Thursday, February 9, 2012

Carl Zeiss Jena, Werra mat


This is an example of a family of cameras, Werra introduced by Carl Zeiss in the early 1950's
The Werra range was the only camera ever produced by the renowned german lens manufacturer, they where reputedly designed by german prisoners of war, former Carl Zeiss employees, who in some cases had a strange life after capture: in 1945 the russians took the camera factory producing Zeiss Ikon Contax cameras and shipped all of it to Ukraine. Setting up the factory, they had trouble getting it back in production, and former german POW's was shipped back and forth ironing out troublespots.

In this turmoil, and since the germans no longer had a factory producing modenr, quality cameras, the Carl Zeiss factory decided to start producing cameras, and the Werra series was the answer.


This model, the mat, was a later model, and has a fixed lens, the range included fixed lens, interchangeable lens models, rangefinder models and exposure meter models.
This particular model has the Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f:2.8 lens, east german Prestor shutter and a coupled exposure meter, the readout for this is inside the viewfinder. All in all a modern camera back in 1958 - 60!

Clean uncluttered lines!
The camera top is clean too, acessory shoe, shutter release, and a window for the exposure readout.

Underside shows rewind, back-lock aned exposure counter, and lens house details.
Make a note of the flash sync handle (M X), it doubles as timer delay handle (V).

Here one can clearly see the ASA/DIN coupler, it is coupled with speed setting.

A closer look at the back-lock and the MX V handle, note the settings on the lock, this is a bit more involved than usual, the arrow points beyong the black dot, this is the lock position. 180 degrees to the left is the C position, which is Open!  Intermediate position is R, for rewind.........  Think about that for a second, one uses the open-lock control to control film rewind also!  Here one better KNOW what one isw doing or all exposed film will suddenly see a lot of light!  To the left in this picture is the manual set frame counter.

The opened camera revealing film rails, film advance and the interlock and locking parts.....



The film advance was special and shared across the entire Werra range : the innermost ring around the lens mount is the film advance, turn it a little more than 90 degrees and another frame is ready, shutter tensioned and ready to go. The other controls are traditional, manual focus, shutter and diaphragm setting the last two semi-coupkled and coupled to the exposure meter too

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Nice uncluttered and absolutely one of the better examples of german camera design

A reallyn nice, sharp Carl Zeiss Tessar lens!

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