Monday, September 09, 2013
My Patent Etui is performing well, but requires some care in use.
As with any of the ruby-windowed cameras, it is important to only open the frame counting view port briefly while advancing the film, and that must be done away from direct sunlight. Even with strong reading glasses it can be difficult to discern when the numerals crawl into sight in the window.
Since I was shooting with the Rollex rollfilm adapter and not planning on using the ground glass for focusing, I left the adapter's dark slide at home and just put a strip of black tape over the slot where the slide is inserted to avoid any light intrusion that way. I also put a strip of tape over the hinge on the Rollex, though the back closes up very tightly, and the cloth curtains over the film spools also seem to be doing their job of keeping out any stray light. The bellows have remained light-tight, thanks to the application of some dabs of black fabric paint to a few pinholes.
Getting the image properly framed is something of a challenge with the Patent Etui. The little reflex finder has a mirror that is slightly deteriorated, though it does allow accurate framing with care. The wire frame finder with the rear flip-up pin provides a very poor guide to framing, certainly not adequate to ensure full-frame display of the final image.
The fine Tessar lens easily makes up for any of the inconveniences of shooting the camera. I shot the whole roll at 1/250 and f-22 in bright sun at the air show, and every exposure was tack sharp.