MINT! 1936 Rare Black Welta Weltur 6x4.5 Coupled Rangefinder Camera. Freshly Serviced! CLA'd
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This camera is from my personal collection. It’s hands down the finest early black Welta Weltur I’ve ever come across in 50 years of collecting cameras.
The Welta Weltur was produced by Welta Kamera-Werke in Dresden Germany. Prior to its destruction in the final months of WWII, Welta had been one of the best camera producers in Germany and was famed for its high end cameras. It competed successfully against Zeiss-Ikon, Voigtlander for the attention of the affluent buyers who could afford them.
The Weltur was a top-of-the-line 6x4.5 medium format rangefinder camera, designed to use 120 roll-film. It’s arguably one of the very best cameras from the prewar period. This black version was only briefly produced between 1935 to 1936. In contrast to the later models, this early black camera had nickel plated fittings and a uniquely shaped rangefinder top cover. (The later models all had chrome fittings and a redesigned chrome top cover.) The limited production numbers and the low survival rate after 87 long years makes this a difficult camera to find.
However a black Weltur in near mint condition is quite rare.
This camera featured a coupled rangefinder and the body was constructed of precision die cast alloy that has been carefully machined, wrapped in finest quality leather and fitted with a 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. Although Welta didn’t produce their own lenses, they did equip their cameras with the best lenses and shutters of the era.
As you can probably tell, I’m quite fond of early Welta cameras. I’ve owned many classic prewar rangefinder cameras over the years, including the well-known Super Ikonta, Rifax, SS Dolly Rangefinder, Bessa RF, Balda Baldaxette and Plaubel Roll-op cameras. Even though these are all very enjoyable classic cameras, there is something very unique about the handling of this camera. In any case, the Weltur was easily one of the best rangefinder cameras ever produced. (It was not produced after WWII due to material shortages in Germany and its high production costs.)
Just like its competitor the Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikonta B, the Welta Weltur was one of the very first cameras to feature a viewfinder/rangefinder combined into a single unit. 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.
This camera is in superb condition, everything works as it should. Additionally it has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The coupled rangefinder never leaves you guessing about distance or focus. It works smoothly and is easy to use. The bellows are supple and completely light tight. It has a quality Compur shutter that works smoothly and all speeds (B, T & 1 sec - 1/250th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy.
The lens fitted to this cameras is the superb Schneider 2.8/7,5cm (75mm) Xenar. Unlike most other Xenar lenses, the prewar 2.8 /75mm lens is unique in that it’s similar in design and performance to Voigtlander Heliar and features a superb five element design. Needless to say, the performance is wonderful. The serial number on this lens, indicates that it was manufactured in 1936. The lens looks virtually new. 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.
It comes complete with a fine original brown leather case with a chrome plated bottom. (These cases are harder to find than the camera!)
All in all, an extremely attractive 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 camera with you.