Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This is the Sporti

The Ilford Sporti is a '50s product of West Germany.  It is a simple, but well-made medium format camera with a focusable lens, two aperture settings and flash synch.  This one had a lazy shutter, gummed up with half a century of dust and dried lubricant.

I dabbed a little lighter fluid on the back of the shutter from the inside, but that only freed it up momentarily.  Getting at the shutter's innards from the front proved an easy task.  Removing two small screws in the silver ring with the focal scale on it allowed removal of that piece.  Underneath that was the lens mount held in place by three more screws; removing those allowed access to the front of the box-camera-type shutter.

I scrubbed the face of the shutter with a q-tip moistened with Ronsonal which got things working better.  I then added a a dash of powered graphite to the lighter fluid and painted that on all the moving surfaces.  That got the shutter running reliably at about 1/25th of a second.

I decided to test the results with some expired Velvia 100 slide film that arrived with the camera.  Not having any E6 chemistry on hand, that meant I had to cross process the exposed film with my Unicolor C-41 kit.  The results were interesting, though not a fair test of the camera's capabilities.

I have some film on order now, so I'll try to run something through the camera soon that gives it a better chance to show what it can do.

A free manual for the Sporti is available on line at Central Manuals.


JR Smith said...

I love it when you continue to come up with cameras I have never heard of!

Mike said...

Ilford was an old German firm which mainly produced films, paper and photo chemicals. The Sporti was actually produced by Dacora. A lot of Sportis were sold in Europe, but I think they were likely unable to compete economically in the U.S.

astrobeck said...

Another cool camera and well done on convincing the shutter to fire up again.

Christopher Smith said...

I think you will find that Ilford is a British company who still produce Film ,paper and chemicals but the Ilford Sporti was made for Ilford by the German firm Dacora-Kamerawerk.
It was the "Dacora Digna I" but with the Ilford name on it
btw a good write up on the Camera and interesting cross processed shots.

Christopher Smith.

Mike said...

Thanks for that correction on Ilford's nationality. I'll try sometime soon to put some film in the Sporti which will show its actual potential.