SUPERB! 1938 Welta Welti, 35mm Camera, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a 35mm camera built produced in Germany in 1938 by Welta Kamera-Werke. It was a quality camera that made common folding cameras of its era pale in comparison. Its body was well made, constructed of die cast alloy that was carefully machined, wrapped in black lacquer, chrome and real leather. In the pursuit of accuracy, the viewfinder is spring loaded and can be tipped downward to adjust for parallax when working close to your subjects. 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. Not only did it improve performance but it allows this camera to focus down to 0.75 meters (which is pretty impressive considering that a Leica II is limited to 1.0 meter).
The Welta Welti with its distinctive looks was produced in a relatively small production run. In an era in which many cameras were simply painted black and chrome was considered a luxury material, it was obvious that this camera was an expensive item.
Before the war, Welta was well respected for its quality products and it competed on equal footing with Zeiss-Ikon and Voigtlander. Along with Leica, Contax and Kodak, Welta helped spread the popularity of the then new 35mm format.
Popular with users as well as collectors, the Welti ranks among the best prewar 35mm scale focus cameras. Because of the low production numbers and low survival rate (many were lost, damaged or destroyed during WWII) the original prewar Welti remains a desirable and relatively hard to find camera. This is especially true of clean fully functional examples.
This quality German camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. It uses normal 35mm film. The coupled rangefinder never leaves you guessing about distance or focus, it works smoothly and is easy to see. The bellows are supple and completely light tight. The quality Compur-Rapid shutter works smoothly and all speeds (B & 1 sec - 1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster ones are clean and snappy.
The lens is a sharp Schneider Xenar f2.8/5cm (50mm). It’s a four element lens similar in design and performance to the Zeiss Tessar. The serial number of the lens indicates that it was produced in the last quarter of 1937 and it would have been in the Welta production line in the first half of 1938. The lens is in excellent condition. There are no scratches, just a few very light cleaning marks (but you’ll need a magnifier to see them). The glass is clean and clear. There are no separated elements, crystallization or other problems and its capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
It comes complete with a lovely original brown leather case.
All in all, an excellent, significant and very enjoyable classic camera for photographers with a historical interest.