Ensign Autorange 220 is a 120 film folding rangefinder camera, 6x6
and 4.5x6 format, introduced in 1937 by Ensign Ltd. in England. In
those days it was a very modern camera design which was part of the
"streamline" design of the 30s.
There was a simple version of the Ensign Autorange 220, the Selfix 220 with a flat top, wich only has a finder.
Size (mm): 135 x 105 x 42 Weight: 764 g Lens: Ensar Anastigmat 1:4.5/75, closest focus ~ 0.9 m | variant: 1:2.8 Tessar in a Compur Rapid shutter Shutter: Prontor, T, B, 1/25 - 1/125, F 4.5 - 32 | variant: Ensign Epsilon, three-blade leaf (after the war) Finder: coupled rangefinder Film advance: via numbered indicator on top, first frame via red window
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. Top: rangefinder window, shutter button, viewfinder window and film advance. Below: opening button.
from the back. On top: Film advance, viewer. Red window near the edge.
from above. Film advance, shutter release button, indicator for film
number. The number disc can be lifted and reversed for 4.5x6 numbering.
Seen from the bottom. Tripod socket.
front open. Speed setting
ring around the lens. Big lever on the bed: focusing. Camera opens sideways.
from above, camera open.
Left side, camera open. Front (lens): shutter cocking lever, aperture scale.
Seen from the bottom, camera open. On the lens block: cable release socket.
Camera bed: distance scale (feet).
chamber. The bellows have been mended, but they are light tight.
Film chamber with 4.5 x 6 masks swung in. They are hinged, so they can't be lost.
a Ensign Autorange 220
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". Check whether the right numbering is
present on the film advance indicator disk, 12 for 6x6 and 16 for
4.5x6. The disc can be lifted and reversed for the other numbering. Put the numer "1" on the mark of the rim, turn the disk to do so.
the camera. Cock
the shutter, set speed and aperture. Set focus by the lever near the
front bed, focusing moves the lens unit out. Press the
shutter release button. That's it. There is no double exposure prevention. Turn the film
advance until the next number meets the mark. To
close the camera, set focus to infinity, press the hinges of the struts
usual, it will fold easily.
The Ensign Autorange 220 is a very nice and quite sturdy camera, easy to use. When it was released, it was one of the most advanced cameras on the market.