120folder.com          Ensign 820

The Ensign 820 or Ensign Selfix 820 is a 120 film folding camera, 6x9 and 6x6 format, introduced after WWII by Ensign Ltd. in England. It was the first "new" camera design after the war. It has front cell focussing, a good lens and a good shutter. The 820 Special has an uncoupled rangefinder and standard flash connection. There was a coupled
rangefinder model, the 820 AutoRange, only built between 1955 and 1958, with a colour-corrected lens and film plane focussing. It is hard to find and very expensive.

Size (mm): 150 x 95 x 42
Weight: 764 g
Lens: Ross-Ensign Xpress 1:3.8/105, closest focus ~ 0.9 m
Shutter: Epsilon, T, B, 1 - 1/250, F 4.5 - 22

Finder: Albada finder
Film advance: via red window(s)

Here are some photos of the camera. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it feels at the bottom of the page.

Camera front closed. Foldable stand and tripod socket.

Seen from the back. Red windows.

Seen from above. Film advance, shutter release button, finder (folded), camera opening button, accessory shoe and depth of the field scale.

Camera front open. Speed setting ring around the lens. Camera opens sideways.

Seen from above, camera open, finder unfolded.

Left side, camera open. Front (lens): on the lens element: distance scale and lever to turn the lens. Shutter cocking lever, aperture scale.

Seen from the bottom, camera open.
Tripod socket. On the lens block: cable release socket and unusual flash connector.

Camera bed:
distance scale (feet).

Film chamber.

Film chamber with 6 x 6 masks swung in. They are hinged, so they can't be lost.

Leather case.

Leather case open.

Handling a 
Ensign 820 is easy, it's like other folding rangefinders. Loading film is as usual. Open the camera back, retract the pegs on the bottom and put the take-up spool into place. Same procedure for the film spool. Insert the film paper backing into the take-up spool and advance it using the knob until it's well engaged. Close the camera back. Open the red window and advance the film via the advance knob until the red window shows "1".

Open the camera.
Cock the shutter, set speed and aperture. Set focus by the lever on the front lens element. Press the shutter release button. That's it. There is a double exposure prevention. Turn the film advance until the next number meets the windw. To close the camera, press the hinges of the struts as usual, it will fold easily.

Ensign 820 is a very nice and quite sturdy camera, easy to use. It has a very good lens and a good shutter.

Ensign Selfix 820764135 x 105 x 42NoRWRoss-Ensign Xpress 3.8/105 | 0,90Epsilon, B T 1 - 1/250 | 22