A large format reflex camera

Mentor Studio Reflex.png

This is a large format reflex camera called Mentor Studio Reflex. This means that there is a mirror inside the camera that projects the image onto the view finder on the top of the camera. The mirror is moved away at the time the picture is taken. This also means that the camera has an integrated shutter mechanism that is synchronized with the mirror.

The size of the accepted film is 9×12 cm that is slightly smaller than more familiar 4×5 inch format.

What you see here from left to to right is first the shutter controls, followed by the focusing knob, lens holder with tilt as twist knobs and finally lens. Unopened view finder can be seen on the top of the camera.

This type of the camera has the following advantages over more traditional view cameras:

  1. installing the film does not block the view finder and it is therefore possible to take more candid photographs of the live subjects,
  2. integrated shutter allows to use older lenses without integrated shutters.

Naturally there are also disadvantages:

  1. while relatively light, the moving mirror will induce some additional vibrations while taking the picture,
  2. it would be more cumbersome to use lenses with the integrated shutters (either camera shutter or the lens shutter must be disabled).

The camera came only with a single film holder. I acquired recently few more film holders that appear to fit (after some thickness fine tuning). The package included an Rollex-Patent roll film (120) holder that also appears to fit nicely.


2 thoughts on “A large format reflex camera”

  1. The description of the roll film holder means ‘there’s still a film loaded’.

    Is it already exposed? Partly? Anyways finish it and develop in Rodinal, stand development! I’d there’s something to be developed it will work. Even expired, badly stored film.

    Was this the mystery? Is there more to it?

    Beautiful, uncommon camera!


    1. For the reference, this was an reply to https://whyfilmcameras.com/2017/11/16/stretching-time/#comment-1517

      There is no mystery. Only a camera, bunch of film holders and guy who does no know anything about the film development and possibly an undeveloped film with unknown content. Well, there is a bit of mystery but that was not the main point.

      Let me get more to the point. I want to try the camera. I have the following options:

      Buy the 9×12 film (or use the roll film), then
      a) send the film to the lab,
      b) try to develop it at home and most likely fail because of no experience,
      c) ask Frank if he wants to take part of this, share his knowledge and have some fun.

      I think that the option C would give the best choice for me and I believe it will dissolve some of the boredom you have.


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