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Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex Fifty Five
France Version française
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand. Last update 2024-02-22 par Sylvain Halgand.

Manufactured or assembled in USA from (After) 1945 to (After) 1947.
Index of rarity in France: Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 1535

See the complete technical specifications

Chronology of cameras Candid Camera Corp of America 

The cameras manufactured by Candid Camera Corporation of America are mostly called Perfex, and there is often confusion between the model name and the brand.

With the exception of the premier and last models, Perfex cameras all look alike.
They all use 135 film.
The lower part of their body is black. The metal cover is usually metallic in color. It incorporates the viewfinder and rangefinder. Depending on the model, there may also be a extinction light meter.
Some models have interchangeable lenses.
The difference from one model to another often lies in the lens and its maximum aperture.


  Year Lens Lightmeter Shutter

Perfex Speed Candid
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex Speed Candid c. 1938 Graf
3.5/50 mm
Yes Focal plzn
Perfex Forty Four
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex Forty Four c. 1939 Scienar
2.8/50 mm
Perfex Thirty Three
  c. 1940 Graf
3.5/50 mm
Perfex Fifty Five
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex Fifty Five 1940 Wollensak Velostigmat
2.8/50 mm
No
Perfex Fifty Five
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex Fifty Five 1940 Scienar
3.5/50 mm
Yes
Perfex Twenty Two
  1941 Scienar
3.5/50 mm
Perfex One-O-One
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex One-O-One 1947 Wollensak
4.5/50 mm
No Central
Perfex One-O-Two
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex One-O-Two 1948 Wollensak
4.5/50 mm
Perfex de Luxe
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex de luxe 1947 Wollensak Velostigmat
2.8/50 mm
Focal plan
Perfex de Luxe
Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex de luxe 1947 Wollensak Velostigmat
2.8/50 mm
Cee-ay 35
Candid Camera Corp of America Cee-ay 35 1948 Wollensak
4.5/50 mm
Central

Perfex cameras were manufactured for about a decade. They are often criticized for their lack of reliability.

__________

The latest models of Perfex Fifty Five no longer have a light meter. One could assume that such a feature was completely outdated and gave the camera a "has been" feel.

Operating it without a manual is... odd. It's often reported as "faulty" due to its cloth shutter. So, I wasn't too surprised when I couldn't release the shutter or cock it. I kept pressing the shutter button without any effect... until I noticed that the upper part of the concentric button is a protective cap. Once unscrewed, the shutter release button appears, responding immediately. Triggering the shutter means cocking becomes possible again by turning the knob around the shutter release. The shutter speeds are engraved in very small characters at the base of it. Surprise, they range from 1/5 to 1/1250. The slow speeds (1 to 5) are on the front face. The rangefinder view is not very practical. In the bottom of a green rectangle, a non-colored square moves around, forming a sort of T. Sure, it's highly contrasted, but by the time you find the square and move it, the subject to be photographed is gone. The lens is interchangeable with a screw mount.

Candid Camera Corp of America Perfex Fifty Five





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