Bell & Howell: Auto 35 Reflex
Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:08 pm
The Bell & Howell Auto 35 Reflex is a 35 mm SLR camera made by Canon, relabeled by Bell & Howell, and sold from 1969 until 1973. Canon released the camera as the Canon EX-EE that same year 1969. Its most characteristic feature is a rear lens-group (three elements in two groups) fixed on the camera and incorporating the helical focusing mechanism, to which any of a small selection of front groups can be attached by a simple screw fitting. The Auto 35 Reflex offers through-the-lens metering and shutter-priority AE. It has a focal plane shutter with cloth blinds, travelling horizontally. It offers shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/500 second plus 'B', and has a self-timer lever on the front of the body (approximately 10s max). Other features are a cold shoe, fold down rewind crank handle, plus a rewind release button on the bottom, a ¼ inch 20 thread tripod mount, a right thumb single action film advance lever, and a PC socket next to the left-hand strap lug (X-synchronization for flash is at 1/60 second). The aperture is set on a dial around the rewind crank, between f/1.8 and f/16; there are also 'EE' (i.e. auto-exposure) and 'Off' positions. The aperture set is displayed in the viewfinder on a scale with a needle. The CdS meter reads between EV 4.75 and EV 17 and it requires a 1.3V mercury battery or modern substitute. However, the shutter speeds are timed mechanically, so the camera functions without a battery (without metering). Some of the Zinc based replacement batteries are the WeinCell MRB625 and Exell MRB625. This camera also has Canon’s QL feature meaning quick load. The film leader is simply pulled across the film compartment to a mark, and the back closed, and the uptake mechanism then captures the leader when the advance is wound. The Canon EXEE sold for 33,000 yen (about $290) in Japan in 1969 and the Bell & Howell Auto 35 Reflex sold for about $160.00 in the United States in 1969.