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Thread: Reid & Sigrist

  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Reid & Sigrist

    Does any APUG member own a Reid & Sigrist with a 2" Taylor Hobson lens? If so What are your thoughts about this camera?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I presume that this the Reid Leica copy,I think the 111A? If this is the one then although I have never seen one I have heard that the cameras are exceptionally well made and the Taylor Hobson lens is as good as the contemporary Leica ones.
    Also quite rare these days and should certainly fetch much more money than any 111 series Leica. As for using one I would imagine that the experience would be exactly the same as a 111A.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's not a Leica copy, the compoany had access to Leica tooling as part of the War reparations (after WWII). It's the only camera based on a Leica that's better made and later Leitz had some lenses made for them by TTH (the ownwers of Reid and Sigrist). They were based on later Leica's not the IIIa - I can't remember which model off-hand.

    At the time the TTH Cooke optics for the Reids were significantly better than Leica's own lenses.

    Some of the early Russian "Leica copies" are made using machery and tooling taken from the Leitz factory.

    Leica/Leitz was anti Nazi and had helped many Jewish empoyees escape from Germany, they also hid their prototypes for the Leica IV, Reid launched their cameras which were highly aclaimed, butb Leica then released their M series with the M£ and better lenses, a bayonet mount, all trialed in the pre WWII IV prototypes.

    The M series Leica's killed sales in the Reids.

    Ian

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    Successive British governments taxed photography heavily, plus the Rank Organisation pretty much absorbed and neglected several photographic manufacturers, plus the only camera designed entirely by women (the Wrayflex) was a howler and Corfield didn't have a good screen. Only world class camera from the Uk was the Agiflite

    David

  5. #5
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    Thanks for that information Ian. The Reid is a camera that I have never actually seen in the flesh, rare as rocking horse poo over ere. Looks like it may be based on the 111C then.

    Tony

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    When I was a teenager quite a number of cases of Reid camers and lenses were discovered unfinished (all the parts were there) and these were finished and sold off by a company specialising in Government /Military surplus photographic materials (camera/films/papers etc) A.W. Young. I was a University student at the time and although they were cheap it was still more than I could afford.

    David makes a point mentioning AGI.I think they only stopped making cameras quite recently.

    During the 1st WW Britain (and the Empire/Commonwealth) had problems with Optical glass needed for military instruments and lenses because it had nearly all come from Germany. As a consequence the Government worked with Pilkingtons to produce optical glass, almost all the specialist glass used in Japan to blend optical glass comes from Pilkington's., the Japanese bought the company recently.

    During WWII there was a shortage of precision cameras in the UK because a very high percentage had previously been impoted from Germany, many Leica's, Contax's. Rollei's etc were requisitioned for military use. The Focal Press camera guides were initially written as manuals for these cameras for wartime use.

    After WWII the UK Government was concerned that the UK camera industty had been weak and unable to supply nwhat was really needed so they encouraged a number of companies to work with them using the War Reparations agreements to access German technology.

    So we had Reid and Sigrist an off-shoot of Taylor Taylor Hobson (Cooke) making cameras based on Leicas, MPP making the Micro Technical based on the Linhof andalso the Microcord & Microflex based on Rolleis and AGI making the Agigflex based onthe Reflex Korelle.

    All very well engineered and with excellent lenses.

    Ian

  7. #7
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    The MPP Microcord and particularly the later Microflex were excellent cameras. The Micronar lens on the latter was made by Taylor, Taylor & Hobson, and at the time of production was regarded as equal or better than the Zeiss Tessar.

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    A bit late to reply but yes, I have a Reid III mk2. It's in great shape and although looks just like a Leica, it feels different. The body only is 20gms heavier than a IIIb on which it's based and has a body covering slightly different to a Leica.
    Having read company's history and how the camera came about I was struck by its engineering beauty. On the flip side, there is the sorry saga of R&S and it's withdraw from camera production.
    What ever the story, it's incredible to hold one once you know the history.



 

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