Rectaflex update

I first posted about this back in January of 2012.  Surprisingly, it’s become one of my most popular articles and “Rectaflex” is now a common search string leading to my website.  Since then, I’ve learned a bit more about the camera and so I thought I’d add this info to bring anyone interested up to date.

Early 1950s, Italian Rectaflex film SLR kitEarly 1950s, Italian Rectaflex film SLR kit.  This is a multi-frame focus bracket, stacked in Photoshop.

A lot of the new information first originated with Andrew Fildes, a photographer in Australia who also collects cameras.  He too has a Rectaflex and saw my post.  He emailed me, initially to make sure I knew how collectible these cameras are and we had an interesting email exchange.  Here’s how the conversation started:

“Just spotted your post about the Rectaflex. Good grief.  Has anyone told you yet what you’ve got there?  … The most common Rectaflex in working order is worth about $1000, Unusual models or rare ones (‘Specials’) can go up to $20K or more… (The lens cap is a $150 item if clean) … looks like you’ve got the Angenieux 35mm f2.5 there as well but the other one – 10cm f2.8 Meyer? That’s unusual!  Even the rings and cases are worth a lot to collectors.”

I think the collecting market has calmed down a bit since then, and the copy I have isn’t in working order so I don’t think it’s worth all that much.  Still – it was an exciting email!  I wish I could’ve asked Lynn’s Grandfather about it – I’d like to know his story behind the camera.  Andrew said that a lot of his information came from the book Rectaflex The Magic Reflex, by Marco Anonetto.  I bought a copy (included in the photo above) and it’s a wonderful resource if you want to find out more.  It seems to be out of print now, but if you search the web, you can find copies.

I got another email recently from Bosse, who lives in Olso, Norway.  He’s very knowledgable about reflex cameras including the Rectaflex and he’s posted a huge amount of info on his website at http://www.pentax-slr.com/108413508.  Boss confirmed that mine was manufactured for USA sale, probably around 1950.

Although I still can’t find out much about the 10cm f/2.8 Meyer lens, there’s more info on the web now about Rectaflex than there was in early 2012.  If you search, you’ll get many hits  for your reading pleasure.

So that’s my post for this week.  By the way – have a wonderful holiday season!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Rectaflex update

  1. Hello,
    I’ve read your interesting contributions about the Rectaflex. I am an Italian photographer and I like using old cameras. Among them, I have a Rectaflex 1300 (series 30.000) belonged to my grandfather (who was in a good friendship with Telemaco Corsi, the creator of this 35 mm. reflex); after having been overhauled by a very good repairman, now works flawlessly. More, I have a further one, coming from the “Laboratorio Sperimentale” (Experimental Laboratory) of Rectaflex: this one has an improved, but never introduced shutter and the quick-advance lever.
    It’s a pity that your camera is just resting on the shelf: i think it should deserve a proper restoration, at least to try using its lenses…
    All the best,
    Enzo, Trento,Italy

    1. Hello Enzo,

      It’s good to hear from you – especially due to your family history!

      So far, we haven’t done anything to repair our Rectaflex camera. I don’t want to do anything that will further damage it, and I don’t know of any knowledgable repair person nearby.

      I should look into adapting the lenses to one of my other cameras. That would be fun!

      Thanks again,
      Ed

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