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  1. #1

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    Mystery Firstflex TLR

    Hi guys, hope you can help me figure this one out...

    I bought a Firstflex TLR at a thrift store today, the price was right (~$40) and it works perfect. But it seems almost impossible to find out anything about the lens on this camera. Seems like a Soligor Reflex but with a Firstflex badge, and the lens is called Neogon Anastigmat instead of Soligor Anastigmat. Can't find any info on those. It's a 80 mm f/3.5 coated lens. It seems to have been mounted on some of their bellows cameras and TLR's earlier under the name First Anastigmat. Not sure if it's the same.

    The shutter seems rare as well, a Rektor with speeds from 1s to 1/300 + bulb. Self timer but no cable release (the Soligor TLR seems to have this).

    Any information is appreciated. I don't want to take the lens apart since it's in very good condition.

    Click on the pics for larger versions:




    From the back:
    http://tinfoilography.com/pics/firstflex/IMG_9493.JPG
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_9493_s.JPG  
    Last edited by cl3mens; 01-11-2014 at 01:10 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Are there external threads at the shutter release button? If so, you can use a Leica nipple (adaptor) to use a cable release just like the Yashica TLR's.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3

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    This camera I think may have been a badged version of one sold in UK around 50+ years ago under the Halina name. It was made by the Haking Corporation in Hong Kong. There was a 3 element taking lens which from memory the pictures taken by a friend of mine were actually quite reasonable considering the specification. If my memory also serves me it had a 4 or 5 speed shutter plus B. There was no automatic wind on, just the red window in the back.

    Haking also made and sold a small number of 35mm cameras which is the way I got into photography via a Halina 35x

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Firstflex cameras had ceased production 1955 the year before Halina was founded (1956), they do look slightly similar though - it's possible Haking bought the tooling.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    I have a FIRSTFLEX, as well. There is almost nothing about it on the internet. The only place I found any information is on TLR-camera.com. Mine is even more low budget than yours. It has B thru 100th sec, First shutter, F 3.5 thru f22. Both lens are First Anastigmat, F3.5, 80mm. The word Firstflex looks the same as yours ,but the shutter button and flash are both located on the lens. I've shot several rolls through it, and it takes decently sharp negatives.

  6. #6
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Actually it's TLR-cameras.com.

    One thing that web site shows you is just how MANY TLRs there were around at one time, see here: http://www.tlr-cameras.com/TLRs.htm

    I'm a big TLR fan and used to grab almost anyone I saw but was often quite disappointed as many of them had quite poor workmanship, fairly poor shutters, and 3-element sub-par lenses. They are fun though! And stopped down can make some very nice images.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
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  7. #7

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    from mckeown's -- Firstflex made by Tokiwa Seiki Co. in Japan. series of cheaply made tlr cameras 1951-1955. Similar to the Bioflex and Kenflex, made by the same company.

  8. #8

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    Nothing wrong w/ a triplet. Stop it down to F11 or more and you'll surely be rewarded w/ very sharp shots, especially in the center. Novars and Triotars are my favorite medium format lenses, and your camera should perform well w/ a yellow filter and a hood. The camera you have looks like a clone of the popular Ricohflex TLRs.

  9. #9
    ambaker's Avatar
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    Some info here...

    http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Firstflex


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD



 

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