Ilford Sporti 4

The Ilford Sporti 4 was the baby of Ilford's Sporti range, and the only one taking 127, as opposed to 120, film. The original Sporti and Sporti 6 cameras were moderately well-specified, but the Sporti 4 was a rather basic camera that was aimed at the youth market -its ease of use was hyped up in publicity material.

The camera first appeared in this guise in 1960, and was made by Dacora in West Germany. It is, in fact, a rebadged Dacora Digna 44. It shoots 12 4x4 negatives per roll. Made largely of plastic, it has a two-tone grey and black finish. The single-speed shutter is very simple, and has a tendency to be a bit flimsy. There is a sunny/cloudy aperture selector on the top of the lens barrel, and a PC socket for flash. It fires modern flash guns, but I have not yet tested it to see if it syncs correctly. The lens is fixed focus.

In a lot of ways, this camera resembles a Holga in terms of layout and specification, although it feels a bit more solidly constructed. The base plate is made of metal and has a tripod bush in it. The inside of the camera contains a sticker advertising Ilford's HP3 and Selochrome Pan 127 films.

This was the first type of camera I owned as a child, and reacquiring one after 20 years is quite a thrill! It was in awful condition when I got it, but after attacking it with meths, WD-40, shoe polish and UHU glue, it is looking presentable and ready for use!

The results were nothing spectacular, as you would expect from a camera this simple. Most of my childhood photos were spoiled by camera shake, as the shutter seems to slow down quite a bit as the cameras get older, but in the right conditions, they can produce some nice snapshots

Submitted by Lee Osbourne.

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