Ensign Ful-Vue – or – don’t judge a camera by its looks…

I’ve come to a realisation lately. I have been seduced, endlessly, by the beauty of old cameras, but the truth is a universal one:

Don’t judge a camera by its looks. :)

I have been disappointed by two notably: The Kodak Brownie Reflex 20 and the Ensign Ful-Vue. The fact is that they have utterly stunning viewfinders but the end results – the shots themselves – are totally underwhelming. If a photograph looked like its image in the viewfinder, if the judging of the camera were that simple, wouldn’t we all be incredible photographers!

The Ensign Ful-Vue has possibly the most beautiful viewfinder I’ve yet seen. I was wildly optimistic when I took it for its test run, and I restored it lovingly before I had seen the results, the best of which I am posting here.

Village View

 

St Giles Church, Norwich

Clouds

Rural Norfolk

Conversely, the Halina Paulette, which looks a little like a toy camera and has an innocuous and unconvincing shutter sound, not to mention the most pathetic little viewfinder which has no bearing on the lens either (manual focus according to distance from subject), can produce some stunning results.

So… the moral of the story?

Well, actually, there isn’t one! The Lomo Lubitel2 has a beautiful viewfinder and produces gorgeous results, so… at best the moral is: don’t be attached to the results – just suck it and see. :)

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