We found this camera last week at a local car boot sale. I’ve seen several Ful-Vues before, so I imagine that they must have been quite mass produced in their day. However, this one was in unusually very good condition, an Ensign Ful-Vue II, with the original box, canvas carry case, user manual, and even an empty photo wallet. So I parted with GBP £5, and took it home.
This model was manufactured in England around 1952. The Ful-Vue range were simple, but oddly styled, snapshot cameras. They were sort of box cameras, that were trying to evolve into TLR cameras. Designed to take Brownie film (120 medium format – some later models used 620 spindles), their days were numbered with the increasing popularity of 35mm film. A cheap simple lens, a simple one speed (or bulb) spring shutter, but with an odd looking viewfinder somewhere between a box camera and a toy TLR. It has a three point focus.
My car boot Ful-Vue on inspection, despite it’s otherwise lovely condition, had a sticky shutter. Three small screws, and the shutter mechanism came off. A little light oil, and it was back in service. The photo wallet, and a photo lab pamphlet provenanced to Glasgow in 1960. I imagine that this may well have been when the camera was last used.
I loaded with one of my remaining 120 rolls of Shanghai GP3 film. We took it out for a quick fun trial. What do you think?
Halloween mask courtesy of Poundland, in the tight fisted tradition.