Camera Name: B2
Place of Manufacture: Rochester, NY
Date of Manufacture: 1949
Focusing System: Rangefinder focusing (split image)
Optical viewfinder: (reverse Gallilean)
Fixed Lens: 44mm f/3.2 Wollensak Anastigmat (Coated)
Shutter: Wollensak Synchromatic (Alpha X) leaf shutter
T / B / 10 / 25/ 50 / 100 / 200
Apertures: f/3.2 - f/22
Bolsey C flash system mount
Film type / speeds
Type 135 film (35mm standard)
A (light aluminum) brick
Released in 1949, the Bolsey B2 is the predecessor of the 1950 model Bolsey C22. The Bolsey B2 was in production for about 7 years, until 1956 when the Bolsey Corporation went backrupt.
Like the Leica III series of the same period, the Bolsey B2 has a separate viewfinder and split-image rangefinder.
The B2 shares the same complex double-exposure prevention / shutter interlock. To wind the camera, you lift the knob slightly and then turn it counter-clockwise. The wind lever only pulls the film. As the film pulls through, the sprocket holes engage the sprocket counter. On most cameras, this is usually used only to ensure proper film spacing and the film counter (which it also does on the B2). But as the sprocket wheel turns, it pulls the small pin that you see on the front of the camera. This pin retracts into the body, allowing the shutter cocking/firing lever to spring all the way to the top.
The Wollensack shutter is self-energizing. Once the lever is at the top, you can set the shutter speed from a blazing 1/200 sec to a miserly 1/10 sec. Sorry, this really isn't the most flexible of cameras if you want to take it both in and outdoors.
Jacque Bolsky first started designing cameras in 1923 in Switzerland. The first unit was the Cinegraph Bol. He followed with the Bolec which was later renamed the Bolex. Then he designed the Bolca which became the Bolsey Reflex and then was sold to a Swiss company to become the Alpa. Bolsey emigrated to the U.S. after the war, changed his name to Bolsey, and started designing cameras around the Wollensack lens/shutter. He wanted affordable, well made cameras. The Bolsey Model B and Model C's accomplished those goals handily. The first were made by Pignons SA (Alpa) but the later ones were made by the Obex Corporation of NY. Unfortunately the imports from Japan and Germany were too much for him and he closed his factory doors in 1956.
Condition: Used. Collectors piece. This item is untested but appears to be in decent condition relative to age. Case is original Bolsey stamped custom fit.