SUPERB! 1937 Welta Weltini, 35mm Rangefinder Camera, CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a 35mm rangefinder camera built produced in Germany just prior to WWII by Welta Kamera-Werke. It was an expensive, high performance camera. It’s body was constructed of die cast alloy that was carefully machined, wrapped in real leather and fitted with an exceptionally fine, coupled rangefinder. The rangefinder made focusing quick and easy and it used precision prisms rather than mirrors to produce an image that was easy to see. It was also one of the first cameras to have the viewfinder/rangefinder is combined into a single window. Another advanced feature was that the lens and shutter moves together as a unit when focusing. This provides better lens performance (especially up close) than the more common “front cell focus” in which only the front element is turned in or out. The nice thing about this vintage camera is that you can still use it because it uses normal 35mm film.
This Welta Weltini with its distinctive angular chrome plated top cover was produced in a limited production from 1937 to 1938. In effect what it was a miniature 35mm version of the famous Welta Weltur. (The Weltur was a medium format, coupled rangefinder camera.) This original hard to find version was eventually replaced with the second model Weltini which featured a more streamlined top cover. This version remained in production until 1941, after which the production of war materials was deemed more important.
Before the war, Welta was well respected for its quality products and it competed on equal footing with Zeiss-Ikon and Voigtlander. Along with Leica, Contax and Kodak, Welta helped spread the popularity of the then new 35mm format. In an era in which cameras were simply painted black and chrome was considered a luxury material, it’s clear that Welta intended to signal that this camera was an expensive high end product.
Popular with users as well as collectors, the Weltini ranks among the best prewar 35mm rangefinder cameras. Because of the small production numbers and low survival rate (many were lost, damaged or destroyed during the war) the Weltini remains a desirable and relatively hard to find camera. This is especially true of clean fully functional examples.
It comes complete with original brown leather case.
This camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works. The coupled rangefinder never leaves you guessing about distance or focus. The rangefinder works smoothly and is easy to see. The bellows are supple and completely light tight. The quality Compur Rapid shutter has also been serviced. It works smoothly and all speeds (B, T & 1 sec - 1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. I should also mention that the shutter is flash synced. It’s been readjusted and tested and now works with a normal electronic flash. The flash will fire correctly at any desired shutter speed. (Which is of course convenient for flash fill.)
The lens is a sharp, fast Schneider f2.8/5cm (50mm) Xenar. Normally the Xenar lens is a four element design (and very similar to the Tessar). However the prewar Xenar is the exception to this. The prewar 2.8 5cm and 7,5cm Xenar lenses had five elements in four groups and is closely related to the Voigtlander Heliar.
The serial number on this lens, indicates that it was manufactured in 1937. The lens is clean and clear with just the usual light cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films. As with all prewar lenses we recommend keeping the sun behind you for optimum performance
All in all, a very enjoyable classic camera. Perfect for photographers with a historical interest.