Twin Lens Flexaret


Tags: #6x6 #flexaret #fp4 #medium format

The Flexaret was produced between 1939 and 1970 in Czechoslovakia by the company Meopta. This particular model is a Flexaret IV, made from 1956 to 1959. I got it for cheap as the seller said the shutter release lever was sticky and you could only trigger the shutter on the bottom of the lens itself. After confirming this was the case, but that the shutter did in fact function at home, I loaded it up with a roll of Ilford FP4 and Julia and I rode to the Botanical Gardens. Which despite living in Graz for almost six years I'd never visited.

I made my first exposure of this cactus plant, triggering the shutter by pushing directly on the lens, on the part where the normal lever would connect to. Great, everything worked. But I couldn't wind on to the next frame. It was stuck. Jump on google and download a manual. No help. Then it dawns on me; the camera has protection against user error. The mechanism advanced when loading the film until the first frame and was waiting for me to make an exposure with the lever before allowing me to wind on. I covered the lens, triggered it again, this time with the lever and could then wind on to the next frame. The shutter release lever actually works perfectly, just not without loaded film in the camera.

The old greenhouses from the early 20th century are standing but slowly going to ruin.

There was a strange feeling in the air. A huge storm was brewing on the horizon, but the city was strangely calm. The sun shining but occasionally sheets of rain coming down accompanied by gusts of strong wind. We were warned by an employee at the gardens not to stand under any trees.