SUPERB! 1941 Welta Weltini, 35mm Rangefinder Camera. FRESHLY SERVICED!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a 35mm rangefinder camera built produced in Germany in circa 1941 by Welta Kamera-Werke. It was an expensive, high performance 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 real 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. 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 Welta Weltini with its distinctive streamlined top cover was produced in a relatively small production run from 1938 – 1941. 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 Weltini ranks among the 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 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 shutter is also flash synced. Originally it was intended for flash bulbs but we’ve re-adjusted it to work with a normal electronic flash. The flash will fire correctly at any desired shutter speed. (This is of course very convenient for flash fill.)
The lens is a sharp Schneider Xenar f2.8/5cm (50mm), a four element lens similar in design and performance to the Zeiss Tessar. The serial number of the lens indicates that it was produced circa 1941. The lens is in excellent condition. There are no separated elements, crystallization or other problems. There are no scratches and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
It comes complete with a brown leather case.
All in all, an excellent, significant and very enjoyable classic camera for photographers with a historical interest.