Adox 300

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The Adox 300 is a 35mm viewfinder camera made by the German company Adox and introduced in 1956. It was one of the few 35mm cameras to be equipped with interchangeable film magazines, allowing one to change film-type in the middle of a roll (other examples were the Zeiss Ikon Contarex, some versions of the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, the Rollei SL2000F and SL3003, the Kodak Ektra, and the Mamiya Magazine 35).

On the back of the Adox 300, there is a hinged door that closes over the magazine, opening the magazine's dark slide. The magazine has two reminder dials for the type of film and the DIN or ASA sensitivity. The hinged door has a window to show the magazine's dials. Each magazine also has an exposure counter, with a corresponding window in the camera's top plate.

The Adox 300 has a fast-action winding lever around the lens, similar to the Tenax I, Tenax II or Konica III. The lens is a fixed four-element Schneider Xenar 1:2.8 f=45mm or three-element Steinheil Cassar 1:2.8 f=45mm, both with front-cell focusing. The shutter is a Compur-Rapid or Synchro-Compur to 1/500. All four possible combinations of these lenses and shutters have been observed. The camera also has a Bewi Automat uncoupled exposure meter, using the Light Value system, a fixed accessory shoe and a PC socket on the lens barrel.

The early bodies are marked Dr C. Schleussner Fotowerke GmbH and Made in Germany on the top plate, with the serial number in the accessory shoe. The model illustrated in the user manual, printed in XI/56, has Dr Schleussner engraved in handwritten style on the lens barrel behind the diaphragm ring. The later bodies have Adox Fotowerke Dr C. Schleussner GmbH on the top plate, the Made in Germany marking and the serial number being moved to the back of the bottom plate.

The most obvious drawback is the absence of a rangefinder. All in all, the Adox 300 presents a strange mix of advanced and basic features. This illogical conception, together with the bulkiness of the magazine backs, resulted in quite poor sales. Today the Adox 300 is quite uncommon, and the prices asked reflect more its collector than its user value.

The Adox 500

McKeown shows prototypes of an Adox 500, basically an Adox 300 with interchangeable lenses and with or without rangefinder depending on the model.

Magazine backs

Most of the magazines for the Adox 300 are marked Adox. Some are marked Leitz and present some little difference. Some people say all the magazines were made by Leitz, including the ones marked Adox, but McKeown gives another story, that Leitz bought the tooling after Adox stopped the production and that they were used on the Leitz Orthomat microscope camera. This version makes more sense. The Leitz magazines were made in black and other colors. McKeown says olive and white, and a grey magazine has been seen at ebay. You can see a Leitz Orthomat with a white magazine here.

Other accessories

  • plastic lens cap
  • white diffuser for the exposure meter
  • leather case for the camera
  • leather case for one magazine and two filters, with a window to show the emulsion settings
  • outfit case for camera, two extra magazines and four filters.

Serial numbers

  • Adox 300 with number in accessory shoe, marked Dr Schleussner on the lens barrel: 001257 (picture in the user manual)
  • Adox 300 with number in accessory shoe: low 001485, high 005973
  • Adox 300 with number on the back: low 003905, high 009751
  • Adox magazine: low 000889, high 015091 (015631 reported)


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