Ansco Anscomark M  –  Vintage Camera

Ansco Anscomark M (three quarters with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (three quarters with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (three quarters with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (three quarters with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (front view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (front view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (rear view)

Ansco Anscomark M (rear view)

Ansco Anscomark M (top view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (top view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (bottom view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (bottom view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)

Ansco Anscomark M (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Ansco Anscomark M (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Ansco Anscomark M (three quarters with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)Ansco Anscomark M (three quarters with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)Ansco Anscomark M (front view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)Ansco Anscomark M (rear view)Ansco Anscomark M (top view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)Ansco Anscomark M (bottom view with Ansco Xyton 35mm f/3.5)Ansco Anscomark M (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Ansco Anscomark M Specifications

Manufacturer: Riken Optical Co., Ltd. for
  Ansco
   
Origin: USA
   
Made in: Japan
   
Introduced: 1960
   
Type: Rangefinder
   
Lens Mount: Anscomark M Mount
   
Format: 135 Film
   
Dimensions: 14.5 x 8.6 x 5.3 cm (body only)
  14.5 x 8.6 x 8.3 cm (with lens)

Ansco Anscomark M Review

The Ansco Anscomark M is an unusual 35mm interchangeable lens rangefinder manufactured for Ansco by Riken Optical Co., Ltd. (better known as Ricoh). A small percentage of the cameras produced were also sold as the Ricoh 999.

The Anscomark M uses a bespoke bayonet mount with only three known lenses available: a 100mm f/4, 50mm f/1.9, and 35mm f/3.5, all of which have their own color-coded frames in the viewfinder. The base of the lens mount houses the Seikosha-SLV shutter as well as the shutter speed selector and flash sync mode selectors. A lens release switch can be found on the mount at six o’clock, a flash sync socket at 4:30, and at nine o’clock, an oddly-shaped chrome shutter button with a threaded cable release socket on the bottom. Directly above the lens mount on the camera’s front are the viewfinder/rangefinder windows as well as a selenium meter hidden behind the “ANSCOMARK M” badge.

A film rewind knob, hot shoe, and light meter readout are located on the top plate while the film advance lever, film rewind release button, tripod socket, and film door release latch are on the bottom. The film speed indicator and frame counter are found on the back plate.

I got my Ansco Anscomark M on eBay after watching auctions for the better part of a year. It’s in good cosmetic condition and is in working order minus a small missing part from the film rewind knob. There are a few unusual things about the camera that I like: the triangular shutter button with cable release socket on its underside, the frame counter located on the film door, and its overall styling which vaguely reminds me of the Lancia Montecarlo.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 49.

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