Chinon Memotron CE2 plus 'extras'

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by stuart_pratt, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Excuse the very un-rickdrawbridgesque gear photo.

    So I got lucky when I saw this on ebay, listed at £80, ordinarily over the odds for this camera with a standard f2 or f1.8 lens. The photos weren't up to much, but I could just see a 'KA', and some red lettering indicating the Tomioka, and an f1.2. I asked for some additional info on the lens (fungus/haze/scratches etc.) but did not get any better photos, just an assurance that it was in good condition, but from someone who was obviously not familiar with the kind of scrutiny us GAS sufferers usually subject such things to. Anyhow, I was the only bidder, and when it arrived, the glass was pretty perfect, focus smooth (if a little slacker than it might have been straight out of the factory) and aperture blades snappy, and protected by a skylight filter.

    The body is in good condition, although I wasn't really interested in this when bidding. The meter works but is not accurate, although the error (about 3 stops too sensitive) seems to be pretty linear across the range, and I can get it within about half a stop of my D7000 using compensation and adjusting ISO. Does anyone have any idea if there is a trim pot somewhere on these that could be used to pull it back to correct exposure (assuming it has sufficient adjustment)? If so, what is the process of entry like. I have some limited experience going into the top of SLRs. Also, the slow speeds seem a bit slow (1 sec seems about 1.5). Anyone know if there is any adjustment available, and is this achievable by a non-technician??

    It's quite a well specified camera. Copal metal vertical travel shutter, exposure lock, double exposure function, open aperture metering, viewfinder blind, 1/2000 shutter and a shutter lock. It's a lump though, and weighs a ton!

    m42dave likes this.
  2. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Nice find, Stuart, especially the lens. Hope to see some sample photos sometime.

    They are very good user cameras, indeed. I have the GAF L-ES (like the CE Memotron) and other cosmetic variants were sold under different brand names including Alpa, Porst, Argus, Sears, etc. They seem to be based on the Cosina EC series, and I believe all used stopped-down metering.

    I have the removed the top cover on mine before, but I didn't notice where the meter adjustments were located (fortunately, the meter on mine is fairly accurate). This thread may give a bit more information:

    Erratic meter Chinon Memotron CE-ii

    In some electronic cameras the shutter may be adjusted by a variable resistor, as well. Cleaning the shutter magnets can sometimes help too, though they may not be easily accessible. Also, if the camera hasn't been used in a long time, it may take a bit of exercise to "charge up." You might try dry-firing the camera at different speeds over several days with a fresh battery.

    If I find out anything else, I'll post it later.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
    stuart_pratt likes this.
  3. Thanks Dave, especially for the thread link. I did a search, but didn’t come up with that one. I might sell thi one on, but better if I can get the meter and shutter behaving first.
  4. Just as an aside, an attraction to Chinon was apparently Butkus's "toe in the door" for his wonderful and useful collections of manuals, etc.

    His address preserves that, I think: //

    He has lots of Chinon stuff still.
  5. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Good luck, Stuart. If you can't get yours working to spec, then it's cheap enough these days to buy any of the other brand-name versions.

    Another feature I really like about this camera is that it has metered manual mode--I believe the only automatic screw-mount cameras to do so.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019

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