The Iloca Stereo Rapid camera was manufactured from around 1955 onwards. This model produces stereo pairs of photographs in the Realist (or 5p) format. Lenses are 35mm Cassarit F2.8 which can accept Series V accessories.
The Iloca Rapid was substantially redesigned from earlier Iloca models and, from a design perspective, has little in common with its predecessors. A notable improvement is the 'rapid' lever on the left of the camera which, in one action, advances the film to the next frame and sets the shutter tension. As the name implies, this lever allows users to shoot a sequence of shots much more rapidly. Other improvements include a larger viewfinder with built-in rangefinder, M and X flash settings, V delayed action setting, depth of field scale incorporated within the focus scale, a revised focussing mechanism that moves the entire film plane, and a dedicated lever at the front of the camera for intentional multiple-exposure shots.
A well designed and well-built Camera ...
Iloca Stereo Rapid
Although this camera seems to have a lighter feel about it when compared with earlier models, it is in fact quite well built. In practice, the camera is very pleasant to use, and the improved ergonomics are very convenient - a definite plus point.
The 'rapid' film advance lever is located on the left just under the top plate, but you can also take deliberate multiple exposures by using the lever located above the front panel. This lever sets the shutter but does not advance the film. There is no limit to the number of exposures that you can take on the same frame.
The focussing arrangement is quite different on this model. The focus dial on the top right of the camera moves the entire film board closer to, or further away from the lenses, unlike its predecssors which rotated the front lens elements.
Unfortunately, the metal front plates on some Iloca Stereo Rapids (and their Realist 45 counterparts) suffer quite badly from pitting. This won't affect the camera's operation, but it does detract a bit from the appearance.
... with a comprehensive specification
Iloca Stereo Rapid
The Iloca Stereo Rapid is well specified. A pair of Prontor–SVS shutters provide speeds from 1 to 1/300 sec and apertures ranging from f2.8 to 16. There is a 10 sec delayed action timer (V setting), threaded shutter button which will accept a cable release, and a PC flash connection. Two flash settings are provided - M and X synch settings for electronic flash units or flash bulbs as appropriate. Focussing range is 3 feet (1 metre) to ∞. This model also includes a depth of field scale incorporated into the focussing wheel.
The built-in viewfinder does reduce the image size, but not to the same degree as previous models. This model has the added benefit of a rangefinder, which provides a very clear, crisp image to aid focussing. Iloca produced an optional stereo viewfinder accessory, with built-in spirit level, for this model - very useful, if you are fortunate enough to find one.
The Stereo Rapid is normally found with the Steinheil München Cassarit 1:2.8 / 35mm lenses. These lenses produce nice images which seem a bit sharper (especially at the corners) when compared to the Jlitar lenses from earlier models. Some Iloca Stereo Rapid models were in fact built with the same Steinheil München Cassar S 1:3.5 / 35mm lenses as found on the Stereo Realist 45 (the Rapid F3.5 model cameras are identical to the Realist 45, except that they have a PC flash contact on the lower front panel and a standard accessory shoe).
Note 1: a tip for opening the back on these cameras - flick the small lever forward on the base of the camera (this is the lever with serrated edge that sits flush with the base). This causes the rewind knob to pop out into the rewind position. Pull the knob out as far as it will go, then turn anticlockwise (with the camera upside down) and the back will spring open. Make sure you rewind the film first!
Note 2: the accessory shoe on this model is located closer to the centre of the camera than the shoe on the Iloca Stereo II / IIa models. Consequently, the viewfinder accessory from the earlier models will not be centrally aligned if attached to this model.
This model offers a number of refinements over its predecessors. It has a comfortable feel, and the higher specification F2.8 lenses are welcome. The 'Rapid' film advance lever helps to speed things up, the rangefinder is a useful addition, and the improved ergonomics are a definite plus, especially the location of the focus dial which is very convenient indeed. All in all, a very nice stereo camera to use.
Specifications: Iloca Stereo Rapid
Camera Type: 35 mm Stereo Camera
Format: 135 Film; Realist (5p) format producing image sizes 24mm x 23mm
Shutter: Prontor–SVS with speeds 'B', 1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/300 sec with M and X flash settings, and V delayed action setting; or Vero with speeds 'B' 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200 sec
Lenses: Steinheil München Cassarit 1:2.8 / 35mm; 3 feet (1 metre) to ∞; or Steinheil München Cassar S 1:3.5 / 35mm; 3 feet (1 metre) to ∞
Lens Separation: Approx 70mm
Aperture: F2.8 to F16, or F3.5 to F16
Delayed Action: Approx 10 seconds (on Prontor shutter models only)
Flash Capability: PC Flash Contact
Frame Counter: 0 to 29
Rangefinder: Yes, Built-in (on Prontor shutter with F2.8 Cassarit lens models only)
Other Features: Accessory Shoe, Multiple Exposure Lever, Tripod Socket, Depth of Field Scale