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This item sold on January 11, 2012.

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Make: Universal
Model: Univex Mercury II CX
Style: Half Frame Viewfinder

EXTRA: Camera case

The Mercury II was first launched in the 1930s as a low-cost camera meant to provide an alternative to the German cameras of the time. Built from a Tin alloy, the body was not given a finish, and so many of the remaining cameras are tarnished. The Mercury II CX uses a rotary shutter, similar to what you would find on a movie camera of the time (It is what causes the large buldge on the top). Because of this, the Mercury is capable of achieving shutter speeds of 1/1000, which was a great feat given its low cost. The Mercury is also a half frame camera, meaning that the 35mm image plane is halved vertically, giving you double the amount of exposures (36 frame film will yield 72 shots). It come equipped with a 35mm f2.7 Tricor lens.

Using this camera has its quirks- you need to cock the shutter before setting the shutter speed, done by rotating the left knob (looking straight on) and to set the speed, pressing and rotating the right knob to the desired speed. I have not tested this camera, and the shutter sometimes sticks at slow speeds. The lens IS interchangeable, and appears to be clean- free of dust, mold, scratches or hazing. The aperture may have some oil, but it a manual aperture so it doesn't matter much.

Universal Mercury II - 1930s HalfFrame Viewfinder camera