Monday, September 27, 2010

Welta Perfekta



From an ad of the same vintage the description is as follows:
The "Perfekta" it's a twin lens reflex, but distinguishes from other similar cameras by its reduced volume: it's a folder.


Metal body, folding, leather covered, with leather bellows and finely polished nickel plated parts.
Focus by ground glass, by means of a second lens, Weltascope 1:3.8 or Trioplan 1:3.5, 75mm focal distance, solidary with the taking lens. A loupe placed over the ground glass eases the operation.
The lensboard, where both lens are mounted, is kept rigorously still and parallel to the film, by means of a patented device.
Great brand lens, solidary with the focusing lens with 75mm focal distance, Compur Rapid Shutter allowing 2 and 1 (B and T) time exposures and instant exposures from one second to 1/500 of the second.
The "Perfekta" uses regular 6x9 films of 8 exposures and the colour ones of 4 exposures, taking 12 exposures with the first and 6 with the second. The film is kept well flat by means of a plate spring.
A counter shows the number of exposures taken.
Film loading excessively simple and convenient, thanks to the Welta tilt trays.
Every controls are at hand reach. The apertures and shutter speed scales are visible from above.
The camera includes a tripod nut and a neck strap. It's delivered boxed, with a metal remote trigger, instructions manual, exposure table and Welta Photographic Manual.

Dimensions : 165x80x63mm - weight : 920g

My Welta Perfekta
Welta Perfekta
Welta Perfekta with brown leather case
Welta Perfekta ~1932
Meyer Görlitz Trioplan 75/3.5 lens
Compur rapid shutter 1-1/500, B and T
Folding TLR camera
12 6x6 exposures in 120 film.
Waist level finder with ground glass.
Exposure counter with auto reset at the 12 exposure.

This camera was a gift from my cousin Abílio Sá Dantas and it's working soundly.

Welta PerfektaDSC_4571 


After loading the film and using the red window, on the back cover, to reach the number one this can be closed and from that point the frame counting is made by the camera counter.
After the 12th exposure it automatically resets to the number 1.
This was absolutely necessary in cameras of this era, taking 6x6 exposures, due to the back paper markings, at the time, were only for 6x9 exposures, in the B2 type of film, that was the name of the film that is now known as 120.

The counter is engaged in the "E" position. When reset it resumes the "A" position and the film can be winded to the starting position without altering the counting. Reaching the number one in the red window is time to turn the button to the "E" position.
I have no idea what the "A" and "E" means, if any German speaking reader can enlighten us we'd thank him.

Edit -  According to our reader lumowerkx:
"A" and "E" is the shortcut "Aus" and "Ein", meaning "Off" and "On". In position "A" the frame counter is not counting, it is switched off ("Aus"). When you turn the switch to "E", the counter is on ("Ein"). 

Welta Perfekta


The focusing and exposure controls are quite straight forward:
That big knurled knob acts the focusing lever.
The small lever on top of the tacking lens cocks the shutter and the one at eight o'clock position is the shutter release.
There are two rings around the tacking lens to select the aperture and shutter speed, both readable from above.
the two silver buttons, on each side of the lens board, must be pressed to disengage the struts and allow the camera folding.
The knurled knob on the top right is intended to raise the focus auxiliary loupe.

View of the focusing scale, on top of the lens board
Focusing ground glass
Focusing auxiliary loupe raised

The film advance knob and the unfolding control button

This camera was built in the early 1930's. This very ingenious format lacked acceptance by two reasons, its price, due to the complexity of it's manufacture, and the big bulge produced  by the reflex viewfinder. Although it was a folder it was, by no means, a pocketable one.

I know of two other cameras of this kind, the Welta Superfekta  and the Zeca flex.

A couple of pictures taken with it:

In the Park
In the park by RaúlM.

Me and Welta Perfekta
Me and Welta Perfekta by RaúlM

Both pictures: Fujichrome Astia 100 (RAP 120) Expired 2000-9. DIY processed in a Jobo CPP2 with a Fuji-Hunt 3E6 kit. Scanned with an Epson V750 Pro

I've been asked about the serious look in the above picture. The reason is the same why our ancestors always looked very serious in those old pictures, it's very hard to keep a smile for several seconds, in the present situation eight.

It's a precious piece of photographic equipment and an example of dead end, format wise, in the photographic industry.

I take this opportunity to thank, once again, to Abílio. 

Stay tuned (o;

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Red Salyut

Red Salyut

Salyut-S Background
The Cалют C aka Salyut-S / Salut-S / Saliut-S, poor thing this is enough to give it serious identity issues.
It was made in Kiev, Ukraine at the Arsenal factory, between 1972 and 1980. About 30.000 units were produced.

It's an Hasselblad clone, in the line of the 1000F, with a focal plane shutter.

The focal plane shutter uses metal curtains travelling horizontally. The shutter speeds range from 1/2" to 1/1000 and B, the shutter selector is a multifunction device, it also serves as film advance and shutter cocking.

The film is loaded in the magazines and, using the back window, advanced to the first frame.
The magazines and the camera have opposite tiny round windows, that might display a red or white colour, that have to coincide, when mounting the magazine, and stand for the state of the film, exposed or advanced, and shutter cocked or not.
The back window cover displays a film reminder.
The magazines use a metal dark slide, to allow mid-roll magazine exchange. One has to be very careful not to loose them.

The frame size is 6x6cm in 120 film.

It can be used with the waist level finder or with the metered prismatic finder.
I'm biased to the wlf, it's very good for low perspectives.

The kit lens was a Volna-3 (Волна-3) 80mm 1:2.8 or a Vega-12V (Bега-12V) 90mm 1:2.8

How and why I got it
This camera has some interesting stories.
The first one is about why I bought it. It all started when I bought a Kiev-6S (КИЕВ-6С), I'll tell about it in another opportunity.
I found in another auction a beautiful Mir-26B (Мир-26B) 45mm 1:3.5, wide-angle lens, with the Salyut mount.
Looking and finding an adapter to use Salyut lenses on a Pentacon Six was easy, that theoretically shares the mount with the Kiev-6S.
The camera arrived with it's Vega-12b (Вега-12 Б) 90mm 1:2.8, everything was perfect.
Then arrived the new lens and the adapter. The adapter didn't fit.
A few days later we had a photowalk an I asked un-exposed to bring his Pentacon Six.
Amazingly my Vega-12 b lens fitted perfectly his camera, his Biometar also fitted my camera, the adapter and the Mir-26B fitted the Pentacon Six(?)

Making a long story short I started looking for a camera for my lens and I found it:

Salyut-S Set

This complete Salyut-S kit
Volna-3 (Волна-3) 80mm 1:2.8
Waist level finder
Metered prismatic finder
Pistol grip
Lens hoods, 2 film magazines and brown leather case.

I included in the picture the Mir-26B.

How did it turned red
Now I had a camera for my beautiful lens, but I wasn't very pleased with the looks of the leatherette covering the camera and decided to make a complete makeover.

First I striped all the leatherette and removed all the old glue, using acetone.
Yes I slept soundly after that, although I had some funny dreams.

I got this:

Nacked Salyut-S Nacked Salyut-S

Nacked Salyut-S Nacked Salyut-S

A naked Salyut

Then I found some, self-adhesive, red faux crocodile and used it to cover it:

Red Salyut   Red Salyut
Red Salyut

That's how I got my Red Salyut.
I thought it was appropriate, giving its origin and the period when it was made.
This is a commie camera and it's proud of it.

As a photographic instrument is kind of unpredictable, I blame the shutter.
Maybe one day I'll send it to Arax, for another makeover, this time a mechanical one.

Anyway, when she is in one of her good days the results fully satisfy me

Photo examples

In the tunnel

The Guard

My son The photographer

Glass shades

R.I.P. in 6x6

If you like it you can see some more photos taken with it in my Flickr album Salyut-S Photos

Stay Tuned (o;

Sunday, September 12, 2010

WERRA the design that came from east

WERRA Triplets

The WERRA cameras were made in Eastern Germany, GDR, from 1954 to 1968 by Carl Zeiss Jena, at the Eisfeld factory.
Werra it's the name of a small river close to the factory.

These cameras are completely original.

In a exhibition at Leipzig they were called the Volkskamera, the peoples camera.

They manufactured over half million of these cameras, including all models and variations.

The design is minimalist, the lens cap, in the models with fixed lens or when using the 50mm lens in the models with interchangeable lens, doubles as lens wood and can be used also as a blocking of the controls, turning it to a point and shoot camera.

The film advance and shutter cocking is made by turning a ring around the lens.
All the controls are located in rings around the lens, leaving only the shutter release on the top plate.

The shutter is of the central leaf type. The Prestor RVS 750, with a top speed of 1/750", is one of the faster shutters of this kind.
This top speed is possible due to the double set of leafs one for capping the film when the film is advanced and the shutter cocked. The second set instead of opening, stopping and reversing to close, simply rotate.
So when one press the shutter, the capping leafs open then the real shutter leafs rotate, giving the chosen exposure and the capping leafs close again.   

The original lens in all WERRA cameras is a Tessar 50mm 1:2.8, marked as Carl Zeiss Jena, only Jena or T depending of the period they were made or the target markets.
This was due also to the dispute between the east and west Zeiss companies.
Anyway the quality of the lens is independent of the markings and market disputes and always magnificent.
The same aplies to the Cardinar and Flektogon.

In my collection I have three examples:


Werra 1E

WERRA 1e ~1965
Tessar 50/2,8
Prestor RVS shutter 1''-1/750 and B

Some pictures taken with it:

Me & Werra1E
Me and WERRA 1e by RaúlM.

Young lady mooning City Hall
Young girl mooning City Hall by RaúlM.

My "new" car
My "new" car by RaúlM.



WERRAmat ~1961
Tessar 50/2,8
Prestor RVS shutter 1''-1/750 and B
Lens cap doubles as lens shade
The light meter displays a needle in the viewfinder to adjust the shutter speed/aperture.
The film advance and shutter cock is made by means of the outer ring of the lens.


Werra III

WERRA 3 ~1958
Coupled rangefinder and interchangeable lens.
Tessar 50mm, 1:2.8
Flektogon 35mm, 1:2.8
Cardinar 100mm, 1:4

The viewfinder displays markings for the 50mm and 100mm the 35mm lens fills the viewfinder.


as seen in this TTV shot taken with a Sony Ericsson K800i. I'm sorry for the mess on my desk.

This is just to show how bright and easy to focus the WERRA 3 is.

Just using the light of the desk lamp.
The focusing zone is on the film canister, so you can see it's out of focus.

Photo-montage, with Photoshop CS3 and 4 pictures, with the different lenses

Attack of the Clones

Some pictures taken with it:

Me and Werra IIIE in a window shop
Me and WERRA 3 by RaúlM.

Ding Dong
Ding Dong by RaúlM.

I got hooked by this camera on a photowalk we made, were one of the participants brought one with him.
It's simple design and the Tessar lens captivated me on the spot.

I'm very pleased with the quality and looks of these cameras.
I'm sorry I haven't been using them as much as they deserve.

Stay tuned (o;

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My travel companions

It's a big dilemma when I have to choose my travel companions.

On short outings, like weekend morning or afternoon, it's easy, I usually choose one of my last acquisitions, load it with a film and there I go.

If I know in advance the kind of subject or event, it's not that difficult either, I choose it, or them, accordingly.

When it comes to a more prolonged holiday, like now, that's a tough choice. I can't take them all, not even all I would like. Let me remind you that I have over two hundred cameras.

So what did I chose this time, not a big surprise, you have seen them at the top of the page, I'm going to explain my choice:

The Leica CL

with the Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm 1:4.5

For it's portability, reliability, looks and the ability of using this amazing lens, that gives me this field of view:

Great for landscapes, also to extreme close ups and a certain different way of seeing things.

The Pen F

One of my new toys. I had a misconception about half-frame cameras, quality wise, of course that one gets only half the information than a full-frame, but especially I suspected that I would get tired of the never ending roll. For an holiday it is the perfect camera:
The autonomy is great, an almost pocketable reflex of a wonderful construction and very pleasant to the eye.
With the 38mm 1:1.8, a gift from my very good transoceanic friend Juan Felipe I have the "normal" field of view and an very luminous lens:

Using the 100-200mm 1:5 zoom I have a restricted field of view:

but it allows me to "get closer" to the subject and have extreme shallow DOF if I want it. It's not a very bright or light lens but it's the reason why I have a Pen.

So I am covered from the extreme wide angle to a fairly powerful zoom, half-frame, full-frame, rangefinder, SLR, am I forgetting anything?

Of course I never leave without a medium format folder, in the present case the

Although I have had it for some time, I'm using it for the first time. It's a big girl, with some interesting features, double stroke film winding lever, doubling as shutter cocking, uncoupled rangefinder and extinction light meter. I have no idea if the light meter works or how, I have no instructions for it and it's not the most intuitive gadget I have seen.

That's not a problem because I use the sunny 16 rule with some proficiency and for some more tricky situations I count on my vintage Seconic light meter

I use it also with the Pen F that is light meterless and the Leica CL overexposes violently in a non linear way, so I can't compensate using a lower ISO setting.

I only regret I brought my
 Fuji HD-R

and drowned it the first day I took it to the beach.

I disassembled it, flushed it under the faucet:

I had nothing to loose.

Then I thoroughly dried it with an hair dryer and sun dried it also. All the mechanics are sound but the electronics are kaput.

Following the advice of Nuno Dantas I placed the camera inners inside a bag with rice, the natural silica gel.

When I arrive home I'll take care of it, if there is anything to take care of.

The choice was made, I'm in the middle of my vacation and so far, apart from the drowned Fuji, I'm satisfied with it.

When I process the films I will see if the choice was the correct one or not.

All the pictures, in this article, except the "before" pic of the Fuji, were taken with my mobile phone Nokia 6210 Navigator

Stay tuned (o;