selector for the slow speeds.

Hugo Ruys shows pictures of an Ucaflex with a lens-mount adapter to take Exacta lenses. The mount locks differently from Exacta's own, so that even with the adapter, a screw must be removed from the lens. Ruys notes that there is only room for such an adapter because the camera body is so shallow, and suggests that there must be an Ucaflex version with a fixed Exakta mount.[4]


Notes

  1. Brief notes on ELOP at Tigin's Classic Cameras.
  2. German Patent 1059282, Einaeugige Spiegelreflexkamera mit Durchsichtssucher (Single-lens reflex camera with optical viewfinder), filed 9 October 1953 and granted to Neubert 11 June 1959, describing the principle of operation of the camera. The description is general, and the mechanism described is common to the Neucaflex and the Ucaflex; however, by the time of the application, the Ucaflex was already produced. However, Neubert's address is still given as in Jena. At Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.
  3. Ucaflex and Neucaflex at Novacon's 'oddity cameras'.
  4. 4.0 4.1 PDF document: 'Non-Exactas with Exacta mount' at Ihagee.org.
  5. Ucaflex serial no. 1642, with Ucalux standard lens, Schneider 40 mm f/4.5 Isogon and 180 mm f/5.5 Tele-Xenar, sold at Sale 9445 - Cameras and Photographic Equipment, 17 September 2002, by Christie's.


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