PHOTOGRAPHY   © mike connealy
Genos Rapid
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Pictures from the Genos Rapid

The Genos Rapid is a bakelite box camera produced in Nurnberg, Germany in 1950. I'm not sure what the "Rapid" in the name refers to in this camera; its design is more suggestive of architectural monumentality than of Porsche sleekness. As box cameras go, the Genos Rapid does have a rather full feature set including flash sync, tripod socket, and a cable release of the Leica type. The three levers at the bottom front of the camera offer the choices of two apertures, a yellow filter, and either instant or bulb shutter setting.

When I found my Genos at a yard sale recently, it was showing its age with a chip out of the case on the bottom and a missing hand strap. The viewfinder was very dirty and the reflex viewing mirror was rattling loose in the housing. Those deficits were easily corrected. I pried up the viewfinder frame, cleaned the optics and glued down the mirror. A strip of black tape stopped up the light leak in the bottom of the camera.

The magnifying brilliant finder on the Genos is helpful in composition, but in bright sun the lack of a hood leads to obscuring reflections. On the plus side, the shutter action is smooth and the placement of the release puts it in easy reach of the right thumb which allows a firm grip and reduces the chance of image-blurring camera jiggle, the biggest obstacle to makeing sharp pictures with simple cameras.

These photos were made in Phoenix using Fuji Acros 100 which I developed in Rodinal at 1:50 dilution.

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