The Universal Mercury II

smithdan

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Back in March, a thread was started by TV_or_not_TV inquiring about this camera. This prompted me to dust mine off and shoot a roll.

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It's a solidly built critter at least on the ouside, all cast alloy that tarnishes easily.

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Lenses are changable, I only have this one. It's a half frame so the 35mm focal length works out to close to the field of view of a 50mm on full frame 35mm film. The roundy hump covers the rotary shutter. a variable pie shaped opening in the disk gives the different speeds, the disk rotates at a constant speed. This clever design allows speeds up to 1/1000 sec. Unfortunately the threads that allow focusing are siezed silid. A long soak in Liquid Wrench and some careful but agressive channelock action was to no avail. This limited test drives to f11 and beyond.

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Around back, the DOF scale continues as well as a horribly complicated exposure calculator and a film reminder thingy.

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On top, the middle shoe is hot, rather uncommon for a late 40's early 50's camera. there is no PC socket. The secondary shoe is probably for a rangefinder attachment.

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Inside, the pressed metal bits seem cheesy compared to the well fitted cast metal case. All seems to work well with very little film scratching and even frame spacing.

All on HP5, D76 stock for the first two from last year, then 1:1 for the rest.

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..agressive crop on this one, not bad for a half frame.

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webestang64

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Fantastic piece. Shots look great.

I do not have a half-frame 35mm camera in my collection. Someday but buying a house is first priority.
 
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smithdan

smithdan

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Still regret not buying a used Olympus Pen (forget the specific model) from a friend back in the mid 60's. I had just spent my mad money on a 28mm Takumar for Spot.

This one is certainly different. Thanks for the kind comments.

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