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Chinon CE Memotron SLR – A Hidden Jewel

Chinon CE Memotron

The Chinon CE Memotron was not made by one of the big well known manufacturers like Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon or Leica and can be therefore purchased these days for very small money.

The Chinon CE Memotron

What makes the Chinon CE Memotron special, is the fact that it is one of the rare SLR cameras which works with almost every M42 SLR automatic lens in aperture priority mode. Every lens which has the small metal pin at the back for the automatic aperture will work with the camera in automatic (aperture priority) mode. With the shutter release pressed down half way, the meter reading can be stored/locked (that’s where the name memotron comes from) by pushing another button on the side of where the lens is mounted. Due to the involved mechanics, the shutter release has a quite long travel way which might be the only drawback of the camera.

Very well made

The camera is very well made with a brass top plate underneath the black paint. If you hold the camera in your hand, you can feel the quality since it is more on the heavy side.

The electronic shutter of the camera features speeds from B, 1 sec up to 2000/sec and a switch close to the shutter release button enables double exposures with disengaging the film advance gear.

The film advance lever has a very nice gear transmission ratio which leads to a short and distinct travel way.

Focusing with the viewfinder is easy due to the possibility to focus with open aperture when using automatic lenses.

All the nice M42 lenses

As much as I like the Bessaflex because of its tiny size and bright viewfinder, it has a big issue with several lenses where the rear element is hitting the mirror. The Chinon has not such problems. The camera just accepts each and every M42 lens and works flawless with them. …and there are some fantastic M42 SLR lenses being made!

Currently I use the following lenses with the Chinon aka Revueflex 5000EE aka Porst Reflex M-CE:

  • Pentax Super Takumar 50/1.4
  • Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4
  • Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135/3.5 MC

Pros

  • Works with all M42 lenses
  • Aperture Priority Mode with almost all automatic M42 lenses
  • Meter lock switch
  • Fantastic solid built quality (brass)
  • Double Exposure Button
  • Nice short defined film advance
  • Up to 1/2000 shutter speed
  • Very reasonable priced on the second hand market

Cons

  • Long shutter release travel way
  • Dependent on battery

Example Shots (Super Takumar 1.4/50 on APX100)

The Chinon CE Memotron Camera Series

There are three different types of the Chinon Memotron available. The CE, CE II and CE III. Below I’m giving a short overview of the similarities and differences of the cameras.

Common Features

  • M42 Screw Mount
  • Focal Plane Vertical Metal Blade
  • Multi Exposure Lever
  • Viewfinder: SLR pentaprism, Speeds Scale and Exposure Indicator Needle are visible in viewfinder
  • Hotshoe + dual PC M X sockets
  • AE Memory Button (Memotron): for holding the metered exposure in memory, on the lower left side of the lens mount, for this: in Auto mode, depress the shutter in half-way for metering then press and lock the Memory Button, then release the shutter on another frame composition

Chinon Memotron CE

  • 2 – 1/2000 seconds shutter speeds
  • Dual Silicon Blue Cell (SBC) TTL Center Weighted meters
  • 760 gr body weight
  • PX28 6v Silver-Oxide or Alkaline equivalent battery
  • 145 x 97 x 54.5 mm
  • ASA 25-3200

Other branding: GAF L-ES, Sears 2000, Revueflex 4000EE

Manual: https://www.butkus.org/chinon/chinon/ceii-metrotone/chinon_ce_memotron.pdf

Chinon Memotron CE II

  • 2 – 1/2000 seconds shutter speeds
  • Dual Silicon Blue Cell (SBC) TTL Center Weighted meters
  • Battery: 1x 4SR44 (6v silver oxide)
  • 760 gr body weight

Other branding: GAF L-ES/2, Revueflex 5000 EE, Revueflex 4004,  Porst Reflex M-CE, Alpa SI 2000, Argus CR-3E

Manual: https://www.butkus.org/chinon/chinon/ceii-metrotone/ceii-memotron.htm

Chinon Memotron CE III

  • Smaller Body than the CE and CE II
  • Seiko MFC-ES, stepless electromagnetic focal plane metal shutter, vertically travelling shutter with speeds from 4 to 1/1000. Manual: B, X, 4 to 1/1000.
  • Viewfinder: Eye-piece blind feature: a lid closes by a small lever, just left to the prism
  • Exposure meter: TTL CdS meter, two cells, centre weighted, aperture priority automatic exposure control
    • Auto exposure range: EV 1-18, at 100 ASA
    • Auto Exposure compensation feature: -1/2x to +2x EV, 1/3 F-stop increments
    • Metering is possible in Auto and Manual modes
  • Battery: 3v, two silver oxide 1.5v, eg.G13/S76, (accepts lithium Kodak K58L or two alkaline, eg. LR44)
  • External motor drive socket and connections: on the bottom plate
  • Body Dimensions: 140×88×50mm.
  • Body Weight: 620g.

Other branding: Revueflex AC 1

Manual: https://www.butkus.org/chinon/chinon/ce-3-illus/chinon_ce-3.pdf

Ressources

http://anusf.anu.edu.au/~aab900/photography/cameras/chinon.htm

http://blog.bkspicture.com/review_Chinon_CEII_Memotron.html

http://www.mieeckman.com

CHINON CE II_power

Please feel free to correct provided information and let me know if you know more Chinon CE Memotron re-branded cameras in the comments.

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The (almost) 6×12 AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 camera DIY 3D print project

The Agfa Ansco Plenax PD 16 were are series of folding cameras for 116 film (PD16) format for 2½×4¼ inch negatives (nominally 6.5×11 cm) which was manufactured around 1935. With the 6×12 AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 camera DIY 3D print project, the camera is able to take high quality captures due to the fantastic Schneider Super Angulon f8/90mm lens.  

Since the camera is available on the market for a reasonable price (around 40$), it suits perfectly as a camera body for the 6×12 modification. The camera was manufactured for the 116 film format where the picture frame of 6.5 x 11 cm almost reaches the common 6×12 format.

Further items required for the modification:

For using 120mm film, film adapters are required. Alternative, original 116 film can be used.

Assembly

The assembly is straight forward. The whole front of the camera needs to be removed with a bit force. Once accomplished, it needs to be checked that the remaining internal metal parts of the body have not been bent. Otherwise, they need to be re-adjusted. 

Once everything is in place again, the 3D printed front part needs to be placed in the now empty area, replacing the previous bellow assembly. The front part reaches until the film guide to narrow the frame for the 120 film format.

When everything is perfectly aligned, two holes need to be drilled from the bottom and the top through existing holes to fix the assembly with screws. Ensure that the holes fit with the chosen thread of the screws. Woodscrews are perfect for this job.

Now insert the helical and ensure that the scale is proper aligned and the focus operates smoothly. Take a small screw driver and heat the front with a lighter to burn 2-3 holes into the plastic to screw the helical onto the front part. Assemble the whole front part and check if everything works as expected. If so, dis-assemble everything and burn the further holes into the plastic to put the remaining screws of the helical in place. Again, ensure that the holes are not too big, that the screws fit perfectly into the thread. Don’t assemble the lens yet.

Now, if everything is working, unscrew the 2 screws which are holding the whole front and put sufficient glue into the inside of the Ansco camera body. I highly recommend to use Super X glue. (http://www.cemedine.co.jp/e/product/super_x.html)

Once the glue is applied, slide the front part into the camera body and fix it again with the two screws. Ensure again that everything is perfectly aligned. Now it’s time for a 24 hour rest to let the glue dry.

The final step is to cover the inner part of the camera with foam rubber sheets.

Order the 3D printed Mod Parts for the AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 in the online shop

OR

Download the STL files and print your own Mod

The 6×12 AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 camera DIY 3D prints on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3252136

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A wooden classic 3×4 Graflex camera for Fuji INSTAX wide film

After a long time I found finally the time to updated my blog and write some new articles about my past projects and photo journeys. First story is about my crazy GrafINSTAX project, the conversion of an old Graflex 3×4 camera into an instant camera accepting Fujifilm INSTAX wide film which I finished in September last year. Further articles will cover my Monster Graflex project, a 4×5 Graflex for and with the famous Kodak Aero-Ektar, a 3-D printed grip for the ARAX 60 and my trip to Beijing in China. I also want to share my recently rediscovered passion for home synthesiser jam sessions and my opinion about the gear I purchased for it.

But let’s get started with the crazy project – The GrafINSTAX

Continue reading A wooden classic 3×4 Graflex camera for Fuji INSTAX wide film

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Zeiss Super Ikonta A 530/16 – Medium Format for the pocket

The Zeiss Super Ikontas are compact folding medium format cameras with bellows built to high quality standards for 120 film (beside one exception with the Ikona C for 116/616 film) and with build in coupled rangefinders. The 30 year production period of these mechanical cameras  started in 1929 and ended in 1959. Continue reading Zeiss Super Ikonta A 530/16 – Medium Format for the pocket

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ARAX 60 – A tuned KIEV60

Photography Blog

Yes I like my ARAX 60. Although there are a lot of negative articles about the reliability and functionality of the Kiev cameras and even some complains about the ARAX, I can’t confirm this. I just recently took the camera brick with me on a trip to China where it gave me beautiful results. Although, the camera is not as smooth operating like a Hasselblad or not as quite as a Rolleiflex TLR I found my love in the ARAX60. I like the tank design, the brand name and even the fact that pressing the shutter release button results in an unmistakable but solid “clonck” sound. That’s why I decided to write a short review about the upgraded medium format Kiev camera from the Ukraine.

Continue reading ARAX 60 – A tuned KIEV60