Saturday, October 1, 2011

Modern Photography Review, Ansco Anscoset - 1960

ANSCOSET: SHUTTER & DIAPHRAGM ALL IN ONE

Manufacturer's specifications:
Anscoset 35mm rangefinder camera with built-in coupled exposure meter. Lens: 45mm f/2.8 Rokkor. Shutter: Optiper Uni Citizen with speeds from 1/8 to 1/1000 sec., B, MX sync. Viewing: Combined range-viewfinder, bright frameline with parallax markings. Special feature: Single setting system using EV numbers 6 to 18 (shutter speeds and lens openings combined in one setting). Other features: Built-in meter may be set for films with exposure indexes 10 to 1600; auto-resetting frame counter; rapid wind and rewind crank lever. Price: $69.95. Importer: Ansco, Vestal Parkway East, Binghamton, N. Y.


Within the last couple of years a number of easy-to-use semi-automatic 35mm cameras have come along¬some more automatic than others. The Anscoset (actually made for Ansco by Minolta) is semi-automatic, but with a striking new feature. There is no special shutter-diaphragm hook-up. It doesn't need one, since the shutter also acts as the diaphragm. According to the exposure setting, the shutter blades will open to a greater or lesser extent, thus varying the apertures.

First you set the exposure index of your film by lining up a red dot with the exposure index engraved on the lens mount. Then point the built-in meter at the subject as you would with any reflected meter. Line up a pointer in the meter window with the meter needle by turning the EV indicator control. When the needle and pointer are lined up you have the proper camera exposure setting.

Each EV number represents a fixed f-number and shutter-speed combination, which means that, for correct exposure in any given situation, the Anscoset user cannot choose an alternative combination. Thus, EV 6 is 1/8 sec., f/2.S; EV 7 is 1/15 sec., f/2.S; EV 8 is 1/30 sec., f/2.8; EV 9 is 1/60 sec., f/2.8; EV 10 is 1/110 sec., f/2.9; EV 11 is 1/160 sec., f/3.5; EV 12 is 1/210 sec., f/4.4; EV 13 is 1/270 sec., f/5.4; EV 14 is 1/360 sec., f/6.8; EV 15 is 1/450 sec., f/8.4; EV 16 is 1/590 sec., f/10.4; EV 17 is 1/770 sec., f/12.6; EV IS is 1/1000 sec., f/ 16. Therefore it is impossible to use 1/1000 sec. with any f-number other than f/16, etc.

The Anscoset's flash system is unusual. First you focus on the subject with the built-in range-viewfinder (incidentally, if you wear glasses you might find it difficult to see the bright frameline). Then you check your focus distonce on the footage scale situated on the lens mount. Line up that distance, which is also engraved on the EV setting ring, matching it with the letter A, B, C, D, or E, engraved on the camera body. Each letter stands for a different kind of flashbulb or, in the case of electronic flash, a different distance. For example: if you're using AG-l bulbs you set the distance to the letter C, which is the setting for AG- 1 bulbs (the different bulb settings are described in the Anscoset manual).

The Anscoset is well made, inside and out. Its rapid wind lever is extremely easy to operate; however, it does interfere with straps hooked onto the body lugs when the camera is used with a neck strap or with the straps from the leather case.
Our tests made with the non-inter-changeable 45mm f/2.S Rokkor indicated that when used in all normal. snapshot lighting conditions, 11 x 14 enlargements made from negatives shot with the Anscoset showed amazingly good sharpness from the center right to the edges.

With the film speed set at E.\. 400, the lowest accurate light readings we were able to take were in conditions requiring an exposure of EV 9 (f/2.S and 1 160 sec.). Results showed that exposure settings were accurate in all normal outdoor lighting.-E.M.
Anscoset (actually made for Ansco by Minolta) is semi-automatic, but with a striking new feature. There is no special shutter-diaphragm hook-up. It doesn't need one, since the shutter also acts as the diaphragm. According to the exposure setting, the shutter blades will open to a greater or lesser extent, thus varying the apertures.

3 comments:

  1. I came upon one of these in a junk store over the weekend and was so sad to find I couldn't get the shutter to fire. Even for $18, as listed, I wasn't in the mood to deal with that.

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  2. I bought one of these for a few dollars on ebay. Unfortunately, the selenium cell is dead, so I have to guess at the correct setting, which is not easy given the unusual exposure/shutter speed combinations. Nevertheless, I achieved good results with my first roll of film. The thing to do is to think of 16 as "sunny sixteen" as a rough guide, and then stops "over" and "under." I could never memorize those combinations. . . .

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  3. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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