Bolsey Model B

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Bolsey Model B (three-quarter view)
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Bolsey Model B (three-quarter view)
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Bolsey Model B (front view)
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Bolsey Model B (rear view)
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Bolsey Model B (top view)
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Bolsey Model B (bottom view)
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Bolsey Model B (with 35mm cassette for scale)
Bolsey Model B (three-quarter view) Bolsey Model B (three-quarter view) Bolsey Model B (front view) Bolsey Model B (rear view) Bolsey Model B (top view) Bolsey Model B (bottom view) Bolsey Model B (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Bolsey Model B Specifications

Manufacturer: Bolsey Corp. of America
Origin: USA
Made in: USA
Introduced: 1947
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 135 Film
Dimensions: 10.7 x 7 x 6 cm

Bolsey Model B Overview

The Bolsey Model B is a 35mm rangefinder introduced by Bolsey in 1947. The Model B is essentially the rangefinder variant of the Bolsey Model A—a camera which seems to have never made it to market apart from being rebranded for sale as the LaBelle Pal—and is also the camera upon which the Bolsey Model C TLR is based. Bolsey produced several variants of the Model B with incrementally advanced features such as a double exposure prevention mechanism and flash synchronization and even made models specifically for the US Army and US Air Force

The centerpiece of the Bolsey Model B is its Wollensak 44mm F/3.2 lens. Shutter speeds are controlled via a sliding tab above the lens’ front element and a similar sliding tab at the bottom dictates the aperture. Focusing the lens is done by sliding the round button between the two and four o’clock positions on the lens barrel. the shutter lever is located at the 11 o’clock position and a threaded socket for a cable release is at nine.

A film advance knob with a manual frame counter at its base can be found on the camera’s top plate along the film rewind knob and a red “Bolsey” badge (usually the first thing to fall off of their cameras). To load film, the Model B’s back detaches from the rest of the camera and is locked in place via the latch at the bottom of the camera next to the tripod socket. There are two circular viewfinder windows on the back of the camera: the one on the left is attached to an optical viewfinder while the other is exclusively for the split-image rangefinder.

I bought this Bolsey Model B along with a LaBelle Pal and a slew of other cameras including a Vest Pocket Kodak, Univex Model AF-4, Bell & Howell Electric Eye 127, and Ansco Memo at the estate sale of former president of the Chicago Photographic Collectors Society Kirk Kekatos.


McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, WI, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), p 103-104.