The second version of the Iloca Stereo camera (sometimes known as the Iloca Stereo Ia) was manufactured around 1950. This model produces stereo pairs in the European (or 7p) format. Lenses are a pair of 1:3.5 45mm Jlitars.
This version followed on from its first version counterpart, which was Iloca's entry into the stereo camera market. The origins of these cameras are very easy to see - just take a quick look at a non stereo Iloca I model. Basically, the stereo models consist of two non stereo cameras joined together in one wider body.
The second version, pictured, offers additional synchronisation for the stereo controls when compared with the first version. Controls for shutter speed, aperture, and focus are now all coupled by means of mechanical linkages between the right and left hand mechanisms, avoiding the need to adjust these settings independently and making stereo picture taking a less complicated pursuit.
... with some useful features
Iloca Stereo (Second Version)
The Iloca Stereo camera has a pair of Prontor–S shutters with speeds from 1 to 1/300 sec, plus B. Apertures range from f3.5 to 16, giving a good range of exposures with 100 ASA film - from bright outdoor conditions to night exposures using the B setting.
In addition there is a 10 sec delayed action lever , a thread for a shutter release cable, a PC flash connection, and a tripod thread located centrally in the base. But no accessory shoe.
A pair of Jlitar 1:3.5 / 45mm lenses with full focussing from 3 feet (0.9 metre) to ∞ completes the picture.
Functionally, this model is an improvement over the first version due to the introduction of the additional mechanical linkages coupling the right and left hand mechanisms.
The Iloca Stereo in Operation
Iloca Stereo (Second Version)
The Iloca Stereo should be a camera with good capabilities, but you do need to invest a bit of effort to get the best out of it. Given that all controls (other than the film wind and rewind knobs) are located on the tried and tested Prontor–S mechanism, then it is not unreasonable to expect good performance. However, film loading and film advance techniques are a different matter, and can be a bit tricky at times.
Most of the controls are well placed and straightforward to use, in keeping with the era in which the camera was produced. The shutter lever is located directly on the shutter housing and is activated by the right forefinger. The built-in viewfinder reduces the image size considerably, however it is centrally located and offers reasonably accurate framing. The film advance and rewind knobs are on the top panel.
European or 7p format models such as this one have an irregular film advance sequence. The first frame advances the film 7 perforations, while the next frame advances it 21 perforations and so on. To prepare for the next shot, you need to wind the film until it stops, then press the film advance knob downwards towards the camera body to advance the film counter, then set the shutter tension with the lever on the Prontor-S shutter mechanism. Of course you also need to set the shutter speed, aperture and focus settings, so it's a good idea to allow plenty of time between shots when using one of these cameras!
The film loading procedure can be a bit tricky with this camera. It is critical that the film is correctly located on the out-of-sight sprockets. If it is not, then the film will most likely jam or tear, or cause sporadic film advance at the very least - a bit of a disaster, and probably the main factor contributing to the reputation for unreliability that these early models gained. However, with some care, you should expect to be able to load and shoot the full roll without drama.
The camera is certainly easy to hold steady, and feels quite sleek with its one-piece body housing. The image size is 23 x 28 mm, and makes a pleasant alternative to the Realist (5p) format.
Some tips for loading film into this model camera: Slide both catches to the 'o' position, then remove the base plate. Remove the film take-up spool and feed the end of the film into the slot in the spool. Next, locate the film, the film canister and the take-up spool into their respective housings in the camera. It is important that all components are positioned correctly, or you will experience problems when advancing the film. The film, film canister and take-up spool should go fully into the camera leaving no portion protruding, and there should not be no undue pressure on the base plate. Otherwise, you are likely to have problems. Replace the base plate and close the catches.
A camera with a relatively short lifespan, that appears to have given Iloca a few reliability headaches due to the film loading and transport mechanism. However, if you follow the proper steps and exercise a good level of care, you should be able to produce some reasonable quality photos. The European (or 7p) format is also a plus in some people's eyes.
Specifications: Iloca Stereo Camera (Second Version)
Camera Type: 35 mm Stereo Camera
Format:135 Film; European (7p) format producing image sizes 24mm x 28mm
Shutter:Prontor–S with speeds 'B', 1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/300 sec, Delayed Action Lever
Lenses: Jlitar 1:3.5 / 45mm; focus range 3 feet (1 metre) to ∞
Lens Separation:Approx 66.5mm
Aperture:F3.5 to F16
Delayed Action: Approx 10 seconds
Flash Capability:PC Flash Contact
Frame Counter:0 to 20
Other Features:Built-in Delayed Action (Self-Timer), Tripod Socket, Case, User Manual, Box