Nothing like a Robot

Berning Robot junior

A German watchmaker designing a camera. Is that even possible? Agfa and Kodak did not believe in Heinz Kilfitt’s groundbreaking design, a camera with a heavy spring that could be like a watch wound up and automatically operate both the film and the shutter. Only the Otto Berning optic company saw something in the strange-looking, futuristic camera in 1934 and took the patent and called it the Robot. The beginning of a success series.

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The valor of Voigtländer Virtus

Voigtländer Virtus

Mysterious, magical and the example of modernization from the 1930s: the Voigtländer Virtus, the signature industrial design of a series of model names such as Prominent, Inos and Perkeo. All deep black with striking gearstyle knobs. A camera way ahead of its time and at the same time fitting the worrying changes in Germany. Virtus carries connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths.

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Two eyes see more than one: Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex 1c


Zeiss Ikon does not have the most popular name in the TLR segment. This is unjustified, as the range of models has been great since 1935 with the introduction of the Contaflex TLR. More famous are the 14 successors, all of which appeared under the name Ikoflex. Solid cameras up to the final model, the Ikoflex Favorit in the late 1950s. Before that there was the famous Ikoflex 1c which was the first to have an advanced LVS exposure meter. A complete working model is however hard to find. Something seems always broken.

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The imaginative Agfa Super Isolette

Agfa Super Isolette

There is always much debate as to what makes a camera the best in its class. In the case of the Agfa Super Isolette, made in Berlin, the unanimous opinion is that it is the best medium format folder ever made. A camera that has aroused much envy from Leica and Zeiss Ikon. Yet the success of the camera came decades after its first production in 1954. The rapid decline in sales of 120 film in favor of the many times more popular 135 film and growing market for 35mm cameras was to blame. Not many Super Isolettes have come on the market, which complicates the search for this top Agfa model.

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