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Soligor/Miranda TM shutter speed dial - Where's the B?

George Welcher , Jun 13, 2006; 11:45 p.m.

I recently bought a Soligor (Miranda) TM in good condition at a camera show. I've always been impressed by the build quality on Miranda cameras, and this one is no exception, though I believe it was an entry level product. This particular model was fitted with an M42 mount so I can use it with my old screw mount lenses.

On to the problem. The shutter speed dial will not turn to B. It looks as if it is actually by design; the dial will not turn past 1/2 sec. It stops at a red dot on the speed scale between 1/2 sec and 1 sec. I assume if the speeds are on the scale you must be able to use them, but I can't figure out how to get past the red dot obstacle. No hidden catches like the one that releases the removable pentaprism. I can't find anything on the Miranda Camera site about this, nor can I find an online manual. Anyone familiar with the camera or have a manual they could consult for me?

Responses

Anthony Oresteen , Jun 14, 2006; 12:08 a.m.

Does it pull up?

Walter Degroot , Jun 14, 2006; 12:29 a.m.

the camera may actually be made by cosina, not miranda. these were sold by a large uk camera store chain. the answer may be found by asking about other, more closly related cameras.

Professor K. , Jun 14, 2006; 08:13 a.m.

I believe the "Miranda" cameras made by Cosina for the UK market were all pentax K-mount;the "TM" refers to "thread mount" i.e., the 42mm Spotmatic type lens mount. It's a Sensorex with a different lens mount. Take a look at: http://www.mirandacamera.com/ It looks like the red dot between the 1 and 1/2 second is just the marker for the film speed setting. Is the film speed set very high or low? Set the film speed to 100 and try again; on some cameras, extreme settings would not allow a full range of shutter speeds or apertures due to mechanical limitations of the coupling. But if it is set to 100 and won't go to B I think something is broken.

Dan Fromm , Jun 14, 2006; 09:43 a.m.

Build quality? Mirandas? Are you crazy?

I ask because I have vivid and painful memories of a shooting excursion with one of my good friends. He brought a pair of Sensorexes and a set of lenses including, IIRC, a 50(?)/3.5 Macron. Nice macro lens, shot well and went to 1:1 on its own mount. Anyway, in the course of an afternoon both of his bodies jammed. He told me that losing both in one session was a little unusual but that he couldn't count on both surviving a session. He cursed the day he bought them, switched to Nikon and cursed about having to put an extension tube behind his 55 MicroNikkor when going from <= 1:2 to > 1:2. but survived happily with just one Nikon FM body.

George Welcher , Jun 14, 2006; 10:07 a.m.

Thanks for the tip, Canon User. When set above 100 ASA the shutter speed dial will not advance to B.

Just to clarify, the camera is a Miranda TM, sold under the Soligor name. It was based on the Sensomat, but fitted with an M42 screw mount. It was the only Miranda model so equipped, as far as I know. It is not one of the later "Miranda" branded Cosina slrs with a PK mount. There is a description on mirandacamera.com.

My comments on build quality are based on exteriour fit and finish, as well how the interiour mechanical bits fit together. Although, the meter/aperature linkage on my Sensorex II recently fell apart; so Dan may have a point.

I confess I don't often use my Mirandas, as I prefer my Canaon A1, and my Spotmatic, and I have a selection of lenses for both. This is a lighter camera than my Sensorex, and fits the hand better as well. I think this one will get more use. Also, there aren't alot of M42 mount cameras with interchangeable viewfinders.


The camera in question

Peter Naylor , Jun 14, 2006; 10:22 a.m.

Hi, George Welcome to the strange world of Mirandas, mate! I'm a fan too, owning some 34 of them but still looking. They're fascinating cameras to collect, although it's hard to deny Don's claim that they do have their problems - usually associated with shutters. However, be assured that your Soligor TN is a kosher Miranda, not a Dixon's/Cosina name clone. The Soligor TM was made around 1974 and is identical to the Miranda TM (and Pallas Tm, too). All three were similar to the Sensomat apart from the M42 lens mount.

There's nothing wrong with your TM's shutter or dial. The problem is that the shutter speed range is allied to the ASA film speed, and if you change it to a different position you'll find that magically the B setting will become settable.

I have not only a Soligor TM but also that rarest of beasts, an original owner's manual. Email me at pnaylor@iinet.net.au with your email address, and I'll send you a scan of the relevant page, OK? ~~PN~~

Walter Degroot , Jun 14, 2006; 10:47 a.m.

the tm cameras are like the "letter series" d f g and sensomat.

these " letter series"cameras have a lower top deck and the sensomat, had an internal meter.

the automex and sensorex, including the sensorex ee, are mechanically different and the removable viewfinder are not interchangable with the other smaller series.

there is a commonality of many parts. since the later soligor/pallas/mirandas like the ms1 and 2 and 3 both m42 and pentax k mount are basically sold in the uk, I have not had my hands on one.

it is possible, that some of the UK cameras that really look like the d.f.g.sensomat, may have been made using miranda co, tooling or may actually be mirandas. I don't know. they look a lot like earleier real mirandas except for the lensmount.

there was also a fixed prism k mount slr that was badged " miranda" but did not have the removable prism and was a typical cosina/chinon pentax clone. I saw one for sale in NJ at a department store. only the name was the same.

QUALITY: the build quality of miranda cameras and lenses was generally good, they were not cheaply made and few shortcuts were made.

individual cameras may have had problems.

miranda co. failed when the dx3, the first electronic miranda had qc problems and it killed the company.

the sensorex/automex series was pretty basic and not many sophisticated featires to go bad, the meteriong was only used for that and the entire camera was mechanical.

some sensorex meters have failes as the wire from the body to the cell on the mirror may fray and break after 40 years of hard use.

the meters on the automexes , both cd's and selenium may just gradually age and all models, now over 25 years old or more may have dried-ouit lubricants. .

Michael Orme , Nov 30, 2007; 12:41 p.m.

It won't go on "B" or slow speeds unless the ASA is on 100 or less. Thats how they are. I bought one of these in 1978, second hand, Mike.

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