Film Tested Purma Plus 127 film camera (the books was written partly from the experience of using this camera). Leather case and one copy of The Purma Camera Book. The camera uses 127 film and produces square images.
>About the Purma Plus :
The Purma Plus was introduced in 1951, costing £12 and manufactured to c. 1959 it has an all metal body and is significantly more heavy than the Special. Once again there was a range of accessories available including a case, lens hood and lens filters. The Purma Plus also has a cold shoe for attaching a flash, unlike the earlier cameras. Other features included direct-vision view-finder that blacks out when film is not advanced. The film advance is also coupled to the shutter eliminating the possibility of a double exposure. (Whilst this for many people would be a positive and ensure that exposures were not spoiled, some people may have wished to experiment with double exposure photos). About 19,000 cameras were manufactured.
>Purma Plus Specification:
Weight: Excluding case and additional lenses – c. 700g
Lens: f6.3, 55 mm Purma Anastigmat. Fixed aperture. Coated.
Focusing: Fixed 12 feet to infinity.
Shutter: Metal guillotine shutter near the focal plane comprising two metal plates that slide together across the film gate.
Shutter Speeds: Three speeds 1/25, 1/150, 1/500. Spring powered, separate capping blade. Speeds varied by the position of a brass cam which changes the slit width by acting on the second (following) plate. The cam is free to rotate, the position of the camera determines the position of the cam and so the slit width. Flash synchronisation.
Construction: Metal body – aluminium
Format: 16, 1 ¼” x 1 ¼” exposures on 127 roll-film. Curved film plane.
>About the book, The Purma Camera Guide.
Picking up a camera that is 50 or more years old, understanding how it works, using it in the field and obtaining a set of unique photographs can be very rewarding. There are many how to books whether they are original camera manuals or photography technique books, but I found few books that help a photographer get the most from using old and vintage cameras in today’s world.
I chose to use Purma cameras as they are a somewhat eccentric series of cameras, relatively easy to use and readily available at a reasonable price from auction sites, car boot fairs, Facebook Marketplace, etc. The shutter mechanism, lens and body are all simple and it is therefore usually possible to understand whether a Purma camera is usable upon first inspection. The only issue that photographers may need to navigate is the supply of 127 film. It is available from some film suppliers or sourced by adapting 120 film. This book is a compilation of information from several out of print publications, web resources and my own observations and experience of using Purma cameras. I have taken the opportunity to update both the content and grammar of the out of print publications to make them more readable and helpful to photographers using a vintage camera in the twenty twenties.
The Purma Camera Guide is available as a Paperback and a Kindle ebook
Source printed materials:
Focal Press – The Purma Guide (1952)
Purma Cameras – Purma Special instruction manual
Purma Cameras – Purma Plus instruction manual
Purma Cameras – Purma Speed instruction manual
The Purma Camera Company history & marketing
Using the Purma Special & Purma Plus
Photos taken with Purma Cameras
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