Ensign Selfix 16-20

The Selfix series of cameras first appeared in 1936, made by Ensign Limited of London and giving name to several cameras of different sizes and formats until the company - that in 1951 became Ross Ensign Limited - disappeared by 1961. The first 16-20 model dates back from 1950. In 1951 there was a second version, and a third one in 1953.

The 16-20 is a great folder, aimed to the serious amateur. It feels quite solid, with a die cast iron body, according to high standards set during the design phase. The lens and shutter block, as usual on cameras from this era, is linked to a panel also fixed to the bellows, which are made out of synthetic leather and usually found in good shape.

The camera provides 16 negatives of 6x4.5 cm on 120 roll film. The lens, multicoated in any case, is usually an Ensar Anastigmat, 75mm of focal length and maximum aperture of f/4.5. Minimum aperture is f/32. The focussing distance ranges between 4.5 feet (1.5 meters) and is achieved by means of the rotating front lens element. There is no DOF scale, but there are the two typical red dots indicating the hyperfocal positions.

Shutter is usually an Epsilon, with the blades located between the front and the rear lenses, and a top speed of 1/300th of a second, set with a ring around the shutter. Tensioning of the shutter is manually done, activated with a release button located at the top of the camera. Because of the design of the release mechanism and its gears, the speed _never_ should be moved from 1/25 to 1/10 _with the shutter cocked_. Although you will notice some resistance if you try, if you apply too much force some tab will broke.

The direct viewfinder is integrated with the top cover, showing an image approximately 50% smaller than real size. The back door is hinged to one side. Film advance is achieved by means of a wheel near the release button, and the rear ruby window - with sliding cover - will show the frame number.

There are two tripod bushes available, one at the base of the camera and another on the front door, near the small tab that can act as mini-tripod.

Approximated dimensions of the camera are 90x120x110mm (opened) or 90x120x42mm (closed) and weights around 550 grams.

<< Back