Clarus MS-35

Clarus MS-35

I spotted the Clarus MS-35 on Jim Eckberg's Flickr stream and asked around on social media about this camera. It turns out these cameras weren't as reliable as the cameras they were pitched against in adverts (Leica?). The shutters seem to break down and the contruction wasn't too great at all. Mark F. O'Brian commented: "great looks, awful construction. Few of them ever worked properly!"

I checked eBay and saw two for sale. One at $49 and the other at $159 (March, 2017)

It also seems the Clarus MS-35 was essentially a copy of the Perfex 33.

Introduced immediately after World War II, The Clarus (essentially a copy of the Perfex 33) was featured in full-page ads comparing it favorably with the Leica. In spite of its simple mechanical design, sturdy construction, decent lens and clean styling, the camera was awkward to hold and quickly developed a reputation for unreliability. It could make good pictures when its shutter would operate properly, but unfortunately in early examples this almost never happened. Models made after 1949 can still be found in working order, although accurate shutter speeds are too much to ask even of these.

Technical details
Maker Clarus Camera Manufacturing Company
Type MS-35
Introduction 1946
Last year 1952
Price $122,75
Filmtype 135 film, 24 x 36 mm
Lens Wollensak Anastigmat 2 inch(50mm) f/2.8, or a Wollensak Velostigmat 50mm f/2.8
Aperture 2.8 - 16
Focus 1.06m to infinity
Focusing Manual
Mount Clarus screw mount
Filter ?
Shutter speeds 1/25s to 1/1000s and B
Lightmeter No
Flash Unique Flash without center contact
Selftimer No
Size .
Weight 850 grams (30oz)
Features Later models are synchronized for flash and have a standard Flash mount
Notes No parallax correction, nor parallax marks, Clarus assigned Wollensak serial numbers to camera, so the highest serial numbers actually belong to the oldest cameras

tags: #camera #clarus

Published by


Arne Kuilman

More looks than build quality it seems