1939 WELTA WELTUR, Medium format, Coupled Rangefinder Camera, with original mask CLA'd, Freshly serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is a rare medium format rangefinder camera built produced in circa 1939 by Welta Kamera-Werke which was located near Dresden, Germany. In the 1930’s Welta was a well-respected camera brand, known for its quality products. It was in fact one of Germany’s “big three” camera producers, which was represented by Zeiss-ikon, Welta and Voigtlander.
The Welta Weltur was an expensive, high performance camera and it competed successfully for the attention of the affluent buyers wo could afford the best. The Weltur is constructed of precision die cast alloy that has been carefully machined, wrapped in fine quality leather and fitted with a coupled rangefinder. The rangefinder makes focusing quick and easy and it uses precision prisms rather than mirrors to produce an image that’s easy to see. The camera was also equipped with the best lenses and shutters of its era.
Just like its competitor, the Super Ikonta B, the Welta Weltur was one of the first cameras to have the viewfinder/rangefinder is combined into a single window. This feature simplified focusing and composition and this approach is still used in modern rangefinder cameras. 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. In comparison to the Super Ikonta B, the 6x6 Weltur is smaller, weighs less and is well suited to anyone who travels a lot.
This camera uses 120 roll film, it comes complete with its original reduction mask and with it you can set the camera to produce either 6x6 or 6x4.5 format negatives.
Personally I’m quite fond of these cameras. I’ve owned many classic prewar cameras over the years, including the Super Ikonta, Rifax, SS Dolly Rangefinder, Bessa RF, Balda Baldaxette and Plaubel Roll-op cameras. Even though these are all very enjoyable classic cameras, none of them handle quite as easily and inspire quite as much confidence as this Welta Weltur. It’s easily one of the best prewar/wartime cameras ever produced. It was not produced after WWII due to material shortages in Germany and its high production costs.
When it comes to photography bigger is better and this camera can produce a negative that’s more than four times larger than the average 35mm snapshot. So whether you’re interested in, fine grain, rich tonal gradations or lovely colors, this camera can do all of that and may just become your favorite vintage camera.
This 81 year old camera is in excellent condition. The chrome has a few rub marks on the top plate but other than that it’s in remarkable condition. Additionally it’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works. The coupled rangefinder works and never leaves you guessing about distance or focus. The bellows are light tight. The top of the line Compur-Rapid shutter was the best of its era and it’s also been serviced. It works smoothly and all speeds (B, T & 1 sec - 1/400th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy.
The lens is a sharp, fast Schneider f2.8/7,5cm (75mm) Xenar. Normally the Xenar lens is a four element design (and very similar to the Tessar). However the prewar & wartime Xenar is the exception to this. The prewar 2.8 5cm and 7,5cm Xenar lenses had five elements in four groups and offered a very fine rendition. This design is more closely related to the Heliar than it is to the Tessar.
The serial number on this lens, indicates that it was manufactured in 1939. It was a brand new camera when Germany invaded Poland and WWII began in Europe.
The lens is in exceptionally fine condition. It’s clean and clear. There are no scratches or 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 best performance.
All in all, an enjoyable camera. Perfect for photographers with a historical interest. Load it with your favorite film and keep it handy for that perfect shot you’ve been looking for. You know the one... the one with the perfect Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing you had a classic medium format camera with you.
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