Rare! Near Mint 1937 WELTA WELTUR 6x9 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 1937 by Welta Kamera-Werke which was located near Dresden Germany. In the mid 1930’s Welta was a high-end camera brand, well known for its fine 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 produced briefly between 1935 -1940 and it competed successfully against its competition for the attention of the affluent buyers. 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. These cameras were also equipped with the best lenses and shutters of its era.
Just like one of 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.
This camera uses 120 roll film and is set up for 6x9. And if you happen to have a reduction mask in your collection it can also produce 6x4.5. (Mask is not included.)
I’ve been collecting vintage cameras for some 50 years and I’ve owned and used many classic rangefinders over the years, however there is something special about the 6x9 Welta Weltur. It’s their quality construction that I mentioned previously and exclusivity. They were very expensive when new and as a result few sold during the Great Depression and fewer yet have survived to the modern day. Because of this, the 6x9 Welta Weltur will always be a desirable and hard to find camera.
The camera in this listing is in exceptionally fine condition. Additionally this camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The coupled rangefinder works well, it’s easy to use and never leaves you guessing about distance or focus. The top-of-the-line quality Compur-Rapid shutter 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 bellows are supple and completely light tight.
The lens is a sharp f3.8/105mm Schneider Xenar (an excellent four element lens very similar in design and performance to the Zeiss Tessar). The serial number indicates that it was produced in 1937. The glass is exceptionally clean and clear. There are no separated elements, crystallization, haze, or other problems. There are no scratches or cleaning and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and black & white films.
All in all a wonderful classic camera. 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 6x9 camera with you.