It is not clear exactly when the company was founded. According to some sources, it was founded in 1906 as "Karl Braun AG", and according to others it was in 1915 as "Carl Braun Kamerawerk". In any case, it began as an optics and precision engineering business, manufacturing parts for the radiophonic industry, as well as binoculars.

Around 1948 Braun started producing box and roll film cameras. The 50s began with the introduction of their first 35mm camera, the Paxette. From these cameras, most of the Paxettes and Super Paxettes had interchangeable lens (mainly from Steinheil and Staeble with M39 mount that are not, however, Leica compatible). This incompatibility is due to the differences in flange focal distance and screw thread, so that a Braun glass won't focus correctly on a Leica body, and vice versa.

By 1956, one million Braun branded cameras were already manufactured. Most of those cameras, with a few exceptions, were made with the budget-conscious customer in mind. A few exceptions could be the Gloria 66 and the Braun Reflex, both introduced by the end of Braun's era as a camera maker.

By the mid 50s, Braun began to produce slide projectors, that turned out to be quite a more profitable business. In 1954 the Paximat family was introduced, and even today is one of Braun's main market sector, with one million units made by 1966 and four millions by 1997.

Different versions and modifications of the Paxette and Super Paxette were sold, made until the mid 60s, when Braun moved production from Germany to cheaper asian countries. By the end of the 60s, Braun stopped manufacturing cameras. During the 70s Super-8 video cameras made in Japan under the Braun name were sold, and they were distributors for Konica cameras. The original company went to bankrupt in 2000, but in 2004 a new one was founded, Braun Photo Technik GmbH, still in the imaging business.

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