Miranda Question

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ken_jeanette|1, May 19, 2015.

  1. I have a soft spot for Mirandas, it was my first SLR. I do have a question though. They seemed to be quite proud of their lens mount with the bayonet and threaded inner throat. Did anyone make lenses with the 44mm thread? I would think they would have opted for a 42MM standard, so why the 44mm?
  2. Soligor made M44 lenses - not really a surprise since Soligor and Miranda were owned by the same company I believe. There was one Miranda (the TM model) which used M42 lenses but that model couldn't take the Miranda bayonet lens because the distance from the film plane to the back of the lens was longer for M42.
    I have a few Miranda cameras in my vintage collection - I assume it's ok to post a link? http://simonhawketts.com/2014/11/30/my-miranda-family/
  3. SCL


    Beautiful collection, Simon. I've never owned one, but always thought of them as beautiful and underappreciated.
  4. Miranda supplied adapters for many other lens mounts, but I can't think of many other manufacturers that marketed lenses with the Miranda mount. I have the Miranda adapter for the common YS and T mounts, so many lenses of the era can be fitted with with this system. But why M44 was chosen, I have no idea. Perhaps Peter Naylor can provide an answer, if he's reading this!
    Great collection, Simon; I have a few examples, and certainly consider the marque under-rated.
  5. I've wondered the same thing. I've never had anything that fit the Miranda threads, except for a set of Miranda extension tubes. There was a very rare and short-lived mount similar to a T but with larger diameter, that I found once on a Hanimex preset lens, but that one is over 44 mm. and fits nothing else either.
  6. I am not sure whether Miranda and Soligor were more or less the same company but I have read that even the "generic" Miranda lenses were made by Soligor. No wonder they sold lenses for the 44mm mount with their own brand, too.
    Back then, several manufacturers made minor modifications to well-established lens mounts so that only lenses sold by these manufacturers could be used. For example, the french Foca (Leica clones) used a 36mm thread instead of the 39mm used by Leica and many of their copies.
  7. Thank you all, for the input. If I read Simon's site notes about the 44MM screw mount, it leads me to believe that perhaps the elusive Orion may have had a 44MM mount as its only attachment method, and perhaps even some of the earlier Miranda branded units. It strikes me as logical, in that folks in the early days probably looked at screw mounting as the way to go, then found bayonet more to user liking. I would be interested to have Peter Naylor's input, as he has a depth of knowledge that is enviable in things vintage camera.
  8. My first SLR was a Miranda G about 1971. This camera, with interchangeable screens, started my preference for plain matte screens, a type that I still use in my OM cameras to this day. The first accessories I bought were a WLF and a matte screen. Extra lenses cost money I didn't have much of, so the first extra lens I bought was a pre-set Soligor 135mm f2.8. That and the 50 f1.9 were it for a couple of years.
  9. Hi, Ken J., Rick D, and anybody else interested in Miranda SLRs - sorry to be a bit late in posting , but after buying a new Super-Duper Giant-Size monitor, I'm now finding I'm having lots of possibly migraine-related eyesight problems with zig-zag lines traversing across the screen after spending several minutes of viewing. (Sigh) Is this just me, or does anybody else of the Olde Farte Brigade experience this same problem?
    Getting back to the Miranda issue - and hopefully before those dreaded zig-zags reappear - my understanding is that their lenses appeared early on with both M44 and bayonet mounts. FWIW, my earliest Miranda is a 'T' likely from 1955, fitted with a screwthread M44 Arco 5cm F2.4 lens. The Miranda T body has both the M44 screwthread internal mount and the Miranda bayonet mount. From discussions with other early Miranda collectors, it seems that the faster standard lens options for the 'T' such as the Zunow, Soligor and Ofunar F1.9, all had the bayonet mount. (By the way, the Zunow and Ofunar lenses are thought to be identical, other than for naming).
    The reason for Mirandas having both M44 and bayonet mounts was a marketing adaptability thing, to enable them to use not only their own Miranda/Soligor lenses but also just about everybody else's via an appropriate adaptor. These slimline adaptors fitted had an M44 screwthread mount on one side, with the Leitz/Nikon/Contax/Exakta etc plumbing mount at the other. (Does that sound familiar to any of you Digital 4/3 people of today, out there?) These adaptors can fetch really big $$$'s today, BTW. The lens adaptability angle worked very well for Miranda in their early years, but once lenses got more complex with metering connections etc, things got difficult.
    Generally I reckon early Miranda SLRs were both very well made and very cleverly designed, with the early 60's Automex Series quite outstanding. However, ownership of the Miranda Camera Company (and Soligor) passed across the Pacific to the Allied Impex Company of NY in the mid-60s, and things seem to have taken a downturn thereafter in both QA and design, although retail prices also came down. Around 1977 the relatively small Miranda Camera Co went down the gurgler after lots of warranty problems with their new 'DX-3' electronic-shuttered wonderkid model, and that was that. The Fat Lady had sang for good for Miranda (sigh), so even although you may find later Miranda-labelled stuff especially in the UK, it's actually rebadged Cosina gear by any other name.
    Time to sign off, as those damn flashing lights are starting to appear again ..............
  10. Peter - you are just the "dogs" on Miranda. I expect our friends across the water wont understand that comment, which is why I feel safe to make it!!! Excellent answer, and I hope the zig-zags didn't get you while you were typing it.
  11. Thanks to John B. for those kudos! One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier follow-up to Ken J.'s interesting post, was regarding just why the Orion/Miranda Camera Cos. (and therefore Soligor as their primary lens supplier) made lenses for their cameras with both types of lens mount. I mentioned for example, that my 1955-ish Miranda T has an F2.4 Arco 5cm lens with M44 screw-thread but I'm aware that faster contemporary F1.9 lenses from Zunow, Soligor and Ofuna came with the bayonet mount. Another early standard lens was the F2.8 5-element 5cm Soligor, which isn't much to look at compared to the more exotic F1.9 stuff but was one hell of a fine performer, right down to max F2.8. It too came with the M44 screwthread mount.
    Now I can understand even with my limited engineering knowledge, that the M44 screwthread mount would have been perceived to have been a stronger and safer mounting method for longer (and therefore heavier) focal length lenses compared to the bayonet system. However, those lenses I mentioned were all standard 5cm stuff, and not especially heavy. So a while back I discussed this with a friend who did have a proper engineering background including a spell in the early 50s as an apprentice with the Napier aero engine company of West London, manufacturers of the famed (or infamous, depending on point of view, especially for those who had to service it!) Napier Sabre 24-cyl 'H' formation liquid-cooled aero engine. He reckoned that it would have been purely a money matter, with a relatively straightforward M44 male screwthread mount being cheaper to produce than a 4-claw bayonet mount with its internal springs and precision tolerances. However, the bayonet mount would have won out on speed of fitment and disengagement, which was a big selling point for professional and serious amateur photogs alike, who needed to frequently swap around lenses as quickly as possible.
    Just going back a bit OT again regarding the Napier Sabre aero engine, by the mid-50s when its wartime unreliability issues had been thoroughly sorted out and it had been hooked up to a very advanced supercharging induction setup, test engines were reliably churning out over 5,000 BHP. Not bad for an engine with the common size of 37 litres, eh? Works out to about 140 BHP per litre. However, with the development of the jet engine highly complex internal combustion engines like the Sabre were being seen as expensive dinosaurs, so the Sabre was pensioned off to collect dust. Just like with Miranda lens mounts, it's often the bean-counters who win out over the engineers. (Pete In Perth)
  12. Alas, I joined the Miranda fold too late. With 13th birthday and bar mitvah loot, I bought my first SLR, the Sensorex, brand spanking new in 1970. And I had the M44 extension tube, which I used with the 50mm lens. Never bought another lens. Alas, it was going bad by 1973, Miranda was no more, and I swapped the camera for a Bultaco motorcycle that was equally fun, pretty, and unreliable. Both were fun while they lasted.
    My photo buddy bought a Spotmatic. It probably still works. He was always more sensible.
    And I just recently found some of my earliest photos taken with that Miranda, in New York. Mostly Tri-X, but a few rolls of Ilford HP3 including the greatly exaggerated "Hypersensitive" claim on the box and edge markings (it was barely a true 200 film).
    Artist Enzo Russo and wife Trudy, also an artist.
    Not sure what Trudy was fishing for in that ashtray but I'm sure it was something crafty.
    (1970 - Miranda Sensorex, Tri-X)

    Sensorex again. Ilford HP3 Panchromatic "Hypersensitive". It wasn't.
  13. Hi, Lex your mention of that magic name 'Bultaco' reminds me that I almost bought one around 1974. It was their latest 250cc 'Matador' dirt bike, and on paper seemed to be the Bees' Knees. However, our local Perth Bultaco dealer kept umming and aahing over whether to take my Honda 450cc road bike in part exchange. So I gave up on Senor Bulto's machine and visited another local dealer who handled CZ/Jawa bikes, and who had the latest CZ 250 Enduro dirt bike in stock. The CZ dealer offer me a good deal on my Honda 450 and I became the proud owner of a black frame CZ 250 Enduro, which was then touted as the fastest 250 dirt bike you could legally register for road useage, doing over 90 mph.
    I kept riding that CZ for almost 20 years, without any major mechanical problems. Meanwhile, reports were coming in via various dirt bike magazines that Senor Bulto's Matador was a real fizzer, with dodgy electrics and bits falling off regularly. So I increasingly felt happy over my choice to go Czech. In fact, when I finally sold it in 1992, I got exactly the same $750 I'd paid for it in 74. (Pete In Perth, OT Reminiscing)

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