The Anscomark M

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rod_larson, May 23, 2012.

  1. Spotted this one laying on a table and it took some examination to determine that it was a real camera. I
    paid the 10 bucks and took it home without knowing what I had really bought. My first impression was
    that it had the styling of a 1960 Mercury, oversized and lots of chrome.
    A little research revealed a quite sophistacated rangefinder camera. Released in 1960 by Ansco in the US
    it was made by Ricoh and sold in Japan as the Ricoh 999. I found some reference indicating the camera
    was designed by Ansco and they contracted Ricoh to make it but I have not been able to verify that.
    The camera had a selenium powered match needle exposure meter, a large and bright viewfinder, and
    interchangeable Xyton lenses. This camera came with the f1.9/50 Xyton lens but there was also available
    a f3.5/35, a f4/100, and a lower cost f2.5/50 Xytar lens. Each lens had a colored ring on the end of the
    that matched the colored brightline frame lines in the viewfinder. The 35mm lens was green, 50mm white,
    and 100mm was red. There is a small lever on the side near the name badge when pressed causes the
    name badge to flip up exposing the selenium cell for metering. That big silver hood ornament next to the
    lens is the shutter release. The frame counter is unique in that it is mounted on the back of the film door
    and the frame advance lever is on the bottom ala the Kodak Retinas. It uses the Seikosha SLV shutter.
    So here is a picture of the monster (Is that what the "M" stands for).
  2. You don't see the lenses for this camera come up on the auction site too often but I have
    been able to get the 35mm and 100mm lenses at reasonable prices. Here is the camera
    with the 100mm lens mounted on it. If you look closely you can see a red ring on the front
    of the lens that corresponds to the red frame lines in the viewfinder.
    The only complaint I have about the camera besides its size and weight is about 25% of the
    viewfinder is blocked by the lens.
  3. Never heard of it. Fascinating.
    Hope some pictures will follow ;)
  4. I forgot to mention the lenses use a bayonet mount that is the smoothest I have ever used.
    Here is a photo of some bridge construction with the 50mm lens.
  5. This one I took with the 35mm lens. The selenium cell is dead but I did pretty good with
    sunny 16.
  6. And one last photo with the 100mm lens.
  7. Now that's my idea of truly collectable; just love those 50's/60's oddities .What a little beauty. Well done, Rod, I'm looking forward to the pics.
  8. Nice pics, sorry to have broken in prematurely. The slight softness works very well, especially in 'foggy'.
    I am amazed that you were able to find the interchangeable lenses.
  9. Nice results. I've seen ads for this camera in old issues of photography magazines, but never seen any photos taken with one. I inherited a ton of old photo magazines from my dad (ranging from 1952 to 1977). Ansco was a big advertiser in the 50's and 60's, offering various 35mm models as well as 120 folders. I've always wondered how this camera performed. I would (based on my reading of old magazines) that it would be less expensive than Kodak's Retina rangefinder series, but probably more than the Kodak Signet 80 series. Thanks for an informative post.
  10. Amazing. The more I find out about classic cameras, the more I realise there is to learn.
  11. I think the 'foggy' reveals an almost mysterious side to this find! I am pleased tat you have been able to source a few other lenses. The red ring you mentioned seems like a quirky but nice touch.
  12. What a wonderful piece of 60's design! That is a beautiful camera kit, the likes of which I am always seeking out. Great find.
  13. I saw one of these in a thrift shop in 1971 but it was a bit expensive. That thrift shop usually was. Anyway, I had thought these were made by Minolta. But the thing that amazes me most is how your photos look like they were shot on Anscochrome film.
  14. I am glad everyone found this strange looking camera interesting. It did not sell too well
    but I think if its styling was more conventional it would have been a better seller.
    Tom- I think I was using Fuji 200 at the time.
  15. Always late to the party !! Wow what a cool camera. You mentioned the size and weight. Hard to udge size. I get the implication from moster tht it ain't too small and cute. Amazing that you could find the lenses. The car comparison was pretty nice as the chrome was the same. Like John said the more you learn, the more you realize there's so much you don't know. I love this forum for such finds like this. You'd think a consumer camera with this kind of functionality would've sold better!! ie more plentiful! So this is well kind of rare ... Love the photos and I agree they have that 1960s slide look! Fog really works!!

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