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ROYER - Savoyflex I (1958)

Reflex Mono-Lens

After having made foldings, bi-lenses reflex cameras and different other types of cameras, René Royer decided to resolve the problem of the mono-lens reflex camera. In 1958, he invents the first French reflex camera : the Savoyflex I. The big originality of this camera was to allow the mirror to return in its still position after the shutter release and this, without having to rearm the device.

If the idea was interesting, the adopted technical solution was disastrous...

Shutter release mechanism, endowed with a very long journey, allows in once : the ascent of the mirror, the shutter command and then the descent of the mirror in its still position. Simple, isn’t it ?

The only problem is that during its ascent, the mirror comes to mask the sight during a long enough time so that the photographer loses his aim, resulting in badly centred or vague photos.

Quickly, customers stay away from that camera. Then, René Royer considers more appropriate to import Japanese cameras (Yashica). The production of Royer’s cameras is stopped in 1964.

Savoyflex I were equipped with a lens SOM Berthiot f=50mm / 1:2.8 and a central shutter Prontor Reflex, offering speeds between 1/500 to 1 second.

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