SUPERB! 1938 Welta Weltini, 35mm Rangefinder Camera. CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
Leica and Contax camera not included.
This 35mm rangefinder camera built produced in Germany by Welta Kamera-Werke. It was an expensive and very exclusive camera. It’s body was constructed of die cast alloy that was carefully machined, wrapped in real leather and fitted with an exceptionally fine, 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. It was also one of the first cameras to have the viewfinder/rangefinder is combined into a single window. 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. The nice thing about this vintage camera is that you can still use it because it uses normal 35mm film.
The Welta Weltini with its distinctive chrome plated top cover that was part of the “Streamline Modern” design movement and was produced in a relatively small production run from 1938 to 1941. In an era in which cameras were simply painted black and chrome was considered a luxury material, it’s clear that Welta intended to appeal to well-heeled individuals who could afford this 35mm high-end camera. This was the camera you bought if you didn’t want a Leica or a Contax.
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, Welta helped spread the popularity of the then new 35mm format.
Popular with users as well as collectors, the Weltini ranks among the very best prewar 35mm rangefinder cameras. Because of the small production numbers and low survival rate (many were lost, damaged or destroyed during WWII) the Weltini remains a desirable and relatively hard to find camera. This is especially true of exceptionally clean and fully functional examples.
This 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 Carl Zeiss 2.8/50mm Tessar, a four element lens design. This lens is well respected for its excellent performance and lovely rendition. (I enjoy using classic cameras and I’ve found that this lens produces photos that are nearly identical to the 3.5/50mm Leitz Elmar on the Leica II.) The serial number indicates that it was produced in 1938. The lens has been well protected and is clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, an exclusive, significant and very enjoyable classic camera for photographers with a historical interest.