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Miranda Sensorex II - 1972

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:19 p.m.

Miranda Sensorex II - TTL metering at full aperture

Kadlubek Nr. MIR03090

Miranda bayonet (plus an M44 screw mount for older Miranda pre-set lenses).

Auto Miranda 50mm f/1.8 with external aperture connector (see below)
Kadlubek Objektiv-Katalog Nr. MRD0270

Auto Miranda 105mm f/2.8
Kadlubek Objektiv-Katalog Nr. MRD0620


A friend of mine is setting me an example by cleaning up his house. In the process, he uncovered some interesting photographic gear, and he offered me a couple of Mirandas and a very nice Polaroid SX-70, which I accepted, of course. This is the first time I have ever had a Miranda camera--or, so far as I can remember, ever used one. The equipment lockers where I worked had things like old Leicas, Minoltas, and so on, but no Mirandas.

The two Mirandas were a Miranda Sensomat with a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 105mm f/2.8 lens, but a broken film advance, and a newer Miranda Sensorex II with its special linked aperture 50mm f/1.8. After cleaning it up, removing a somewhat deteriorated mercury battery, I got it working again. What follows is my report on this camera.

Here is the broken Sensormat, just to get on for those who never get enough camera p o r n.


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JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:20 p.m.

The Sensorex II

This camera has a relatively full line of professional accessories, including various viewfinders, which should remind us that the Miranda was one of the first eye-level Japanese SLRs.

The Miranda line goes back into the post-WWII era, with their first production model around 1954-5 (Miranda T with 44mm screwmount). There was a 1953 prototype called the "Phoenix". Most models had removable pentaprisms, although the release mechanism was not always obvious.

Ivor Matanle in his Collecting and Using Classic SLRs (1996), suggests Miranda, this specific model, as a cost-effective alternative to the Nikon F (p. 23).

A more complete run-down of the various Sensorex models is found at http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Miranda_Sensorex . Somewhere along this line from the Sensorex to the Sensorex EE to the Sensorex II is to be found the development of one of the first TTL metering systems with metering possible with the lens wide open - apparently the first was the EE with special lenses . It's definitely there on the II model, anyhow.

Others were impressed at the time - here is a Miranda ad for the Sensorex II from Popular Photography of May, 1972 highlighting a 'leading consumer testing organization' recommendation of the earlier, "unimproved" Sensorex. Rick Drawbridge has shown some Sensorex EE proper gear at http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00aPtr

Popular Photography 1972-05

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:22 p.m.

My Example

After cleaning up the camera and lenses, I found that a 675 zinc-air hearing aid battery seemed to work and the readings agreed with my Gossen hand-held meter (and Sunny-16 for that matter). I'm not quite sure what went wrong here (especially considering the Sunny-16 agreement), but when the film (Fuji 200 C/N - f/11 to 16 at 1/250, right?) was developed, it was underexposed. That's corrected here, but will account for some of the graininess of the shots.

Since the 105mm lens lacked the full-aperture TTL link, I had to do a kind of match-needle like process for setting the lens. The shots were exposed, or, rather, underexposed to the same degree as with the coupled lens.

Miranda Sensorex II with a Miranda 105mm f/2.8

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:23 p.m.

Here is the 50mm lens from the manual for the camera. You can imagine that I am predisposed to like the lens from its 'double-Gaussian' character.

The Auto Miranda 50mm f/1.8

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:24 p.m.

Here is the unusual coupling allowing the wide-open aperture metering.

part of open-aperture link from the lens to body

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:26 p.m.

For the open aperture to work, you also had to set the maximum aperture of the lens on a ring beneath the rewind knob.
Maybe no more complex than setting a Nikkor lens to f/5.6 to mount and then doing the Nikon "twist/shuffle" to set maximum aperture?

I have a suspicion that something here may have affected the exposure problem I had.

set lens maximum aperture on ring, also

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:27 p.m.

This image shows the mount on the camera body, with the exterior bayonet, the inner 44mm screw mount, and the TTL metering pattern on the mirror. And, yes, my Maksutov 500mm mounts on the inner ring with that mysterious adapter (below).

Body mount for lens(es)

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:28 p.m.

Here is the camera from above, showing the lens mount, the removed prism, and the body.


JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:30 p.m.

Unlike Canon, who never encouraged people to mount non-Canon lenses on their cameras with adapters, Miranda brags about their ability to accommodate other formats.

Here, also from the Sensorex II manual, is the page of adapters available. At the bottom is the (originally mystery) adapter from my Soviet MTO 500mm mirror lens, which turns out to be the Sensorex "LF Adapter" (here M39>M44) in person.

Manual page on adapters with the LF adapter in person.

JDM von Weinberg , Apr 05, 2013; 01:31 p.m.

Here are some pictures taken on a relatively nice day -- we're easily a month behind our usual schedule for trees leafing and flowers flowering. All are with the Auto Miranda 50mm f/1.8 unless otherwise noted. (on underexposed Fuji 200).

art and architecture

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