The successor to the 1961 Makiflex, the 1966 Makiflex Standard is an all metal German medium format SLR which was manufactured by Plaubel of Frankfurt. The Standard camera is a somewhat simplified version of the original Makiflex.
There is very little information to be found on the internet about the Makiflex Standard – it seems they are fairly rare. It has been said that only 400 were manufactured.
The Makiflex Standard features:
- Interchangeable lenses
- Lens board 122×122 mm
- Focal plane shutter
- Speeds B, 1/8, 1/10, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125
- Flash sync on 1/10
- Bellows focussing on the rigid front standard
- Rotating back
- Waist level viewfinder
- Retractable focusing loupe
- Interchangeable backs
The more complex original 1961 Makiflex has these additional features:
- Shutter speeds up to 1/500
- Automatic stop down diaphragm on lenses
The Makiflex shares lens boards and other accessories with two other Plaubel cameras, the Pecoflex and the Peco Junior. The Pecoflex is basically a Makiflex with a monorail and front movements.
The Makiflex is one of a group of medium format single lens reflex cameras, which includes:
- Graflex Baby Reflex 2×3 (6×9) Early 20th century
- Curt Bentzin Görlitz Primarflex (6×6) 1930s
- KW Pilot 6 (6×6) 1930s
- Hasselblad (6×6) Post WWII
- Praktisix (6×6) 1950s
- Kowa Six (6×6) 1960s
- Pentacon 6 (6×6) 1960s
- Kiev 60 (6×6) 1960s
- Makina Makiflex (6×9, 9×9) 1960s
- Bronica (6×6) 1960s
- Rollei 6000 series (6×6) 1970s
- Salyut-S (6×6) 1970s
- Mamiya RB (6×8) 1970s
- Norita Rittreck 66 (6×6) 1970s
- Pentax 67 (6×7) 1970s
- Pentax 645 (6×4.5) 1980s
- Mamiya RZ (6×7) 1980s
- Mamiya 645 (6×4.5) 1980s
- Fuji GX680 (6×8) 1990s
The Makiflex is unique on this list in that it shoots 6×9 and 9×9 format. To accommodate the rotating back, this necessitates a film gate that is 9×9 cm (actually 86×86 mm). This means the camera itself is quite large and heavy, being a pressed steel cube 180x180x140 mm and weighing around 2kg. This is larger and heavier than a large format Linhof Technika 4×5!
The sheer size of the Makiflex probably doomed its chances in the market, competing with the likes of Hasselblad and Rollei.
This is a shame because, in spite of its clunky looks, this is a finely engineered and well designed camera.
As a single lens reflex camera, there is a retracting mirror mounted inside the box and a huge 9×9 ground glass on top marked with frame lines for both 6×9 orientations of the back.
The focal plane shutter is a pair of independent curtains which travel vertically. This arrangement allows the shutter timing to be varied without the use of variable spring tension, and with an overall shorter curtain than a Graflex camera.
Most Makiflex shipped with a back to accommodate a 6×9 standard Plaubel roll film holder with dark slide. This back has the part number MX 1/521. Also available was a rear board that allowed the use of standard 4×5 double sheet film holders, producing a 9×9 square image. This board has the part number MX 1/538. The complete list of available backs is as follows:
- MX 1/521 97318 6×9 Rail Back
For Plaubel Makina 120 roll backs which come in 12 exposure, 8 exposure and 35mm
- MX 1/525 97320 6×9 back
With spring loaded ground glass screen
- MX 1/526/1 97322 6×9 back
With spring loaded ground glass screen for double dark slides
- MX 1/537 97324 9×9 back
For single slides 4×5″
- MX 1/538 97326 9×9 back
For double dark slides 4×5″ (FIDELITY, GRAPHIC, LINHOF, POLAROID)
- MX 1/539 97328 Adapter Back
Accepts following holders:
1) Linhof Rollex 6×9
2) Linhof Cine Rollex 6×7
3) Linhof Super Rollex 6×7
4) Graphic Roll Holder 6×9
5) Polaroid Sheet Film Holder 4×5″
- MX 1/531 97316 Polaroid Back Adapter
For Makiflex System, with viewfinder mask for film pack CB100 (usable format 74 x 86mm)
— 06/67 CATALOG EHRENREICH PHOTO-OPTICAL INDUSTRIES via Nokton48
This particular Makiflex Standard
This Makiflex Standard has the serial number 211 S M. It was purchased in 2020 from a seller in Germany. It is in excellent condition, with a small amount of wear. It has had around 9000 shutter actuations, which is not too bad for a 50+ year old camera. It looks like it was not used very much and well cared for, perhaps as a studio camera.
The shutter seems accurate after some exercise.
This Makiflex came with a recessed lens board and a Rodenstock Ysarex 4.5/135 (Tessar) lens.
I plan to fit an Aero Ektar 2.5/178 to this Makiflex in a future project.