Univex – Mercury II

Univex - Mercury II
Univex – Mercury II
Manufacturer: Universal Camera Corp. (Univex), USA
Model: Mercury II (CX)
Format: 35mm, half frame viewfinder camera
Made: 1945-
Lens: Universal Tricor 35mm f/2.7
Shutter: Rotary metal focal plane shutter, 1/20 – 1/1000s plus F hot synch
User Manual: PDF download

The Mercury II (CX) was made from 1945 by the Universal Camera Corp (Univex), USA. It was a post-war successor to the first 1938 Mercury model which used a proprietary film format. After the War, Univex saw the wisdom of using the now common 35mm format, and this second version of the Mercury takes just that. However, you get double the shots for your money as it is a half-frame camera. Its unusal humped shape stems from the fact it has a rotary focal plane shutter, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/1000s – quite something in 1945. It also takes the accolade of being the first camera with a “hot shoe” flash sychronisation, one of two shoes on the upper side of the cast aluminium alloy body. The other was meant for accessories such as an extinction meter and rangefinder.

I’ve always been attracted to the shape and styling of these beasts – it really does look like something only a mad scientist or geek would use – so it suits me down to the ground! See my photos made with the Mercury II.

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365 Photos from Film in 2015