Author Topic: Firstflex 35 in Action.  (Read 250 times)

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Flippy

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Firstflex 35 in Action.
« on: May 25, 2017, 05:53:40 AM »
Photographic proof! I searched high and low for images made with this unusual SLR, and only located a couple of fairly underexposed shots on flickr. That was it, in the entirety of the whole world for this camera. Now I know, here at this forum we don't get too fixated on the machine side of photography but given the strangeness and the rarity of this camera, I feel inclined to talk about it just a little bit. The first Firstflex 35 appeared in the mid 1950s, it looked like a severely deformed Exakta, sported a leaf shutter, and was one of the first 35mm SLRs made in Japan. In 1958 the second model came out. Looking rather more stylish and streamlined, this new model featured a sector shutter like the Exa, but crucially incorporated a then state of the art instant mirror return. The real oddity of this mechanism however was the shutter only had one instantaneous speed: 1/125. Despite these cameras being available for several years, few were made. Serial numbers suggest that perhaps as many as 3000 examples were built.

The lens features an automatic aperture, which was also a state of the art mechanism in 1958. Pentax didn't yet have one, and the Nikon F hadn't come out yet. Only a few SLRs featured semi-automatic aperture mechanism at the time, the rest relied on manual or pre-set controls.

Beyond that, there's not much to say about the thing, as it is fairly normal. It has an eye level viewfinder, a right-handed wind lever, a shutter button on top, and is generally (except for the single shutter speed) pretty typical of an early 1960's  SLR. The one frustration I experienced was with the film transport, as there is no interlock to prevent you from winding on after the cocking the shutter, you can wind on and on wasting frames without shooting anything. I lost two frames this way.

After some cleaning and minor repairs, I loaded Ektar 100 into the Firstflex, and headed out to see what would happen.


there by Berang Berang, on Flickr

pipes by Berang Berang, on Flickr

Some barrel distortion is apparent.

dog line by Berang Berang, on Flickr

pipe more by Berang Berang, on Flickr

melon remains by Berang Berang, on Flickr

rust in the sky by Berang Berang, on Flickr

a place by Berang Berang, on Flickr

another place by Berang Berang, on Flickr

saab by Berang Berang, on Flickr

face thing by Berang Berang, on Flickr

bridge by Berang Berang, on Flickr

names names by Berang Berang, on Flickr

pole by Berang Berang, on Flickr

Tokinon 2.8/45 boke' by Berang Berang, on Flickr

...just boke' - for science of course...

Tokinon Test by Berang Berang, on Flickr

cycling by Berang Berang, on Flickr

Bronco and Construction. by Berang Berang, on Flickr


jojonas~

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Re: Firstflex 35 in Action.
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2017, 07:43:54 PM »
nice shots! like I mentioned on flickr, I like the character of the lens :)

a bit curious construction. didn't fujifilm make something similar in the 80s with a slr that had a stuck lens on it? what was that called again...
/jonas