CAMERAS > WELTA
Weeka-Kamera-Werk was founded on May 6, 1914 at Freital, a suburb of Dresden, in Germany, by Vaurihom Walter (Walter Waurich) and Theodor Weber. Initially, the company recruited two technicians, who helped in producing a small number of cameras. By 1919, the company was renamed to Welta-Kamerawerk Waurich & Co., designation that lasted until 1923.
Around eight different models of Welta plate cameras were manufactured in around 100 different combinations, some of which were even modified and rebadged according to specific requirements of each customer. By 1923 the company was refounded, this time as Welta GmbH.
By 1937 the Weltini I was introduced, followed just one year later by the Weltini II. After WWII, most factory equipment was dismantled and sent to the URSS, although works restarted by 1947. By then, the company was VEB Welta-Kamera-Werk.
In 1950, the Richter company at Thrandt was nationalized and merged with VEB Welta. Richter was one of the few, or maybe the only one, camera maker whose direction was managed by a woman, Charlotte Richter. From this company portfolio, with a long history of making TLR cameras, VEB Welta took designs and ideas that would become the Reflekta I (1949) and the Reflekta II (1950) and were sold together with the Weltax or the Welti.
In 1954 the Weltaflex appeared, as well as two of the landmarks of this company, the Perfekta for 6x6 and the Superfekta for 6x9 negatives, that although not being a commercial success, are really noteworthy designs, and today reach high prices between collectors.
New camera designs were made, notably some folding bellows cameras for 35mm film, and in most cases with high-end lenses such as Schneider-Kreuznach's Xenar or Carl Zeiss' Tessar. Finally, in 1959, the company was merged into the VEB Pentacon, together with other small companies such as Belca.
For the nearly 40 years that Welta could operate independently, it produced some mid- and high-end folding cameras, especially before the WWII, and its production numbers were similar to those from Certo or Balda.