other Miranda cameras in my collection
Miranda Auto Sensorex EE [1971 - 1976]
The Miranda Auto Sensorex EE, launched in 1971, was one of the most sophisticated cameras Miranda ever produced. It features open aperture TTL metering, and shutter speed priority automatic exposure with full manual override. The viewfinder has a needle, which points to the aperture the camera will automatically select (or the aperture you should transfer to the lens if in manual mode). The system is entirely mechanical, and the battery only powers the meter.
The camera uses Auto Miranda
E lenses, which feature the
EE position on the lens aperture ring. When you set the lens to EE the camera is primed for automatic exposure. The lenses incorporate a DOF preview switch. The camera body has two lens mount systems; a 4-claw bayonet and 44mm screw mount, and the latter provides backwards compatibility with earlier Miranda lenses.
The EE coupling light value range is limited, which means that not all shutter speeds are available for all film speeds. For example, with a 50 ASA film, the shutter speeds available are 1/2nd to 1/500th, at 100 ASA 1/4th to 1/1000th, 200 ASA 1/8th to 1/1000th, and so on. The EE coupling can be disconnected when shooting at speeds outside its range by depressing an override button located in the centre of the shutter speed dial.
Miranda cameras were aimed at the serious amateur, and had several highly advanced features. The Auto Sensorex EE has interchangeable viewfinders (made possible by placement of the meter cells behind the mirror, which is covered in tiny
slits), and a hot shoe fitted to the top of the prism finder. The meter can be switched between average and spot metering patterns: few other cameras of the time offered spot metering. It even has a little viewfinder pointer, which reminds the user which metering pattern they have selected. The only feature the camera lacks is motor drive connectivity, and this alone prevented the Miranda from competing with advanced models from Nikon and Topcon, excluding it from professional use.
A lens positioning line is marked in red on the camera body, and a red dot on all Auto Miranda lenses should be aligned exactly opposite this before turning the lens into position, as with most cameras, but it's easy to cause damage if this procedure is not strictly followed on a Miranda.
In 1974 the camera was advertised in
Amateur Photographer at £105.95, with an f1.8 lens. This was equivalent to a little less than 2 weeks average UK pay.
Lens mount: Miranda mount - 4-claw bayonet and 44mm screw mount.
Focus: Viewfinder magnification 0.92X with 50mm lens at infinity, field of view 96%, condenser and Fresnel lens combined, interchangeable viewfinder, focusing screen with
micro-split image rangefinder (a variation on the conventional split image).
Shutter: Focal plane, B. 1-1/1000 sec., built in self-timer with maximum delay of 10 seconds.
Meter: Exposure Meter light measuring at open aperture, built-in TTL CdS meter with full EE-coupling, light sensor within the mirror, partial light measuring (shaded black on illustration above), and spot light measuring (shaded red). The EE coupling can be disconnected when shooting at speeds outside its range by depressing the override button located in the centre of the shutter speed dial.
Exposure: Automatic shutter priority, plus manual override. The meter remains operative in manual mode.
Film Speed: ASA 25-1600.
Flash: FP and X, automatic synch to X at 1/60 sec., cordless hot shoe.
Film Advance: Winding angle 180°, marginal angle 25°, ratchet advance. The film winds on to the spool emulsion side out.
Frame Counter: Automatic count-up and reset.
Rewind: Via crank and bottom release button.
Size: 144 x 93 x 87mm (with f1.8 lens).
Weight: 950g (with f1.8 lens).
Battery: Mallory PX675 1.35 v mercury cell (or use the equivalent WeinCELL MRB675 zinc air cell).
I paid £15.49 for this camera, and a Miranda
E f1.8 50mm lens (6 elements in 4 groups), in February 2014. I bought it because I like its advanced features, and idiosyncratic styling. The Sensorex EE is quite simply a mechanical marvel - superior to the equivalent Pentax in my opinion - but a big heavy camera at 950 grams including the f/1.8 standard lens.
My Miranda was inexpensive due to a chip (visually) in the middle of the pentaprism. The camera is otherwise in good condition and full working order. I replaced the light seals and mirror damper. Here's a really nice thing about Mirandas. Most aging SLRs suffer from dirty viewfinders, because the foam around the prism degrades (just like the light seals), and becomes trapped between the prism and focusing screen. It's impossible to remove without some serious dismantling. On a Miranda the screen is accessible and removable for easy cleaning (here's how it's done). Similarly, the prism finder can easily be dismantled and cleaned for a completely clear view.
I managed to obtain a VFE-1 reflex (waist level) viewfinder in October 2014. It cost a whopping £19.95, but that's almost half the typical price. They are weird things to use, because the image is left/right reversed, however, the reflex viewfinder is something that makes the Sensorex special.
April 2015, and I finally managed to obtain a replacement prism viewfinder from a seller in German (with postal charges not much more than a typical UK purchase). It's taken me over a year to find one at a reasonable cost: £6.43, less £1, which I got for the old prism finder making the purchase a low £5.43 (Haha - I'm so tight). Sellers usually demand ridiculous high prices, and up until now, the least expensive option has been around £25.00 (a prism that's been listed on eBay every week for the past year). WTF ... that's more than I paid for the whole camera with a lens !!!