Scott's Photographica Collection

Utility Manufacturing Company
Falcon Model F Camera


Falcon Model F Camera
Falcon Model F Camera

During the 1930s and '40s the Utility Manufacturing Company of New York, NY produced a vareity of inexpensive bakelite and plastic roll film cameras.  This model F, introduced in 1938, is one of their better models.  Unlike its simpler siblings the model F has a heavy cast-metal helical lens mount and higher quality lens and shutter.  The body is made of molded plastic.

A quirky design feature of the model F is that the focus locks at every distance mark that is engraved in the focusing ring.  Cameras have been made that lock focus at infinity but the model F carries this feature to the extreme.  In order to turn the focusing ring it is necessary to push down and hold the small chrome button that is located on the side of the lens mount.  The release button can be seen at the left of the mount in the image above.

A nice feature is a retractable foot that is located below the lens mount.  This is also visible in the photo above.  Because of its massive lens mount the camera is front-heavy.  Without the aid of its foot the camera would tip over when set down.

The lens and shutter were made by Wollensak Optical Company.  The shutter is a self-cocking Deltax with settings for time, bulb, 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100 second.  The lens is a Velostigmat 2 inch f/3.5 with stops to f/22.  The camera has a simple eye-level optical viewfinder.  It does not have a rangefinder.

This Falcon takes sixteen 1 5/8 x 1 1/4 inch (3 x 4 cm) exposures on size 127 roll film.  Two red windows are used to count-off exposures.  Like other sixteen exposure 127 film cameras, the model F uses an A, B red window system.  This is how it works:  Load film in the camera and turn the wind knob until the number 1 appears behind window A.  Take a photo, then wind the film until number 1 appears behind window B.  Take another photo and wind until the number 2 appears behind window A.  Continue winding and shooting in this manner until the number 8 appears behind window B.  This results in 16 exposures.


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Page created July 15, 2001; updated December 20, 2020