Detailed description of the Autocord models

The Autocords are all alike. However, some details make it possible to differentiate them.

A first analysis makes it possible to define four main groups : the A, the L, the RG and the I.

Several models are widespread while others remain uncommon or not found.

 

The list is not chronological, you'll find the chronology at the bottom of this page.
The first model of each group is completely described.
For the following ones, the description in green resumes the changes compared with the precedent model or with one quoted specifically.

 

Important :

Informations about the Autocord are poor on the WEB. I never found any site to give complete, official informations.

Only Clayton Rye's site (www.wctatel.net/web/crye/a-cord.htm) had a models listing.

Some sites tell about 17 models or more (camerapedia.wikia.com), others tell about 24 (tlr-camera.com).

As following Minolta one different detail makes a new model. Time gave me the opportunity to find more then 24 different models.

These are the reasons why I arbitrarily give unofficial names to some models I discovered throughout my research.

For those, title is written in blue while remaining logical.

 

A :

 

The taking lens is a Chiyoko Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.5 on a Optiper MXS shutter, B position and from 1 to 1/400 sec.

The viewing lens is a View Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.2.

The viewfinder is equiped with an inner mirror and a frosted glass with border lines.

A rabatable lens allows to adjust the focus point.

A square hole serves to take picts of objects in action. It is called the sport viewer.
Focus lever at the bottom of the front side, scale from 3.3 feet to infinity.
Lever to adjust the aparture : from 3.5 to 22, display above the viewing lens.
Lever to adjust the shutter speed : position B then from 1 to 1/400th sec,

display above the viewing lens.

Shutter speeds display : B   1  2  5  10  25  50  100  200  400 

Selftimer : between 10 and 15 sec.
Flash synchronization selector : M or X
Shutter trigger provided with a safety, can welcome a standard flexible trigger
.
Socket for connection of a satellite flash, working with male PC flash cord.
Cold shoe tie for accessory (flash or lightmeter).
Ties
with rectangular groove for fastening leather case clips.
Crank to arm the shutter and to automaticaly advance the film.

Parameters regulation board on the right hand side.
Porthole for view counter display.
Button for multi-exposure.
" CHIYOKO " logo on the viewfinder cap.
" Minolta AUTOCORD " label on top of the front side.
Serial number above this label.

Both lenses have their own serial number.

Film format : 120

Size of views : 5.6 x 5.6 cm

Dimensions : 98 x 97 x 143 mm

Weigh : 960 g.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    shutter

 

 

 

 

 

      adjustment table                                   flash socket and sync lever

 

 

 

        display windows

 

A-2 (second version) :

 

Like the A.

Shutter : Optiper MXS.

Right side : depth of field board.

 

 

 

     depth of field scale

RA :

Like the A-2.

Shutter ; Optiper MXS.

With masks to take 4x5 and 4x4 format pictures in addition to 6x6

and two swapping view counter modules, one marked "18" and the other "12".

RA-2 :

Like the RA.

Shutter : Citizen MXV .

A RB prototype was prepared in 1958 but never produced.

 

MXV :

Like the A-2.

Shutter: Optiper MXV.

 

 

MXV-2 (second version) :

Like the MXV.

Shutter : Citizen MXV.

1962 production :

-) Minolta Rokkor taking lens,

-) serial no. 300001 (< 350000)

-) new ''minolta'' logo on top of the viewfinder.

MXV-3 (third version) :

Like the MXV-2.

Shutter : Citizen MXV.

Taking lens : MINOLTA ROKKOR.

"minolta" logo on top of viewer.

Sometimes "chiyoko" logo on top of viewer.

Serial number begins with 30xxxx.

MINOLTA lens                                              "minolta" logo

 

L :

 

The taking lens is a Chiyoko Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.5 on a Seikosha Rapid shutter, B position and from 1 to 1/500 sec.

The viewing lens is a View Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.2.

The viewfinder is equiped with an inner mirror, a frosted glass with border lines and a Fresnel lens under the frosted glass.

A rabatable lens allows to adjust the focus point.

A square hole serves to take picts of objects in action. It is called the sport viewer.
Focus lever at the bottom of the front side, scale from 1 meter to infinity.
Lever to adjust the aparture : from 3.5 to 22, display above the viewing lens.
Lever to adjust the shutter speed : position B then from 1 to 1/500th sec,

display above the viewing lens.

Shutter speeds display : B   1  2  5  10  25  50  100  250  500 

No selftimer.

Flash synchronization : F factory built, no lever.
Selenium light measuring cell under the " Minolta Autocord " label

and display module of the solution on the left side

on a scale of EV values ​​and sensitivity scale in ASA.

Double standard EV scale around the lens : addition of the two figures

must equal the EV result at display.

Shutter trigger provided with a safety, can welcome a standard flexible trigger.
Socket for connection of a satellite flash, working with male PC flash cord.
Cold shoe tie for accessory (flash or lightmeter).
Ties
with rectangular groove for fastening leather case clips.
Crank to arm the shutter and to automaticaly advance the film.

Depth of field board on the right hand side.
Porthole for view counter display.

Porthole showing wether the device is armed (only works when a film is involved).
Button for multi-exposure.
" CHIYOKO " logo on the viewfinder cap.
" Minolta AUTOCORD " label on top of the front side.
Serial number above this label.

Both lenses have their own serial number.

Film format : 120

Size of views : 5.6 x 5.6 cm

Dimensions : 98 x 97 x 143 mm

Weigh : 960 g.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   Selenium light cell                                  light value meter display                       armed film porthole (right down)

 

 

 

L-2 (second version) :

 

Like the L.

Shutter : Seikosha Rapid

With masks to take 4x5 and 4x4 format pictures in addition to 6x6 and two swapping view counter modules,

one marked "18" and the other "12".

With a selenium lightmeter cell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 views counter                                    18 views counter with 4x5 and 4x4 frames

(source : JAUCE.com)

L-3 (third version) :

   

​Like the L.

Shutter : Seikosha Rapid.

With selenium lightmeter cell.

Accept 220 films.

Views display selector : 1 - 12 / 13 - 24.

When the counter reaches 12, a button reset the counter to 0

for the next 13 to 24 views when using a 220 film.

 

 

 

       Reset button after 12 picts

 

L-MX :

Like the L.

Shutter : Seikosha MX, B position and from 1 up to 1/500 sec.

With selenium lightmeter cell.

Flash synchro lever : F - M - X.

 

 

 

 

 

 

              Flash synchro lever

 

 

L-MX-2 (second version) :

 

Some L-MXs have a different dial pattern for displaying the light exposure metering.

Export :

 

Like the L-MX.

Shutter : Seikosha MX , B position and from 1 up to 1/500 sec.

Flash synchro lever : M - F - X.

No lightmeter cell.

 

​​​

 

Export-2 (second version) :

 

Like the  export.

Shutter : Seikosha Rapid.

No flash synchro lever.

Flash synchro is F  factory built.

No lightmeter cell.

 

 

RI :

 

Shutter : Optiper M (B and 1 - 1/500 sec).

Shutter speed display (in the small window above the viewing lens) is modified :  B  1  2  4  8  15  30  60  125  250  500

Flash sync : M  factory built.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RG :

The taking lens is a Chiyoko Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.5 on a Optiper MVL shutter, B position and from 1 to 1/500 sec.

The viewing lens is a View Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.2.

The viewfinder is equiped with an inner mirror, a frosted glass with border lines and a Fresnel lens under the frosted glass.

A rabatable lens allows to adjust the focus point.

A square hole serves to take picts of objects in action. It is called the sport viewer.
Focus lever at the bottom of the front side, scale from 1 meter to infinity.
Lever to adjust the aparture : from 3.5 to 22, display above the viewing lens.
Lever to adjust the shutter speed : position B then from 1 to 1/500th sec,

display above the viewing lens.

Shutter speeds display : B   1  2  4  8  15  30  60  125  250  500 

Lone EV scale around the taking lens.

Selftimer.

Flash synchronization : M - X.

Shutter trigger provided with a safety, can welcome a standard flexible trigger.

Socket for connection of a satellite flash, working with male PC flash cord.
Cold shoe tie for accessory (flash or lightmeter).
Ties with rectangular groove for fastening leather case clips.
Crank to arm the shutter and to automaticaly advance the film.

Depth of field board on the right hand side.
Porthole for view counter display.

Porthole showing wether the device is armed (only works when a film is involved).
Button for multi-exposure.
" CHIYOKO " logo on the viewfinder cap.
" Minolta AUTOCORD " label on top of the front side.
Serial number above this label.

Both lenses have their own serial number.

Film format : 120

Size of views : 5.6 x 5.6 cm

Dimensions : 98 x 97 x 143 mm

Weigh : 960 g.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Lone EV scale                                                     Synchro flash lever        

                                        

RG-2 (second version) :

 

Like the RG.

Shutter : Optiper MVL.

Taking lens : Minolta Rokkor.

 

 

​Minolta taking lens

RG-2.1 :

 

Like the RG-2.

Shutter : Optiper MVL.

Accept 220 films.

Views display selector : 1 - 12 / 13 - 24.

When the counter reaches 12, a button reset the counter to 0 for the next 13 to 24 views

when using a 220 film.

   Reset button after 12 pictures

 

 

RG-3 (third version) :

 

Like the RG-2.

Shutter : Citizen MVL (B and from 1 up to 1/500 sec).

New "minolta" logo on the viewfinder cap.

 

 

RG-3.1 :

 

Like the RG-3.

Shutter : Citizen MVL.                                                                                                            Minolta logo on viewing cap

Accept 220 films.

Views display selector : 1 - 12 / 13 - 24.

When the counter reaches 12, a button reset the counter to 0 for the next 13 to 24 views when using a 220 film.

 

 

 

I :

 

The taking lens is a Minolta Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.5 on a Citizen MVL shutter, B position and from 1 to 1/500 sec.

The viewing lens is a View Rokkor f=75mm 1:3.2.

The viewfinder is equiped with an inner mirror, a frosted glass with border lines and a Fresnel lens under the frosted glass.

A rabatable lens allows to adjust the focus point.

A square hole serves to take picts of objects in action. It is called the sport viewer.
Focus lever at the bottom of the front side.

Focus scale developed in meters - black figures on polished aluminum background - and feet - green figures on black paint background.
Lever to adjust the aparture : from 3.5 to 22, display above the viewing lens.
Lever to adjust the shutter speed : position B then from 1 to 1/500th sec,

display above the viewing lens.

Shutter speeds display : B   1  2  4  8  15  30  60  125  250  500 

Selftimer.

Flash synchronization : M - X.

Single standard EV scale around the taking lens.

Shutter trigger provided with a safety, can welcome a standard flexible trigger.
Socket for connection of a satellite flash, working with male PC flash cord.
Cold shoe tie for accessory (flash or lightmeter).
Strap attachement : round head. Strap with specific fasteners.
Crank to arm the shutter and to automaticaly advance the film.

Depth of field board on the right hand side.
Porthole for view counter display.

Porthole showing wether the device is armed (only works when a film is involved).
Button for multi-exposure.
No logo on the viewfinder cap.
" minolta AUTOCORD " label on top of the front side (new ''minolta'' design).
Serial number on top of the back cover.

Only the taking lense has its serial number.

Film format : 120

Size of views : 5.6 x 5.6 cm

Dimensions : 98 x 97 x 143 mm

Weigh : 960 g.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                             meter and feet focus scale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                  small "minolta" on front label

                                                                                                                                                            round head strap attachments

CDS I :

 

Like the I.

Shutter : Citizen MVL.

With a CDS lightmeter cell.

Requires the Mallory mercury oxide or EPX675 battery giving 1.35 V.

" minolta " written on the front face of the CDS cell , " Autocord " is written on the upper side .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II :

 

Like the I.

Shutter : Citizen MVL.

Accept 220 films.

Views display selector : 1 - 12 / 13 - 24.

When the counter reaches 12, a button reset the counter to 0

for the next 13 to 24 views when using a 220 film.

CDS II :

 

Like the II.                                                                                                                Reset button after 12 pictures

Shutter : Citizen MVL.

With CDS lightmeter cell.

 

 

III :

 

Like the I.

Shutter : Citizen MVL.

Accept 220 films.

Views display selector : 1 - 12 / 1 - 24.

 

CDS III :

                                                                                                                              12 or 24 pictures counter

Like the III.

Shutter : Citizen MVL.

With a CDS lightmeter cell.

 

 

 

Chronology of the Autocord models.

Model

A

MXV

MXV-2

L

A-2

RA

RA-2

L-2

export

L-MX

L-MX-2

L-3

export-2

RI

RG

RG-2

RG-2.1

MXV-3

RG-3

RG-3.1

I

CDS I

II

CDS II

III

CDS III

Period

1955 - 56

1955

1955 - 60

1955 - 59

1956 - 59

1957

1957 - 60

1957 - 59

1958 - 60 (+ 1964)

1958 - 59

1958 - 59

1958

1959

1961

1961 - 62

1962 - 64

1962

1962

1963 - 64

1964

1965

1965

1965

1965

1966

1966

 

Photos : Fred / eBay / Jauce.

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