Vintage Camera Reviews

The Anscoflex II

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Vintage Ad from 1955

I recently wrote an article about the Anscoflex in which I expressed that I wasn’t crazy about the camera. Can the sequel to it redeem the Anscoflex? I hoped it would when I tested out the Anscoflex 2. But before I get into my experience, let’s learn a little bit about this pseudo TLR camera.

The Anscoflex II fitted with the flash

It’s virtually the same in every way as its predecessor, the original Anscoflex. Designed by Raymond Lowey and the Ansco Camera Plant, it still takes 12 6x6cm pictures on 620 film. It still has the ratcheting frame advance, and it still has the slide up lens cover that serves as the viewfinder hood. The shutter speed is fixed at 1/60th and aperture of f/11.

The only difference in the sequel is the two filters added on the bottom of the camera. A close up lens allowing shots as close as 3.5ft, and a yellow filter to help improve sunny scenes such as clouds in pictures with a sky background.

The newly added close up and yellow filter

My Experience

I did enjoy using this camera more than I did the original Anscoflex. The two filters do add a little bit more of a controlled experience. I personally love to take pictures with the clouds because I take a lot of pictures of trees and nature.

Shot taken with the Yellow filter
Shot taken with the yellow filter

The close up lens on the other hand was hit or miss. I must’ve been a little too close to the vase of flowers below, because it was completely out of focus. Yet the pineapple pictured below came out pretty good.

Shot using the Close up lens
Shot using the Close up lens
Shot with close up lens

I also tried the camera indoors, on a tripod. I thought that the shutter of 1/60th and an aperture of f/11 would be enough with some natural sunlight because I do take pictures at these settings with my SLR cameras indoors, but I think the aperture was a little to small. They did come a little too dark, but this is the first time I have ever gotten any kind of shot indoors with one of these old box-like cameras.

I took the camera around town with me after a doctors appointment to get some different shots.

Shot with the yellow filter
Shot with the yellow filter

Final Thoughts

In the end, I did enjoy using this camera, especially better than the original. I did have a couple issues. I used respooled Kodak Tmax 100 film from B&H, and at the end of the roll when I opened the back I found that the film didn’t rewind tightly on the take-up spool. This was most likely caused by the ratcheting advance lever, but I am not sure. I quickly closed the back and went into a dark closet to remove the film. In the end only the edges of the film had light leaks.

The other issue I ran into was my filters sliding into place. It is very important before each shot to make sure they are in neutral position if you are not using them. Otherwise they tend to slide over into position without you realizing it’s happening. I took the camera apart to see if it was something that could be fixed, but it wasn’t and after asking around, this seems to be common.

In the end I would recommend this camera if you enjoy shooting old 1950’s box type cameras. The lenses are a nice feature that don’t normally come on these types of cameras. For me, I probably won’t be shooting with this one any time soon. I do love it as a decoration though.

Have you shot with an Anscoflex? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you.

Until the next article, stay motivated and keep shooting.

6 thoughts on “The Anscoflex II

    1. Hey Natalie. It’s not a link to a roll of film. I’m not sure how to do that lol so I put a paypal link and any money anyone kindly donated will 100% help me buy film and things for this website. Is the PayPal button working?

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