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Ensign Selfix 220, 120 roll film camera, c1950

The Selfix 220 is a close relative of the contemporary Auto-Range 220, sharing the same body, lens support and radial focus system. The body is an interesting composite of brass and possibly nickel alloy pressings riveted together, to which is hinged a steel lens cover door and rear hatch, likely a nickel alloy again. This Selfix 220 is very much a reduced and cheaper model compared to the Auto-Range 220, in fact around 30% cheaper. No rangefinder is incorporated and the shutter is an Ensign produced, rather harsh "Everset" type (self energizing) without body release. This example is fitted with a home produced Ensar Anastigmat lens, though other shutter and lens combinations were available as was common practice amongst most makers. Further savings came from a man made body covering and sealed linen bellows. The Selfix 220 catered for two formats, 12 exposures 6 x 6cm or 16 exposures 4.5 x 6cm in portrait orientation, the film being advanced to the next frame with a frame counter which itself can be pulled out and reversed, depending upon the format being used. The red window supplied in the back only serves to set the starting point or confirm if a film is loaded, thereafter the film counter disc is used. Reduction of the frame area takes place by swinging two masks out of the film chambers, and can only be done between films. The viewfinder can be altered by gripping the chrome cover tightly with your fingers and pulling straight up, then put back on the other way, it's a far from intuitive, but I like it! It was likely replaced in the range by the simplified, though better, Selfix 16-20.

This particular camera was rescued for the collection in August 2012. Although rather battered it was deemed worth saving and was overhauled in November 2012. The shutter needed a lot of work and the lens responded well to a vinegar wash to strip some fungus. Although the dented baseplate is untidy, this was kept as it arrived.

Ensign Selfix 220, 120 roll film camera, c1950

Body No. K6528
Shutter, Ensign, T, B, 25, 50, and 100th
Lens, Ensar Anastigmat, f/4.5 serial 128397
Condition, 5F

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