I am a great fan of the Flexaret camera. But despite my warm feelings I am aware of its shortcomings. One of them is that it uses a proprietary B36 filter bayonet. This bayonet was introduced by Meopta Přerov in the 1960’s and included a number of filters – the classical sequence from ultraviolet, through shades of yellow, green and orange up to red. Even an almost mythical polarizer, of which many collectors have heard but nobody that I know ever saw one.
But the last Flexaret – and the last B36 filter to go with it – was produced in the year 1971. The number of filters available is therefore limited. More significantly the range of filters is limited to 1960’s technology. To overcome this I have obtained a simple filter adapter.
My main film camera is the Bronica ETRSi, which uses 62mm filters over the whole fixed lens range; a major advantage. I have over time obtained a large stack of 62mm filters, including some rather exotic ones. I have therefore requested my favorite camera technician, Mr. Maštalíř of Škoda Foto, to make a B36 to 62mm adapter.
The adapter has the look of a home made hack, but it does the job. It fits the B36 bayonet snugly. The big 62mm filter seems sort of awkward on a 36mm lens, but I do not mind. I was at first a little worried that it would obstruct the view from the upper focusing lens, but it just about clears the view. The only problem is that the camera with the filter adapter on will not fit into its carrying leather case, and I can live with that.
The Flexaret Filter Adapter allows me to use the full modern range of filters, up to and including the Hoya R72. This greatly increases the possibilities of my Flexaret.
Shooting infrared with a non – SLR camera is great fun; I can have the best of both worlds: shoot with the opaque filter on my taking lens, and focus easily on the screen. With a little care, and fast infrared sensitive film such as the Rollei Infrared, it is even possible to shoot handheld.