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;


  1. Great camera and totally stunning photography, Raúl!
    What do you use as a background? A curved piece of stainless steel?

  2. @Raul PC: Obrigado Raúl, meu fiel seguidor (o;

    @Dirk: Thanks Dirk.
    As a background I use the back of an aluminium offset plate.

  3. Raúl, o teu blog é melhor do que uma escola. Só tenho pena de andar tão ocupada e sem tempo para ler isto tudo. Mas, um dia hei-de voltar com tempo.

    A qualidade das publicações é do melhor que tenho visto. Diria mesmo irrepreensível!

  4. Just an idea:
    "A" and "E" maybee stand for the german words "Anfang" and "Ende", wich means 'start' and 'end'..?

  5. I suppose "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").

  6. I bought a superb quality perfecta in a car boot sale in france. I love it. Very clever construction.

  7. PS also bought a mint leica 111b from same dealer, love it to bits as well. I have a konica hexar which i think is the best camera ever made. Some say the poor mans leica, i say the thinking mans leica, at 10% of the cost and a stunningly sharo lens and perfect metering.