Hunter Gilbert

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R.F. Hunter Gilbert

R.F. Hunter Gilbert current value

In the middle of the 20th century, RF Hunter was a photo equipment distributor in London, selling German-made cameras before the war and both East and West German models after. Names that come to mind are Steiner and Purma et al.

The Gilbert is the single camera that Hunter made, proudly designed and made in the UK. A box camera, yet distinct in appearance and operation. Technically it does not offer much. If you may open the back without resorting to gardening hardware, it takes a 120-format roll. Being brits, the designers locked the back with a spring-mounted catch that takes three hands to operate – one to hold the front, one to pull the back, and one to overcome the said catch. I think the original owner had used a cold chisel to open it.

There are two speeds, fast and slow, and two aperture openings. I do not have a user manual, so values are anybody’s guess. Settings change via two pull-up tabs on top of the camera, unmarked. In the unit I have, the speed selector tab is stuck. I do not intend to shoot with it, so will leave it as is. The film winder cocks the shutter as well, more to eliminate double-taking. The viewfinder swivels between portrait and landscape modes, a neat feature, nicely made. The viewer is bright, with crop marks. The trigger is of generous size, front-mounted, and falls well under the thumb. Flashgun contacts protrude at the front bottom. A nice touch is the base, holding study the camera on three rounded points. The body is covered with a kind of snakeskin, apparently artificial.

I got this camera as a tag-along, in a lot with another model I was after. I never paid attention to it, but I am glad to have it on the shelf. It is an outstanding model, with the same halo as the Bantam Special, the Pen F, and Werra lines.

List number 14873
Brand Hunter
Format 120
Model Gilbert
Introduced 1953
Qty made
Country UK
Type Box
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight 650 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight gr,  Body with lens
ASA range N/A
Kit lens 105mm
Lens make N/A
Filter size N/A
Lens mount Fixed lens
Mount size N/A
Aperture 5.6 / 11 (?)
shutter Hole
Light meter None
Winder Knob
Lock No
Speeds 30, 50 (?)
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe No
External sync No
Sync speed NA
Timer No
Battery N/A
Battery voltage NA
Integral flash None


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