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Art Deco Cameras

Fex/Indo Ultra Himalaya

Specification


Fex Ultra Himalaya
Fex Ultra Himalaya
Manufacturer: Fex/Indo
Produced: 1951
Type:Extending Box
Film Size:620
ImageSize:2¼ x 3¼ in
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:90mm
Focal Range:3m - inf.
Aperture Type:Multihole
Aperture:f/16; f/22
Shutter Type :Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B, I(1/25s,1/100s)
Size Open(w x h x d):155 x 87 x 93 mm
Size Closed(w x h x d):155 x 87 x 75 mm

Art Deco Credentials

star star star star Significant: Pronounced and self evident

Description

The camera is part of a range of cameras having similar design with regard to the bakelite body. The heavily ribbed nature was first seen in the Fex/Indo Superior camera which came out in 1940. The ribbed design continued until 1957.

This is a 6x9 format camera, 8 images per film, using 620 film. The advance knob of the film is aluminum. There is a second aluminium knob to the right of the box which is secured to a threaded rod which serves as an axis to the supply reel. The objective lens is labelled 'FEXAR - OPTIC - SPEC' and is a meniscus lens. It is surrounded by a bluish aluminum collar which stands out beautifully. It has 2 openings on a sliding aperture plate labelled "Normal" and "Intense". These were measured as f/16 and f/22. The shutter has 3 positions: 100, 25 and P (P = pose, corresponding to Bulb). The shutter release with a metal head is located on the lens plate.

There is no adjustment of the focus with the objective lens set on the hyperfocal distance to give a clear image between 2 or 3 meters and infinity. There is a thread for a tripod. The "Himalaya" logo is on the bottom right of the camera. Apparently, Fex sponsored a Himalayan expedition in 1951, and began marketing a few Ultra Fex models as such.

How to Use

This camera takes 620 film which is still available from selected photographic outlets. Although the actual film is the same as 120 film, the spools are different. The 620 spools are slightly shorter and have a smaller diameter. Do not use 120 film in this camera because it will jam and may snap. It is possible to cut down a spool of 120 film to fit or to re-spool some 120 film onto 620 spools in a darkroom or changing bag.

This camera has two aperture settings labelled 'normal' (f/16) and 'intense' (f/22). The available speeds are 1/25s and 1/100s

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.

Remember that the exposure guide in the camera user manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day in the UK.

If you are not sure about the light level, err on the side of overexposure - i.e. assume the smaller f number.

Where there is a choice, a larger f number will give a larger depth of field.

For the slower speeds, you may need a tripod to stop blur through shake.

Using ISO 100/125

Key: Green - Good exposure; Amber - acceptable exposure; Red - unacceptable exposure. Number of stops over or under shown.

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
1/251/100
Sunny
Snow/Sand
Dark
with sharp edges
f/22
+2 over
f/22
SunnyDistinctf/22
+1 over
f/16
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16
+1 over
f/16
-1 under
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/16
-2 under
Heavy OvercastNonef/16
-1 under
f/16
-3 under
Open Shade
/Sunset
Nonef/16
-2 under
f/16
-4 under

Being fairly old, it would probably benefit from cleaning the lenses and viewfinders. This is easy to do and most worthwile. Check out my page:- 'Restoration of a Fex/Indo Ultra'.