widening an ensign 820 special filmgate

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by andrew_spence|1, May 17, 2017.

  1. guys
    have any of you done this, the gate is 80mm wide a bit short for 6x9 cm as stated by Dan Fromm so i descided to widen it as much as it can be i might get it to 85mm ive done this to other cameras though not to a special ,
    Do any of you do this or just leave film gate widths generally as original
    regards Andrew
  2. I've never tried this, although I once removed the plastic mask from a Bilora which took 4x4 pictures on 120 film, to enlarge the frame, with disastrous results .

    The Bilora Bella DC4 - Warts and All

    It occurs to me that these Ensign 820's, particularly the ones with rangefinders, seem have risen in value recently and your modification might reduce its value, if that is a concern. Also, perhaps Ensign had good reasons for limiting the width to 8cm.
  3. I just took a look at my Selfix 820, non-special. I wouldn't do it. I'm not sure how the bellows is attached to the lip at the back of the box, suspect that enlarging the box will break the bellows lose.

    If you're going to use the camera, use it as is. If you're going to sell it, well, mutilating it might -- no guarantee either way -- affect the selling price.

    If you want to shoot slightly wider 2x3, look into getting a 2x3 Linhof Super Rollex roll holder and a camera that will accept it.
  4. I'm a preservationist. I even avoid AI'ong my old non-AI Nikkor lenses, so you can imagine that I would leave any camera that has made it this far, in as close to original condition as possible.
    It is particularly the "ordinary" cameras (as opposed to collector prizes) that are unlikely to survive in their original condition.
    Once plentiful, they fade away over time.

    If it weren't for their having been made in the millions, I'd even be uneasy about those "Leicas" from the ex-Soviet Union. :|
  5. guys thanks for your replies very interesting
    i widened it to 85mm if u file the edge at a 45 degree angle, the face that the bellows are glued onto stays the same so the bellows stay attached.
    i had a look thru a ground glass screen and the image goes right to the edges.it could go a few mm more
    I now need to file out a 6x9 devere 504 mask to match it .
    The ensign 820 special i modified is the only 6x9 folder i have that ive modified i tend to leave everything original on 120 film folders
    I buy some real scrappers and just enjoy restoring them though i have modified a lot of cameras of other types i should post some photos when i get time of them
    The 820 special i got for £150 i serviced it ,set the rangefinder cleaned it, its in great condition and the case only needed some stitching and a good polish with brown polish ill be using it a lot
    regards Andrew
  6. Wow I'm surprised it worked. Looking at my selfix special i dont see how you could get any more out of it.
    -Would like to see some results from it. The one I have is a parts only camera unfortunately. Somehow when I purchased it, I missed the fact that it was completely missing pieces of the rangefinder and shutter. Ug! Back on sale it goes!

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