Welta Weltur

The Weltur is a series of rangefinder folding cameras using 120 film, made in the 1930s by the German company Welta. Welta cameras were made by an old-established camera company in Freital, also near Dresden. The lens is unit focused (meaning that lenses and shutter move as a unit going far or nearing to the film plane), driven by a small knob at one side of the folding bed, a system which was already used in the earlier Solida model. The distance setting is visible in a small window on the interior of the folding bed. The rangefinder is coupled, and combined with the viewfinder. There is a depth of field table on the top plate, and a body release.

The Weltur first existed in a 4.5×6 version, introduced in 1933 with a black finish and intended as a competitor to the Super Ikonta A. It had a coupled range finder with one eyepiece, a type not usually found on pre-War folding cameras.

Then it was released in 4.5×6, 6×6 and 6×9 versions with a chrome rangefinder, looking like the rangefinder of the first Weltini model (this refers to a 35mm film camera). The 6×6 and 6×9 versions are dual format and can also take 4.5×6 pictures, with a mask inserted in the exposure chamber and another slid in front of the viewfinder. They have two red windows on the back.

The 6x6 version of the Weltur was made around 1936 - 40. This model can also take 6x4.5cm negatives by using a mask in the film chamber and a sliding mask in front of the viewfinder window. There are two red windows on the back for positioning film of two sizes. The viewfinder covering is a bit narrow than actual size of film exporsure, but it is a very good picture taker coupled with modern films. The focussing mechanism is composed by a type of rack and pinion making the lens board to move lens board, as opposed to front cell rotating. It has a field depth table on the camera top as seen the other Welta folding cameras.

The 6x9 rangefinder model was manufactured approximately since the same dates as the 6x6 version. The latest variation had a finder mask which could be changed in aperture size to 6x4.5cm for 16 pictures. Many 105mm lenses were attached to this camera, Zeiss Tessar f/4.5, Xenar f/2.8, Radionar f4.5, Steiheil Cassar f/2.8, Meyer Trioplan f/4.5...

The best units are those made before 1945, although that means lenses are uncoated. This particular model was quite regarded despite being an expensive camera, and it was extensively copied in Japan (e.g. the Kuri, or Minolta's Auto Semi featured also in this site).

Fitted lenses were Tessar f2.8, Trioplan f2.9, Xenar f2.8 and Radionar f2.9. Shutters were Compur 1-1/250sec or Compur Rapid 1-1/400sec.

The 6x4.5 Weltur weights 660gr, the 6x6 version 700gr and the 6x9 reaches 830gr.

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