1932 KOCHMANN KORELLE, German folding camera, Freshly Serviced, CLA'd!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This little gem is the rather hard to find Korelle folding camera produced in pre-war Germany. The Kochmann Kamerwerke company was located in Dresden and it was well regarded for the quality of its design. Today we would call it a high end brand and at its peak Kochmann competed well against Voigtlander, Zeiss Ikon and Welta. Its products would undoubtedly be better known today among collectors if the mis-fortunes of war hadn’t destroyed the company. (There was a hostile political take-over of the company in circa 1937. The owner was forced to flee in 1938. And in the final days of WWII the factory was leveled, as was nearly all of Dresden, as a result of extremely intense round-the-clock bombing in February of 1945.)
Based on the lens serial number, this camera was produced in 1932. It produces 8 4x6.5 cm exposures on a single roll of 127 film (which is still available from specialty film firms on the internet). In the early 1930’s the 127 format was very popular and because of the compact size of the cameras many photographers preferred them to the early 35mm “miniature” cameras.
This hard to find a good working examples and this is about as good as it gets. It’s hard to believe that it managed to survive the rigors of WWII here in Europe and look this nice! It even still has its original leather lens cap with is quite rare and it’s done a good job of protecting the lens.
The leather bellows are supple and completely light tight. It’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The quality Compur shutter works smoothly and all speeds (B, T & 1 sec - 1/250th) are appropriate.
The lens is a f2.9/5cm (50mm) Schneider Radionar. This is a fine quality triplet with three lens elements. It’s especially popular with artists looking for a lens with good rendering, also referred to as bokeh. This Radionar lens has a reputation in Europe for exceptional bokeh. Open up the lens or narrow the depth of field by getting closer and the focus rolls on and off silky smooth as cream… Soft out of focus foreground moves lovingly into sharp focus on your subject matter and then off again into gently blurred background.
The lens is very clean and clear and looks virtually new. There are no separated elements, crystallization or other problems. There are no scratches just a few cleaning wisps and it’s capable of producing lovely results with modern color and B&W films
All in all, a wonderful vintage camera ready to use for individuals with an interest in historic photography.