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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Clarus Model MS-35 and Big River tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Clarus Model MS-35 and Big River

The Clarus 35mm line of cameras was a somewhat unsuccessful design of American made (Minneapolis) focal plane-shuttered rangefinder cameras, introduced in the immediate postwar period and manufactured from 1946 to 1952.
Although beautifully and solidly crafted on the outside, the inner workings are a bit hideous in their quality. Many are plagued with shutter problems, due to weak tensioning springs and poorly made shutter curtains.
This example has the less common, very fast, f/2 Wollensak Raptar lens in 50mm. The lens is superb, with crisp, clear, sharp rendition of subjects.
However, this particular Clarus example also has an unreliable shutter mechanism. I have worked on the spring tensions, but it still tends to cap off the image area at higher speeds. For an example of this capping, look at image 016.jpg.

We had a surge in temperature, up into the 40ís Fahrenheit, after a few days of below zero F readings. So I grabbed the opportunity at Noon time and took the Clarus, loaded with Walgreens Studio 35 color print film in ASA 200, to nearby stretches of Big River here in Jefferson County, Missouri.
Big River is a medium/small river that feed the Meramec system. Historically, it was important to early settlers, and by the 20th Century, had several grist mills operating to process local grain production. The mills are all long out of business, and most of them gone, leaving behind portions of the mill dams and sometimes a few architectural or mechanical artifacts. First series of images here is at Byrnes Mill site. The latter ones are at Rockford Beach mill dam.
The log house is the Hagemeister House, possibly the oldest non-Indian structure in this portion of the county, under a long term process of restoration by the Historical Society, after being moved to this park from the center of House Springs, several miles away.
The day was bright and sunny, the camera has no speeds slower than 1/25, so I was limited this time in what I could achieve in terms of water effects.

Please remember to click on thumbnail images to see them enlarged.
All images are ©2009 E.J.Kowalski.
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