Ensign 820 or Ensign Selfix 820 is a 120 film folding camera, 6x9
and 6x6 format, introduced after WWII by Ensign Ltd. in
England. It was the first "new" camera design after the
war. It has front cell focussing, a good lens and a good shutter.
The 820 Special has an uncoupled rangefinder and standard flash
connection. There was a coupled rangefinder
model, the 820 AutoRange, only built between 1955 and 1958, with a
colour-corrected lens and film plane focussing. It is hard to find and
Size (mm): 150 x 95 x 42 Weight: 764 g Lens: Ross-Ensign Xpress 1:3.8/105, closest focus ~ 0.9 m Shutter: Epsilon, T, B, 1 - 1/250, F 4.5 - 22 Finder: Albada finder Film advance: via red window(s)
Here are some photos of the camera. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it feels at the bottom of the page.
front closed. Foldable stand and tripod socket.
from the back. Red windows.
from above. Film advance, shutter release button, finder (folded),
camera opening button, accessory shoe and depth of the field scale.
front open. Speed setting
ring around the lens. Camera opens sideways.
from above, camera open, finder unfolded.
side, camera open. Front (lens): on the lens element: distance scale
and lever to turn the lens. Shutter cocking lever, aperture scale.
Seen from the bottom, camera open. Tripod socket. On the lens block: cable release socket and unusual flash connector.
Camera bed: distance scale (feet).
Film chamber with 6 x 6 masks swung in. They are hinged, so they can't be lost.
Leather case open.
a Ensign 820
is easy, it's like
other folding rangefinders. Loading film is as usual. Open
camera back, retract the pegs on the bottom and put the
take-up spool into
place. Same procedure for the film spool. Insert the film paper
into the take-up spool and advance it using the knob until it's
well engaged. Close the camera back. Open the red window and
the film via the advance knob
until the red window shows "1".
the camera. Cock
the shutter, set speed and aperture. Set focus by the lever on the front lens element. Press the
shutter release button. That's it. There is a double exposure prevention. Turn the film
advance until the next number meets the windw. To
close the camera, press the hinges of the struts
usual, it will fold easily.
The Ensign 820 is a very nice and quite sturdy camera, easy to use. It has a very good lens and a good shutter.