Seagull 205

This is the Seagull 205 (also known as the Phenix 205) rangefinder camera produced by Shanghai Seagull Camera Ltd. from the late 1960s to early 1980s. Known primarily for their TLR cameras, Seagull is the oldest camera manufacturer in China.

MakeSeagull
Model205
Year1969 – 1983
Format35mm
Shutterleaf
SpeedB, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 300
LensSeagull
 f2.8 50mm
Focus0.8m – ∞
Aperturef2.8 – 22
Light MeterNo
RangefinderYes

There appears to be conflicting information as to the production run and year range for the Seagull 205. What I can gather from this camera’s serial number, it was produced in 1983, shortly before the Phenix 205 name went into use. However, other sources indicate that full metal advance levers were only on early production models, indicating that this camera was made in the early ’70s at the latest.

This camera has nice hand feel and ranks in the upper third of cameras I have used in terms of build quality and enjoyment of use.

The logo from my Seagull 205. Sources indicate that there were two versions, Shanghai and Jiangxi, differentiated by their logo. The only difference I can find is that the Jiangxi factory switched to the Phenix name in 1983. If there were differences in the logo prior to that time, I have not come across any examples.

Sample images taken on Ilford FP4, stand-developed HC110 for 30 minutes.

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