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Art Deco Cameras

Ross Ensign Ful-Vue Super


Ross Ensign Ful-Vue Super
Ross Ensign Ful-Vue Super
Manufacturer: Ross Ensign
Produced: 1954
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Pseudo Twin Lens Reflex
Film Type:620
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:2¼ x 2¼ in
No. of Images:12
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focal Length:75mm
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Range:2m - inf.
Aperture Type:fixed
Shutter Type :Single blade return
Shutter Speeds:I*(1/50 sec), B
Size (w x h x d):85 x 100 x 87 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

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Acceptable: Modest and restricted


The Ross-Ensign Ful-Vue Super superseded the popular Barnet Ensign Ross Ful-Vue II in 1954. It had a flat front plate extending around both lenses, a cast alloy body and pressed steel back. A collapsible hood around the viewfinder was made of pressed steel which was an improvement on the previous model. Other improvements were : its red window was closeable; the film loading was made easier by means of a removable back and bottom part; a more elegant flash unit was available, mountable without cable to a side panel of the camera. Pictures were 6x6cm but now using 620 film.

You can't help but notice the large viewfinder on the top of the camera - hence the name Ful-Vue. The viewfinder is easy to use and is exceptionally bright. The camera can be described as a pseudo twin lens reflex camera. It isn't a true TLR because the top lens is just part of the viewfinder and does not aid focussing. The film transport system is accessed by removing the back and bottom of the camera in one piece. A knob is used to advance the film and proper framing is acheived by the use of a closeable red window on the rear of the camera. Focus is achieved by turning the lens bezel on the front of the camera and the focus range is from 2m to infinity. A tripod mount is found on the base.

Shutter speed is fixed at about 1/50s with the aperture fixed at f/11. The single-blade return shutter is released by pushing a lever down at the side. A switch provides for 'bulb' shutter mode. There are push and screw flash synchronisation terminals on the side.

How to Use

See Instruction Manual for the original camera is found here : https://www.cameramanuals.org/pdf_files/ross_ensign_full-vue_super.pdf.

This camera takes 620 film which is still available from selected photographic outlets. Although the actual film is the same as 120 film, the spools are different. The 620 spools are slightly shorter and have a smaller diameter. Do not use 120 film in this camera because it will jam and may snap. It is possible to cut down a spool of 120 film to fit or to re-spool some 120 film onto 620 spools in a darkroom or changing bag.

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.

Remember that the exposure guide in the camera user manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day (May-August) in the UK.

This camera has an f/11 aperture and a shutter speed of about 1/50s

The slow shutter speed means that you need to hold this camera steady when taking photographs.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/50s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/11+3 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/11+2 Stops
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/11+1 Stops
OvercastBarely visiblef/11Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/11-1 Stop
Open Shade
Nonef/11-2 Stops
Not Acceptable