LIPCA Flexo / Flexora

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ralf_j., Nov 1, 2020.

  1. Lipca - or long: Lippische Kamerafabrik Richter & Fischer GmbH (Try and say that fast 5 times) was a small camera factory in Barntrup/Lippe according to McKeown and Camerapedia...

    To the best of my knowledge one of the more obscure companies, on the smallish side (there are pictures of their plant on the web), and their claim to fame seems to have been the Rollop TLR line.

    According to folks that have done research on this company they are a continuation of the former Richter company, on the West German side, and similarities are definitely there with Richter's pre-war Reflekta line albeit with coated lenses.

    I have been kind of a fan of their Flexo/Flexora line for a while, for a number reasons: their simplicity, easy to use once serviced, good-enough-for-my-purposes lenses produced by ENNA of Munich, and simple shutters to operate.
    Film transport is simplistic with red window on most of them, while later models relied on a click lock lever.

    They don't appear too often here in the States since the market is oversaturated with Japanese TLRs, but when they do I try to snap them up if the price is reasonable, and by that I mean, less than 30USD. The current samples on eBay demand unreasonable sums.

    On this post, I share a sample of my experience with the beater Flexo I got recently.

    The poor girl had definitely seen better days, shutter inoperable, lens dirty and coated with oil vapors, and one of the flaps from the viewing hood was missing. Mirror and focusing screen were a mess as well. The good thing is it came in leather case and original caps held by a string were still there.
    This Flexo hails from 1949 and was the first model put in the market place by Lipca.

    Repairs:

    • managed to release the whole front standard without marring the rear lens (a feat in itself), removed elements and set them aside for cleaning.
    • Flushed shutter with naphtha and brought it back to life more or less many qtips later. It's still kind of iffy on 1/25 or 1/50.
    • All 3 lens elements were disassembled and cleaned (Double group in front and single in back.)
    • Cleaned Hood, components including mirror, this last one I was afraid of as most cameras of this period have silvering issues.
    • Assembled back together and adjusted focusing, ensuring the viewing and taking lens match and focus well on infinity.
    • Voila
    Camera during repair and some shots with it below:

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  2. Summer shots on severely expired Velvia 100:

    Surfer / Selfie / Bouquet:

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  3. Fall / Farm / Family and Dog Beach Outing on Arista EDU 400

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  4. Looks good, I have a soft spot for simple little TLRs. Is that a Super Solinette in the background?
     
  5. Hi Steve, that is a super regent ansco. Next project, stiff focus which i have managed to free. The internal focusing helicoid is in container of Naphtha now.
     
  6. Impressive work on the camera, and great results from a little known "second string" TLR.
     
  7. Thanks John, appreciate it.
     
  8. Great renovation, Ralf, and the pics confirm that it was time well-spent. That little Enna triplet is certainly sharp enough and you've put it to good use. I've never seen a Flexo down here in New Zealand, which is surprising, considering many of the planet's oddball cameras seem to drift down here. Thanks for a very readable post.
     
  9. Thanks Rick, got my hands full with Wirgin TLR, prewar, right now. It is a water damaged Rusty mess

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  10. Great job !! Loved some of the pics too! Especially the camera itself on it'S colorful pedestal and the B&W leaves and the other images the tractor and the family beach photo. Great Post Always envied other's abilit to restore the cameras. MY desperate attempts rarely turn out very well! More Wirgin pics? coming? Welcome back Ralf!!
     
  11. Hi Chuck, buddy, hopefully you are doing well in Deutschland - thank you for the kind comments, this Flexo was fun.

    The Wirgin however is a real beater, but I don't have the heart to see it go without at least one last hooray. I have never see anything so damaged in tatters... so far I have been successful in restoring the lenses, which had dried oil and rust encrusted on them, thank g-d for the pre-war glass that was hard as nails, I literally had to use a scrubbing method and various solvents to get them to about 85% of them being new. The paint flaking is another problem. Shutter has been restored but someone broke the actuation lever so I can't seem to put my head around to B and T setting which will help with focus reset. I am thinking at this point I am just going to remove the two shutter blade leaves to reset focus...

    Anyway, sorry about the long winded response, more to come... on this, I am currently waiting for a mirror since these guys used 1mm thick mirrors.
     

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