The Camera Site

SEM,Société des Etablissements Modernes (de Mécanique), France


Semflex II

Semflex is a French brand of cameras which was established after the war. "Societe des Establissements Modernes" was set out during the 1950s to be France's challenge to Rollei (Franke & Heidecke), producing a wide range of TLR`s. The quality was kept almost as high as the cameras made by the German competitor.

I have played Sherlock Holmes or should I say Commissaire Maigret but without a final success. According to my investigations this camera is some of the several variants of Semflex Standard Obviously the 1955-59 model with P. Angénieux 75mm f3.5, Type X1 lens.
Taking lens is P. Angénieux 75mm f3.5.
Shutter is Orec, B, 1 - 1/400sec.

Fine and a high quality 6x6 TLR anyhow. The style is as a Rolleicord cameras. It is painted black and covered with a black leatherette. Some metal parts are chrome-plated. The film advance is done with a wheel instead of the lever as in the Rolleiflex cameras. Semflex Oto types had the combined film wind and shutter cock lever and they were Sem´s Rolleiflex'es.

According a book about Semflex, written by P.H. Pont, at Fotosaga edition this Semflex is one of the very first models, it is a Semflex II, made between 1949 and 1951. You can recognize it by its small focusing button, and because it does not have a sportsfinder through the viewing hood.

At the same time, the Semflex I had a 4.5 lens. Both were the first TLRs made by SEM. The Standard model name appeared later. If the shutter is synchronised, then it was made after February 1950. I can not find a serial number inside the body. If there is no serial there is a chance that I have one of the very first bodies which had no number, about 2000 according to P.H. Pont. The first number could be about 301000 but as I wrote I can not find any
(This information was sent to me by Adrien Rebollo. Many thanks to you Adrien.)

This camera came from Sweden to Finland in the Sixties with T.T. (Thanks to Her). It has not been in use for several years but was stored in proper place and therefore it is in an excellent condition. The long time without any "clicks" may have caused that the shutter speeds are not very accurate. Anyway they sound OK.


  • Film type 120
  • Picture size 6x6cm
  • Weight 900g (approximate.)
  • Lens P. Angénieux 75mm f3.5
  • Filter size 40.5mm screw in type
  • Shutter Orec, B, 1 - 1/400sec.
  • Viewfinder TLR
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©2004 Reijo Lauro