View Full Version : Mentor Reflex

23-Feb-2009, 02:43
Dear all of you. Or all of you who have the slightest knowledge of Mentor Reflexes. I have aquired a wreck of a Mentor Reflex. This one:


The film opening measures 3 3/4 x 4 3/4", but I'm really not sure what film format it is. The fastest shutter speed is 1/600.

It has no hood, no ground glass, no lens ... But I have only two wishes: A hood, measuring 15.5x15.5cm, complete with hinges. And some advice on how to lubricate and adjust the shutter, which is slow, but otherwise seems to work. And I need some advice on how to lock the mirror in the down position. As it is now, it flaps when I'm moving the camera. I know this is not the most common camera around. But hopefully some of you would know all about it.

;-) Bjarte

23-Feb-2009, 04:04
I've got quite a few of them.

Size of yours would be 9x12cm - obviously a wasted Atelier Reflex, probably of fourties vintage (but I could only really tell by the shutter).

Mirror flapping is normal - a side effect of the auto-return mirror mechanism.

You often see Atelier Mentors used for parts with the hood missing. It is the first thing to decompose, apart from the mirror coating. There is a soft aluminium plate as the core of the lid, which is eaten away by the acids from leather and glue. I had to rebuild two of my hoods more or less from scratch, as only the leather inner, wood frame and the brass hinges were still ok.

Mentor used two major shutter designs over the course of time, first without (Graflex style), later with retarder. In any case, as long as you haven't familiarized yourself with the mechanism, you should only clean and lube the curtain spool bearings, in particular on early versions where loss of friction will make the shutter run down way too fast.

HTH Sevo

23-Feb-2009, 04:52
Sevo, thanks for your great advices.

Mine cost me $70, so it's a cheap start in the Mentor world.

23-Feb-2009, 06:15
As far as hoods are concerned, Miguel Coquis here from the forum might still have his reflex viewer for sale - but a rigid hood would be a fairly easy DIY project.

Mentor film holders are very non-standard, and somewhat hard to get hold of - I recently let some (without film sheaths) slip by. I might ask the seller whether these are still available.

Personally I have hacked a Linhof International back onto my user Atelier (which I received in a fairly similar state) - once you have to rebuild that thing in any case, you might as well increase its usefulness, as it won't grow collectible unless you spend more on it than you'd have to get a perfectly preserved one.

And you'll probably discover that you'll have to replace the curtains even if they are still operable (they usually are). After all these years, the rubber will almost inevitably be brittle and will shed enough dust and dirt to make fixing the shutter worth while, unless you'd rather spend your time despeckling than shooting.


23-Feb-2009, 15:52
I've been in contact with Miguel, but he said his reflex viewer would not fit my camera.