1940 WELTA WELTUR, 6x6 Medium format, Coupled Rangefinder Camera, CLA'd, FRESHLY SERVICED!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is a rare medium format rangefinder camera built produced in circa 1940 by Welta Kamera-Werke which was located near Dresden, Germany. In the mid 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 and is set up for 6x6. And if you happen to have a reduction mask in your collection it can also produce 6x4.5. (Mask is not included.) BTW the mask is identical to the one used in the simpler Welta Weltax.
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.
The Weltur uses 120 roll film. When it comes to photography bigger is better and this camera will produce a negative that’s more than three 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 camera is in superb condition. The chrome has a few rub marks on the top plate but other than that it’s in remarkable condition for a camera this old. I don’t know where it spent the war years but it’s certainly the finest example I’ve seen a long long time. Additionally it’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works. The coupled rangefinder never leaves you guessing about distance or focus. The rangefinder works smoothly and the image is easy to see. 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
The serial number on this lens, indicates that it was manufactured in 1940. The lens is exceptionally 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.
All in all, a very enjoyable classic 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.
Search terms: Schneider , Compur, medium format, rangefinder camera, 120 film, authentic WWII, WW2, 2WK, reenactor, re-enactor, signal corps, war correspondent, war photographer, USAAF