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Mirax  System 

 I 

Transform Your 35mm Rangefinder into a Reflex system

Orion Mirax I (A) Prototype in a Leica IIIb with Supreme lens 2.8/105mm

 

 

 

In the Mirax era there were few known 35mm reflex cameras here we show all of them.

After the tremendous successes of the Contax S and the Rectaflex and also the recent issued Zenit as a low cost alternative,

The Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), obviously understanding the innovation the SLR would bring it to the camera industry, decided to give financial support to the camera makers….This was the year of 1951.

Early prism prototypes were so built. Mamiya Prismflex was the first, available by 1952. The second prototype, was the Mamiya Pentaflex but finally in the end of 1952 arrives the Asahiflex SLR (but without pentaprism).

Japanese industry was already steady with rangefinder cameras such as Nikon, Canon, Nicca, Leotax, Minolta, and the just launched Tanack 35,

But Mr. Ogihara  intended to up date those cameras through an external device with changeable finders which transforms market established present cameras in an integrated SLR System, extending their scope to portrait, telephoto, close-up, reproduction, microscope, astro telephotography and scientific works. So was born the Mirax System with the Focabell which lived all time long Miranda cameras production and the versatile Supreme lenses. The set was commercialized up to 1959 when rangefinder cameras were the Queens of the market.

This revolutionary Mirax System with an interchangeable waist-level viewfinder was the first product that earned the company a worldwide reputation. This advanced product with its unique engineering gave owners of Leica screw mount and Nikon 35mm rangefinder cameras a very versatile system with TTL viewing of an upright image. In 1950 Mirax was put on the market and it was an immediate hit. In 1952 the Mirax box introduced the Pentaprism viewfinder, which could be interchanged with the waist-level viewfinder. Surely this was the great leap into the future. The amazing Supreme focusing telephoto lens 105mm f2.8 with removable head to be used coupled to the Focabell brought something unbelievable in 1951.

 This combination could now focus anywhere from infinity to extreme macro-positions. Shades of the modern SLR!

The idea had and still has heavy followers because when you want quick work and be inconspicuous in normal and wide angle work with a light and portable camera, simply use the rangefinder as it is!

 

Orion Seiki, see http://www.novacon.com.br/odditycameras/phoenixmir.htm  finally unveiled the Phoenix in 1954 which went into production in 1956, followed by the Minolta's SR-2 which was released in 1958. The seldom discussed and short-lived camera from lens maker Zunow also appeared -- and disappeared -- in 1958. The Canonflex was not released until 1959, together Nippon Kogaku's Nikon F -- which, as we all know, quickly became a universal work horse.

 

 

35mm SLRs before Mirax era

 

First 35mm SLR. – Metal vertical focal plane shutter

SPORT  Project from 1927/1935 Year of  marketing

 

First full system SLR.

EXAKTA  Project from 1935/1936 Year of  marketing

 

First low cost SLR

PRAKTIFLEX  Project from 1936/1938 Year of  marketing

 

First combined Rangefinder and Single Lens Reflex.

ALPA  REFLEX  Project from 1940/1944 Year of  marketing

 

First SLR with instant return mirror.

First eye level unreversed viewing through Porro finder.

Directly compatible with Contax rangefinder telephoto lenses.

External auxiliary view finder.

Gamma Duflex  Project from 1940/1947 Year of  marketing

 

First SLR Pentaprism finder.

CONTAX S  Project from 1946/1949 Year of  marketing

 

First SLR w/ Stigmometer rangefinder screen.

 RECTAFLEX  Project from 1947/1949 Year of  marketing

 

First compact SLR – Leica screw mount.

ZENIT  Project from 1950/1952 Year of  marketing

 

 

 

The Mirax System

 

1-Mirax A

Intended for Leica screw mount

 

 

Mirax outfit with short neck Supreme Focabell lens and Focabell bellows system.

 

 

Accessory Pentaprism

 

 

Leica M4 with M adapter on Mirax with pentaprism and Telyt 260 mm

 

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Mirax A Medium telephoto system

Instruction booklet scanned in “Mirax Instructions”

 

Supreme telehoto for mirax A

 

 

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Mirax A + short neck Supreme lens

 

 

 

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