Excellent! 1936 Certo Dollina II, 35mm Rangefinder camera, Freshly Serviced, CLA’d
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is a rather rare Certo Dollina II, it was a coupled rangefinder camera that was produced for a single year in 1936 by “Certo Camera Werk” in Dresden, Germany. It was an expensive folding camera that that helped establish the popularity of the then then new “miniature” 35mm format. It featured a lovely fit and finish, real leather covering and a coupled rangefinder. It was available in a black paint finish and a rarer more expensive chrome finish. This is the chrome version. Unfortunately the Certo Dollina was released during the Great Depression’ and it’s price put it out of reach of many would be owners. As a result, production was discontinued soon after its introduction. Because of the low production numbers and the low survival rate after 86 years, it can be very difficult to find a clean, fully functioning example.
It’s an interesting design with finely machined knobs and the intricate looking depth of field chart on the back of the camera. It also has the convenience of a built in coupled rangefinder that never leaves you guessing about the distance or the focus. In addition to this, an interesting feature of this camera is that it is focused via a knob on the top of the camera. This knob features a distance scale and if desired it can also be used to pre-focus the camera even if the camera is closed. This means you set the focus anytime you want and if a great photo suddenly presents itself, all you’ll need to do is unfold the camera, compose and shoot. It uses normal 35mm film.
It comes complete with an original brown leather camera case.
The camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works. The bellows are light tight. The high quality Compur shutter works as it should. All speeds (T, B & 1 sec.-1/300th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along nicely and the faster ones are clean and snappy.
The lens is a fine f2.9/5cm (50mm) Steinheil Cassar. It’s a is a classic three element design based on the classic Cooke triplet. It’s a design that’s very popular because of the lovely sharpness, rendering and bokeh. The lens is very clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks. There is no haze, crystallization or other problems and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films. (As with all prewar cameras we recommend the 1930’s technique of keeping the sun behind you for optimum performance.)
All in all, a very unusual camera that’s been freshly serviced and ready to use. The perfect photographic companion for people with a historic interest. Load it with your favorite film and you’ll certainly have a lot of fun with it.