Ilford Sporti (~ 1959 )
This simple medium format (12exp. / 6X6 / 120 roll film) camera is actually a German Dacora Digna I / Color Digna I my first "new" camera. I don't know where it is today what is left is an instruction manual. When I saw this Ilford in a thrift shop it almost insisted "Take me home" and The camera and I was sold.
As a companion it had a National PB 8 flash unit and I had nothing against, that it came too. There in not much to tell about so simple and conventional camera like this so I decided to give you a sample of the text in Dacora Digna manual turned to fit Ilford Sporti badged version,
The Sporti camera takes 12 pictures 2,1 in. square (6 X 6cm), on 120 size roll film, and the camera is fitted with a lens which can be focused from 5 feet to infinity. Easy-to-read focusing zones are marked on the front of the camera for taking close-ups, groups and views.
Adjusting the camera for the right exposure is easy. All you have to do is load up with llford Selochrome Pan 120 roll film for summer snapshots, and llford HP1 for the winter. The exposure control above the lens is then set, either for a sunny day or for a cloudy day.
The large shutter release button is conveniently placed on the front of the camera so that when it is squeezed there is no risk of camera shake. The shutter is synchronized for taking flash pictures.
The viewfinder is of the optical eye-level type, and gives a brilliant image of the scene to be photographed.
Before you take any photographs, buy an llford No. 120 roll film from your photographic dealer, and read through these ininstructions carefully with your Sport camera and film beside you.
The camera should always be loaded and unloaded in the shade, out of direct sunshine.
First, open the camera back by pushing up the locking button on the left-hand side of the camera as it is held in the taking position,
The empty take-up spool, which is already in the camera, must be in the right-hand chamber. If it is in the left-hand chamber, first pull up the curved flap of the left-hand chamber and remove the empty spool. Then pull up the wind-on knob on the top right-hand side of the camera, pull up the small knurled stud at the bottom of the chamber, and engage the hole at the end of the spool with the small stud at the bottom. Place the spool in the chamber by pushing back the small knurled stud, then push down the wind-on knob and holding the spool upright. turn the knob until the slot of the spool engages the wind-on knob.
Next, place the new spool of film into the left-hand chamber, making sure that the hole in the end of the spool engages with the small stud at the bottom of the curved flap. The film must be so placed that when the backing paper is drawn out. the coloured side is outermost.
Break and remove the film sealing band and pull out about 6 inches of the backing paper. Now push the curved flap so that the spool is inside the chamber. Pass the pointed end of the film through the slot in the take-up spool, making sure that it enters the wide slot first.
Now give the wind-on knob one or two turns in the direction of the arrow, to make sure that film is correctly attached to the spool and is passing centrally over the rollers. Close the camera back. Wind on the film until No. 1 appears in the red window at the back of the camera, and you are ready to take the first picture.
If this helps you, I'm glad.
Ilford Sporti 6 (1963)
The Sporti 6 was introduced four years later. It has the same concept, it takes 12 , 6X6 exposures on 120 roll film. Instead of a wind knob it has a more modern winding lever. Otherwise it more plastic but has still a black leatherette covering ? Like all Sporti cameras Sporti 6 is also made by Dacora and as far as I know model & is the last of the Sporti line.
In 1963 medium format cameras were rapidly losing their popularity against 35mm cameras. These was also the years when the whole European camera manufacturing was at the end of the glorious era. Competition of the camera manufacturers in the direction of the rising sun was irresistible.