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Universal CameraUnivex Model AF

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c1935. No.00 rollfilm, strut-folding camera.

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Universal Camera: Univex Model AF camera

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by bill339 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:30 pm

The UniveX Model AF is a smaller camera, measuring 2-1/8” x 4” x 7/8” when closed. The shutter has only two settings, I and T (instant and time). The lens has but a single stop, and was clearly designed for outdoor use. However, for Universal’s target demographic, this was no problem. Amateur photography in those days precluded the use of flash, and the UniveX AF was a viable competitor to Kodak’s offerings at a lower price. The 1935 camera was offered in four colors – black, brown, green, and blue. In 1936, Universal produced a Girl Scout version of the camera, which was listed in the Official Girl Scout Catalog for the price of $1.00. Kodak’s Girl Scout Kodak was also listed, at a price of $6.00. Bearing in mind that the Depression was still in full swing in 1936, one can only imagine that the UniveX Girl Scout Camera attracted a significant following. In 1938, an improved version was introduced, bearing a single button bellows release and a new color scheme (black and green vs. the former all-green model). The little UniveX Model A was also listed in the Official Girl Scout Catalog from 1933 on, at a price of 35 cents. Other special versions of the Model AF were produced as premiums and corporate giveaways. “The Hollywood Camera” was a special version about which little is known – it carried no UniveX markings at all, and no documentation of its production exists.

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