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Kershaw Soho Penguin, 120 roll film camera, c1953

A curiously styled, self erecting oddity from the English maker Kershaw. Despite being listed as c1953 in McKeowns guide (and the evidence from this camera supports this) the styling is very retro for the time. This Penguin looks like it should have come from the 30s at the latest, with just a waist level finder and no satin chrome to be seen. The pressed steel body is finished in black wrinkle paint which remained a popular choice for a whole host of instruments from the 1930s until quite recently - and I dare say there is an enclave of instrumentation that still uses it. One of it's principle benefits is that it covers up a multitude of sins if the metalwork isn't entirely mirror perfect. The shutter casing is of 'Bakelite' plastic, as is the advance knob. The man made bellows material is prone to pin holing in the corners, but the Penguin was never an expensive camera. Basic controls are fitted allowing instant or B settings (Bulb - a reference to an earlier era), focus is adjustable between 6ft and infinity and there is a lever operated waterhouse stop that stops down to f/16, from the huge f/11 normally available (yes, sarcasm comes as standard with this site). All told it's quite handsome and well made, albeit to a budget and with cheap materials, a worthy and slightly more capable contender for the ubiquitous box cameras of the era. This example does not belong to the LICM but was overhauled and returned to service by us so that it could record the original owners' Grand Daughter getting married, a duty it carried in August 2005, returning a creditable 6/8 images. Kershaw were keen on giving their cameras bird names as the Directors were avid 'twitchers' (I'm just waiting for the complaints).

Kershaw Soho Penguin, 120 roll film camera, c1953
Body No. None allocated
Shutter, Kershaw self energizing over centre type, I or B
Lens, 105mm f/11
Condition, 5F

 

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