I would never have bought this camera if it wasn't for the price and the condition. It came in its original box, had its original leather case and even had the lenscap and the original manual. And after putting in the batteries it even started to work.
When you are reading this you might remember my Vilia-Auto article. A rather unimpressive camera. It simply gets the job done.
Then meet its succesor, the Siluet Elektro (preseries was called Vilia Elektro). Allthough in appearance similar to the Vilia-Auto, the Elektro has a cds cell and more speeds. From 8s to 1/250th. It even looks a little better.
The Siluet Elektro was made from 1975 to 1981 and how many were made, I haven't a clue probably in the hundereds of thousands. Like the Vilia-Auto the lens is a Triplet 69-3 4/40mm. The lens has both distance symbols and the distance in meters. So 0.8 meters is represented by a little head figure and infinity by a little mountain. Unfortunatly it is not a rangefinder. As with Vilia I'm not impressed. It is a black box of plastic with some metal thrown in. Due to the lens it is not an easy pocket camera. I never liked guessing the distance, allthough I usually get it right, I tend to forget to set it with a camera like this.
But it has a cds lightmeter. It can be set to auto, which is nice, you just have to worry about distance and framing your shots. It has an aperture priority program. (Like the Lomo and the Zenit-Automat). You set the aperture and the Elektro sets the speed. It has a nice solid leaf shutter. It even has a overexposure warning, a battery check and a warning for slow speeds. I have no idea how good the lens is, it is an all glass lens. So I'm expecting good things just because of the lens. I'm impressed with the case. Nice leather with a plastic protective snout for the lens. It looks great.
A couple of siluet shots, first shot focused at 0.8 (on the flower) with fstop 8 notice the corners. Second shot focused around 1.5 meters (on the flag). 3rd shot focussed on the cat fstop 11. Fourth shot, infinity. Fifth shot, waterlily upper right corner.
Conclusion.....It is a plastic clickity clack box. But seriously, it has an allglass lens that looks multicoated and inspite of being 70 percent plastic, it is a sturdy little light clack box. The Vilia was a simple box with speeds and aperture, the Vilia-auto was the same with a selenium cell and automode and the Siluet Elektro is the same with a cdscell. Dare I say, Evolution?
Still it has some appeal, its light, nice case, its a pretty clickity clack box for on vacation. No one will steal it, cause it has no interesting electronics, it isn't digital. But IT will deliver reasonable shots. It is however noticable softer in the corners, esspecially when you focus down to 0.8 meters. It works best set to infinity from fstop 5.6 and up. The lightmeter is usually pretty accurate.
All in all not a bad camera, better than a Lomo but not as good as a Fed 50. If I had to choose between a Lomo LC-A, Siluet Elektro and the Fed 50. It would be the Fed 50 even though it has no slower speeds than 1/30th. I'm not counting the Vilia Auto because it is almost identical to the Siluet but has a selenium cell, like the Fed 50. For the price I paid (15 euros) it is a nice camera.
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