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Rilex Press Cameras

 
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Marc Morel



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone!
I have a beautiful little Aluminium 1940's Rilex Press Camera, Made by Riley Research Corp in Santa Monica - it's a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4" format camera with a rotating back and Raptar 101mm lens... and that's ALL I know about it!! Does anyone out there know anything else about these cameras or their Manufacturer? Google has helped naught and I am extremely curious! It's a lovely camera to use!
Cheers, Marc
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this....not much...on Yahoo Search.:

http://www.cwriley.com/Photica/cameras/press.htm
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Marc Morel



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the investigating! That's all I'd found too - my one is a model "a", which looks pretty much the same, except there are just holes where the rangefinder used to be! It's such a gem, I can't believe info is so scarce on these!

Any further leads most welcome!

Marc!
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, there are several of these type cameras with little or no information. I have a Rex Labs press type camera that is a total mystery. One reason for this is that after WWII ended, the many small firms who had been making things for the military suddenly had nothing to do. Quite a few went into the camera making business. Most, of course were failures and left a legacy of the unknown.

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Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "Rilex" is, at least, sketchily documented in McKeown's and the "Blue Book Illustrated Price Guide" (1982). It seems to be fondly remembered; the elderly woman who ran Jay's A-Chromoptics in Chicago three decades ago thought highly of it. I saw a used one in a New York City shop window around 1962, and almost bought it; it looks like a snazzy little camera.

McKeown's cryptically reports that the first body design was modified very soon after production began, to accommodate a Kalart rangefinder. It then reports that "Rilex" bodies are by convention identified as "A," "B" and "AB" styles -- but does not say how to tell one from the other.

The website referenced above states that the specimen pictured has a 103mm. f:4.5 lens, of which I've never heard. McKeown's reports that the standard lens equipment was either a "Tessar" or a Wollensak "Velostigmat" f:4.5 (focal length unspecified), while the "Blue Book" says that the camera was supplied with a 127mm. Kodak "Anastigmat Special" (which I take to be a pre-"Ektar"). All are plausible choices, but it's surprising that three sources mention four different lenses...
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Marc Morel



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, to hopefully encourage the collation of some information on this obscure little machine, I've made a webpage:
http://www.rumspringe.org.au/~marc/rilex.htm

ALL contributions on the subject welcomed!

Cheers, Marc
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bartsf



Joined: 10 Nov 2005
Posts: 9
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Rilex is mentionedin one of Jason Schneider's The Camera Collector columns that appeared in Modern Photography and is reprinted as chapter 37 in his Jason Schneider on Camera Collecting V1, published in 1978.

The article is sub-titled "Classic camera buys of the year - a pair of sheet film enigmas, plus the world's best leather polish."

The Rilex he mentions as a mystery camera on sale at Olden Camera in NYC @ $125 had a 101mm f4.5 Ektar in a Kodak Supermatic flash shutter and the camera had a serial number of 787.

Bart Nadeau
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dsadowski



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A magazine blurb from the late 1940s about the Rilex says it was supplied without lens, so perhaps those were added by the dealer, explaining why there is such a variety of lenses found with the cameras today.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clnfrd wrote:
I found this....not much...on Yahoo Search.:

http://www.cwriley.com/Photica/cameras/press.htm



That link is "error 404--not found." Try again?
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graphicdave



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry,

clnfrd's post was from December 2005.....most likely dead now
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3212
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riley Research Co., Santa Monica, Ca.
http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Riley
Camerapedia - Riley
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