Instructions (1962) for the Style 4 Vario, Pronto & Rangefinder Sportsman

The following is the text of the official instruction booklet provided with the Style 4 Sportsman Rangefinder and non-rangefinder Vario and Pronto models. It presumably dates from 1962 when all the Sportsman cameras adopted the Style 4 appearance, originally introduced with the Rangefinder model in 1960.

"The Ilford Sportsman cameras are designed for quick, easy operation and take brilliant pictures in either colour or black and white. To get the most out of your Sportsman, read through these instructions carefully with the camera in front of you before you start taking any pictures, noting especially those sections that deal with your own particular model.

Every Ilford camera is carefully constructed, thoroughly tested and guaranteed for one year from the date of purchase, so do not forget to complete the guarantee card and post it to Ilford Limited, Ilford, Essex, without delay.

The Sportsman Vario

The Sportsman Vario takes 35 mm. film in a standard cassette - that is, the light-tight metal container in which the film is sold and into which you must rewind the film after you have exposed it before opening the camera back. This is all explained in "TAKING OUT THE FILM". The picture size you will obtain is 24x36mm. The camera in fitted with a rapid lever-wind (4) and has a three-element lens with a focal length of 45 mm with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 The lens is coated and gives excellent results with both colour and black-and-white films.

A single movement of the film lever-wind (4) performs three operations-the film is advanced, the shutter is set, and the exposure counter is adjusted to show the number of exposures that are left in the camera. The film wind and the shutter release are interlocked to make double exposures impossible and to ensure that the film cannot be wound on until an exposure has been made.

The shutter on the Sportsman Vario has three speeds - l/25, 1/50 and l/200 sec. plus a "B" setting for brief time exposures. It is also synchronised for flash (14) with "X" type synchronisation. This means that electronic flash units may be used at all shutter speeds, and flashbulbs at a shutter speed of 1/25 sec.

To release the shutter, press the large shutter release button (5). This is placed conveniently on the front of the camera to obviate the risk of camera shake as it is pressed. The centre of this button is threaded to accept a cable release.

The Sportsman Pronto
The Sportsman Pronto shutter has four speeds - 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/250 sec. plus a "B" setting. In other details it is identical with the Sportsman Vario except you can take delayed action pictures. This mechanism is operated by moving the small red lever at the bottom of the lens mount (not illustrated) over to the right as you hold the camera in the taking position. Then, once you have pressed the shutter release button, there is an interval of 7-8 seconds before the shutter opens, allowing you time to lake up your position in the scene.

The Sportsman Rangefinder
The Ilford Sportsman Rangefinder is the same in all details as the Sportsman Pronto except for the addition of a rangefinder. For details of how so use the rangefinder on your Sportsman, see the section on "FOCUSING"

The back of the camera in opened by sliding the small button on the locking catch (11) towards the base of the camera. This button is on the left-hand side of the camera as it is held ready for use.

The camera should always be loaded and unloaded in the shade, out of direct sunshine. After the camera back has been opened the rewind knob (9) should be pulled out to the maximum extent and the cassette of film placed in the camera. The free end of the film that projects from the cassette should now be extending along the film track in the direction of the take-up spool. Push back the rewind knob gently and turn it until it engages with the core of the cassette. Then operate the lever-wind once, but do not press the shutter release button. The leading edge of the film can now be taken along the film track and slipped into the slit of the take-up spool. If the take-up spool is not in the correct position and the slit cannot be seen, the spool can be rotated with the thumb on the lower milled-edge flange. Make sure that the small tooth at the lower end of the slit in the take-up spool is engaging with a perforation in the film.

Now turn the take-up spool with the thumb so that the tongue of film winds on to it; turn just sufficiently to take up the slack in the film until the full width part of the film is just protruding from the mouth of the cassette. The camera back can now he closed.
Next, release the shutter (5) and operate the film lever-wind (4) three times. This will bring the third frame on the full width part of the film into position and clear any film which may have been fogged during loading. The camera is now ready to take the first picture by pressing the shutter release.

The rewind knob (9) should turn anti clockwise when the film wind is operated and this indicates that the film in passing through the camera correctly. Always check that the rewind knob turns as the film is wound on.

The exposure counter (2) should next be set to 20 or 36, depending on whether a 20 or 36-exposure cassette was loaded. The exposure counter indicates the number of exposures remaining in the cassette. Lastly, the film speed reminder disc (8) on the top of the rewind knob should be set to indicate the type of film in the camera.

The Sportsman Vario and Sportsman Pronto

The lens is focused by rotating the focusing ring (6) until the distance of the principal subject, measured in feet, lies against the diamond shaped index mark on the front plate of the shutter. The aperture markings on either side of this index show the zone of sharpness which extends on either side of the focused distance, at different lens apertures.
In setting the focusing scale, distances up to 12 feet should be estimated or measured accurately, but greater distances can be estimated approximately.

The Sportsman Rangefinder
The built-in, coupled rangefinder on the Ilford Sportsman rangefinder model takes all the guesswork out of focusing. Instead of estimating or measuring the distance from camera to subject, the rangefinder does it all for you. This is how you operate it.

Hold the viewfinder (3) to your eye in the normal way and holding the camera in the left hand, rotate the focusing ring (6) with the right. In the viewfinder you will see an illuminated pattern outlining the picture that you are taking. In the centre of this is a square pattern that appears yellow against the bluish tint of the field of view. The subject to be focused on is then brought into this square-shaped area. Until the image is focused two overlapping images are seen. By rotating the focusing ring in one direction or the other, the two images are brought into coincidence and your camera is then focussed. With the rangefinder, the camera can be focused from 3feet to infinity.

The Sportsman Vario

The shutter speed is set by rotating the milled outer ring (12) on the lens panel so that the desired shutter speed-1/25, 1/50, 1/200 sec. or "B" -lies against the same white index mark as is used for the focusing scale. The "B" setting is used for brief time exposures and the shutter will remain open so long as the shutter release button is held depressed or pressure is maintained on the cable release. The camera must be mounted on a tripod or other firm support when the "B" setting is used.

The aperture setting is controlled by the small lever (10) which is visible on the top of the lens mounting, the arrow-head of the lever being set against the desired lens aperture marking.

The correct aperture and shutter speeds can be estimated from the exposure tables given on page 19 of this instruction book, the Ilford pocket exposure guide obtainable at your photo-shop, or a photo-electric or other exposure meter may be used.

The Sportsman Pronto and Sportsman Rangefinder
On the Sportsman Pronto and Rangefinder models the speed scale appears on the outer band on top of the lens mounting, and the speed-1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 sec. or "B" - is set by rotating the milled outer ring (12) until the red index mark on top of the ring appears against the selected speed.
To control the aperture setting, move the milled lever (10) until the selected aperture setting to the right of the lever lies opposite the black dot on top of the lens mount.

The Sportsman Vario

After the lens has been focused, the shutter speed set, and the correct aperture chosen, the subject is viewed through she optical viewfinder. The viewfinder (13) is of the direct-vision type and is used at eye level. It gives a brilliant image with the picture area shown by a bright line, and the centre of the picture area by a cross. Two marks at the side of the bright line frame indicate the top of the picture when the camera is being used for close-up pictures at about a distance of 6 feet or less. A similar amount will also appear in the negative on the bottom of the picture although this is not marked on the finder.

To take the picture, hold the camera firmly with both hands and then squeeze - don't jab - the shutter release with the forefinger of the right hand. When using a shutter speed of 1/25 or 1/50 sec., take up as firm a stance as possible, leaning against any available solid object such as a wall or similar support.

After the exposure has been made, the film lever-wind should be operated immediately so that the camera is at once ready for a further exposure. The lever should always he moved firmly and smoothly to the end of its travel. This is important, because if the full movement is not made, the shutter will not be set and no exposure will be made when she shutter release is next pressed. The lever-wind should not be allowed to snap back under the pressure of its spring but should be controlled by the thumb, so that it moves back smoothly and gently to its position ready for the next operation.

The Sportsman Pronto
For taking normal pictures with your Sportsman Pronto, follow the instructions given above for the Sportsman Vario. If you wish to take a delayed action picture and so include yourself in the pictures, mount the camera on a tripod and after you have selected your shutter speed, the required aperture, and focused the camera, then operate the delayed action lever and finally press the shutter release. But do first do make sure that nothing - such as the flap of your ever-ready case - is likely to impede the return of the delayed action lever once the shutter release button has been pressed. You'll then have 7-8 seconds in which to take up your own position in front of the camera.

The Sportsman Rangefinder
Taking pictures with the Ilford Sportsman Rangefinder model follows exactly the procedure given for the Sportsman Pronto except that, as mentioned before, when you look through the viewfinder, instead of seeing a cross marking the centre of the field of view, you will see the yellowish square pattern by which the camera is focused.

When you have exposed all the 20 or 36 exposures on the film, it must be completely rewound into the cassette before the camera back is opened. The film is rewound by depressing the rewind release button (7) in the baseplate of the camera and at the same time turning the rewind knob in a clockwise direction as shown by the arrow. Rewinding should be continued with the rewind release button held depressed until the film pulls away from the take-up spool. If the film was properly attached to the take-up spool when the camera was loaded, some resistance will be felt at this point. When the film has been completely rewound the camera back can be opened and the cassette removed from the camera by lifting the rewind knob.

On an average sunny day in summer and with a medium-speed film such as Ilford FP3, the camera can be set so that it is ready for use at all times without further adjustment. The aperture should be set to f11 and the shutter speed to I/50 or 1/60 sec.; the focusing scale should then be sent to 14 feet. It will be seen that the depth of field scale extends from about 7 feet to infinity and the Sportsman can be used as a simple snapshot camera.

A small flashgun, such as the Ilford Sportslite can be fitted into the accessory shoe (1) on the top of the camera above the viewfinder. The synchronising lead of the flashgun is connected to the camera by the standard 3 mm co-axial contact at the base of the lens panel. Make sure that the connector is pushed firmly home before using the camera.

The shutters on all the Sportsman cameras have "X" type synchronisation so that either electronic flash units or expendable flashbulbs may be used. Electronic flash units may be used at any shutter speed and the expendable flashbulbs at a shutter speed of 1/25 or 1/30 sec.

Now that you've got to know the Ilford Sportsman you'll want to try it out with a film. Make sure of success at your first attempt by following all the instructions carefully and by making a habit of always loading your Sportsman with an Ilford film - they're made for each other! Take all the pictures you want, indoor or out, summer or winter, with any of these superlative ILFORD films. There's an llford 35 mm film to suit every subject and every exposure condition, and remember - the Sportsman is so simple that colour pictures are as easy to take as black-and-white.

ILFORD Ilfochrome: The ideal film for making glowing colour transparencies of any subject in daylight or by artificial light using blue flashbulbs.

ILFORD Pan F: The almost grainless, thin-emulsion film for negatives of unmatched definition and enlarging quality.

ILFORD FP3 Series II: The fine grain film with balanced colour response and ample speed for general use.

ILFORD HP3: The high-speed film that is famous for its superb all-round performance.

ILFORD HPS: An extremely fast film, for successful photography by any light.

The exposure times and lens apertures given in these tables may be used from three hours after sunrise to three hours before sunset, all year round. With shutter speeds other than those quoted, the lens aperture should be adjusted accordingly.

When using Ilfochrome please refer to the separate pocket exposure guide.