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  1. #1

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    New to me Makina II

    Just awaiting delivery of a Makina bought at auction, but from the image having trouble positively identifying it.Click image for larger version. 

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    The Square rangefinder windows suggest IIS, however the front lens panel seems to suggest the between the lens shutter of the pre-S models. Also don't think I've seen many (any?) with the sync on the lower left, which is a point of confusion for me.

    Any help or guidance is welcomed. Also, if anyone can point me in the direction of a service manual for the camera that would be great.

  2. #2
    jnoir's Avatar
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    I'd say it is a Makina II, mostly because of the mount type. It has several details that points me to it. Lens seems to be one of those that comes in two parts, one screws in front of the shutter and the other behind, folding finder is rounded...

    Here's one like yours but in black.



    I have seen a few with flash sync connector added at a later time. Yours looks nicely fit from the small photo. The flash "socket" on top of the RF housing is also a later addition by some owner.

    As for servicing, removing the front panel allows easy access to most important parts. To adjust the RF, one of the front screws on the nameplate (don't remember off-hand which one but it should be easy to find out with a quick search) should be used.

    Which lens does it have?

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the response. Lens is the 10cm 2.9 Serial No 99829 (if that helps with dating it). The cold shoe is marked "Germany" and appears to be either nailed or riveted on. However some of the lens surface looks as though it's been 'polished' with 000 grade wire wool. . .
    Just waiting on a film back to arrive, would be good to find out if the sync is 'new' enough for flash, or if it is for the older M flashbulbs. Any idea on how to replace the bellows, or how IR proof they are? Would be nice if there were a decent resource on these cameras.

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    Also noticed to my fustration, it doesn't have a wide angle stop. . .

  5. #5
    jnoir's Avatar
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    I've never used any of my Makinas for IR photography, so I can't tell for sure. Actually, I've never done IR photography, so don't know how it would work. I assume that, if there are no pinholes or thinnings, it should work. I have had three Makinas, one III and two IIIR. Still have the two IIIRs, and bellows haven't been an issue so far with "regular" film.

    As for the lens surface, if it is cloudy, chances are that can be cleaned if it is just some evaporated oil or just plain dust and dirt, unless you can see it clearly scratched...

    Serial number, based on what I have seen - not that I have compiled a serial number list or anything, I am just a big fan of this system and keep an eye on the market out of curiosity mostly - tells me that it is a late unit, confirmed by the two square windows. Last time I saw it, serial 93270 was mounted on a chromed Makina II with round RF window. and a lower 102xxx number was assigned to a "Schnell" - German for "Rapid" or "Fast", hence the IIS model - Anticomar 10cm f/2.9. A number closer to yours - 99720 - has been observed on a chromed III with two square RF windows.

    Here's a IIS with a neat flash modification, similar to yours but on the opposite side of the lens:


    Just for the sake of knowledge-sharing, the highest serial number I have recorded on a Makina lens (actually belongs to an Orthar wide-angle) is 123929 - and serial numbers were shared by all different lenses with a couple of exceptions, so I think it is safe to assume that less than 125,000 lenses were made, out of them about 100,000 are "old style" and some 25,000 fit the Makina IIS, III and IIIR. Not too many of those cameras around, based on these figures...
    Last edited by jnoir; 07-30-2013 at 02:35 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    jnoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dkirk View Post
    Also noticed to my fustration, it doesn't have a wide angle stop. . .

    Could it be that the "pressure bar" is a bit stressed and it simply does not engage properly because it is over-bent ? Are there two holes on the upper rail ?

  7. #7

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    No holes, which makes me wonder if it is a derivative of the 2a or 2b. And the "arm" is flat, with no bevel or marking where the wide angle scale would be. . .
    Lens appears physically scratched and looks as though it WAS coated. . . Just wonder if it's possible to polish the scratches out with Cerium Oxide, but I need to wait till I get the film back and put a film through it first.

  8. #8
    jnoir's Avatar
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    The 2a / 3a had several differences, and yours looks like more as a regular II


    The two-part lenses were all made prior to 1936, so if it is or was coated, it did not left the factory that way. Actually, I have seen few coated lenses, and most of them are from the final batches.

    But, the chromed bezel on the lens, as seen in the photo of your first picture, is a detail with which the lens did not left the factory. So it may very well be that a previous owner tried some enhancements on the kit (but then, why scratch it after going to the trouble of having your lens coated...?)

    If the rail has no holes, then it must have been replaced at some time by some careless "repairman"?

    Here's a photo I had off-hand that hopefully you can use as reference:


    1.- Distance scale for wide angle
    2.- The end of that arm ends in a little depression with a line in the middle: aligning this line with a number sets the focusing distance
    3.- This rivet engages on the hole for the position of each lens (in the picture, engaged on the wide angle hole)
    4.- This is the hole for positioning the arm with the normal lens
    5.- Distance scale for the Anticomar normal lens (the black tab with the vertical white line moves to align with the distance when focusing)
    6.- Pressure tab to disengage the arm from the holes on the rail, pulling or pushing the front to open or close the camera respectively

    Hope this helps !

  9. #9

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    Cheers, any thoughts on how to do a conversion like this to mine? Ideally loking for some kind of manual or guide more specific to this model, rather than the more 'visible on the internet' IIS and onwards publications. If I could get a ground glass for the back that would make things far easier with fabricating something and calibrating the focus scale.
    Also it would appear the chrome bezel in the picture, the seller neglected to send both it and the roll film holder he mentioned. . . Waiting on a response before I raise a dispute in ebay. . . So far un-enamoured with the sale

  10. #10
    jnoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dkirk View Post
    Cheers, any thoughts on how to do a conversion like this to mine? Ideally loking for some kind of manual or guide more specific to this model, rather than the more 'visible on the internet' IIS and onwards publications. If I could get a ground glass for the back that would make things far easier with fabricating something and calibrating the focus scale.
    Also it would appear the chrome bezel in the picture, the seller neglected to send both it and the roll film holder he mentioned. . . Waiting on a response before I raise a dispute in ebay. . . So far un-enamoured with the sale
    Sorry to hear that... Hopefully you will stay in love with the camera and, even if this one does not end happily, will get another in the future... But I expect the seller will stand behind his product...

    Ground glass are the hardest part to come by, I broke one of mine and luckily had a replacement, but if I break this one I may be in trouble (I could always buy a plastic one and adjust it, but I like to keep it as original as possible).

    There are little differences between the II and the IIS apart from the lens mount, so if we are talking here about instructions manual, the one scanned and published by Richard Urmonas should teach you anything you may need.

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