Wirgin Auta

The Auta was a series of medium format folding cameras for rollfilm and negatives as big as 6x9cm, made from early 1930s to late 1940s or maybe early 1950s by the German camera maker Wirgin in Wiesbaden.

The pre-WWII Auta is a simple 6x9 camera sold with several different lens and shutter combinations, presumably trying to address different budgets. Made out of metal, this version has a top wire frame with a black eyepiece cover that also acts as protection when closed. In addition to this wire finder, the pre-war Auta also has a brilliant finder mounted on the lens standard, on top of the lens and shutter assembly. Early units do have the front opening button at the bottom of the body, close to the advance key; later units had this latch redesigned and the button was moved to the top of the camera. These pre-war units do not have a body release button; instead, shutters are to be cocked manually and released with a lever on the shutter's body.

After the war production of the Auta was resumed, with new details and generally speaking better choice of lenses and shutters - presumably as a slightly more expensive alternative to Wirgin's Presto series of affordable folding cameras. Post-war models no longer have the tiny waist level finder, and the eye level finder was also redesigned, now including optical glass on both pieces. Also, the Auta is now dual format, and by means of an accessory mask the camera can ake 6x4.5 picture in addition to 6x9. Unfortunately this mask, being completely detachable, is today frequently lost and not present inside the camera. The front piece of this finder has two vertical bars to accomodate composition when using this mask. Another nice enhancement of the post-war Auta is that now there is a release button on the top of the body, opposite to the front door release button.

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