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Houghton Ensign Selfix 220 favori envoyer Print
Photos by VB text by VB. From the collection of VB
France Version française

Chronology of the Houghton brand  New window

Manufactured in Grande-Bretagne from Circa 1939 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 4133

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Houghton Ensign Selfix 220

The Ensign Selfix 220 is a dual format folding camera, simple but not without ingenuity.
Thus, the change of format of views is secured by folding two small flaps attached to the film guide rollers. There's no removable cache that is often lost during the life of the device.
The advance of the film does not have automatic locking, but the graduations of the view counter disc are increasingly close to take into account the progressive increase of the diameter of the receiving spool.
The counter disc is removable, each face being dedicated to a views format , 16 graduations for the face used for 4.5 x 6 cm and 12 on the face devoted to 6 x 6 cm format.
The viewfinder is covered with a small cover having at each end, the mask of one of the two formats. Just return it for a change of framing. This cover is very well adjusted and held firmly in place and it took a careful examination of the device to detect its presence. Photo illustration is taken with the rectangular frame in service.
The focusing is made by a slider at the front of the camera, which moves a stand that support the front plate and the lens. As the minimum focusing distance makes the stand protruding out of the camera bed it is necessary to come back to the position corresponding to infinity before closing the camera; to avoid this a rod system links back the stand automatically when the bed closes. Curiously closure lock is attached to the stand and not the bed itself.
Last refinement of this british unit of good quality, a tripod socket available on the bed is protected by a chromium plated screw; but it needs to have a small coin to use it.
This camera seems to have been available with several different shutters and lenses. With its limited range of speeds and modest aperture 6.3 this copy was probably the least expensive of the range.
A version with rangefinder was available under the name Ensign Autorange 220
Different sources date the Selfix 220 in the late 30's while others date back to the early fifties.
Considering that the camera has no red window on the back in the path of 6 x 6 format views and that such  numbering appeared on film before the forties; comparing with the Autorange 220 whose date seems more established, I deduced that it is probable that the Ensign Selfix 220 is appeared around 1939 and has continued his little life up to the middle of the fifties.