|Early Edinex, Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 1:2,9/50|
in Prontor II shutter. Picture by Paddan. (Image rights)
The Edinex range of viewfinder cameras for 35mm film was made by Gebr. Wirgin in Wiesbaden. The first model was introduced c.1935 in Europe, and c.1936 in the US.The same camera was later sold by Adox as the Adrette, released in the late 1930s, after the Wirgin brothers had left Germany and the Wirgin company had been absorbed into Adox. Following World War II Wirgin regained control of the manufacture of these cameras and reverted back to the Edinex name.
In the US (and possibly other markets), the cameras were initially released under the names Midget Marvel and Candid Midget. During the 1930s at least one retailer used the name Candid Marvel for the Xenar f/2.0 version of this camera, listing other versions under the Candid Midget moniker. The use of the name Midget Marvel continued for some versions of the camera in the US until at least the 1950s. The US importer, Sterling-Howard, also marketed their version of this camera as the Edinex Synchro from the mid-1950s into the 1960s. Sterling-Howard also advertised this camera as an Adox-Edinex (with hyphen) at times in the 1950s.
The Cameras were quite compact since their characteristic bodies were thinner between the film chambers, in addition to the use of a pull-out lens barrel with a pair of pull-out grips. Expensive models of the early Edinex and Adrette were offered with unit focusing and fast lenses, while cheaper models had slower front cell focusing lenses. In both cases, the lens and shutter unit is mounted on the telescopic tube.
|For the Edinexes' film load their bottoms were removable.|
As "Adox Adrette" the Edinex got in addition a back-door to ease film load.
image by Leslie Lazenby (Image rights)
The cameras were produced from the mid-1930s until possibly as late as the 1960s. Interestingly, sales of this camera continued until long after sales of its 1950s "replacement" camera, the Wirgin Edixa, had ceased. Brand-new camera kits were still being offered for sale by camera shops as late as 1965. Over the years that this camera was produced it was offered with a wide range of different lenses and shutters, and certain minor body changes were made.
|Compur-Rapid shutter on Edinex III
Pictures by Ricardo Inada. (Image rights)
|Early Edinex, Schneider Xenon 4.5cm f/2, Compur-Rapid shutter.
Pictures by herrschmidtke. (Image rights)
|A Japanese Walz rangefinder is mounted on the accessory post.|
|Early Edinex, Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 5cm 1:2,9 in Compur shutter.|
Images by yalluflex. (Image rights)
|Edinex-0 (black), Schneider Kreuznach Radionar f2.9/5cm lens|
Images by yalluflex. (Image rights)
All cameras (except the rare Edinex S described below) feature collapsible lenses. Lens focusing is either by front element focusing on cheaper models, or helical focus mounts in higher-end models. The cylindrical post on top of the camera was designed to accept a rangefinder accessory. The screw cap on the back of the body was provided as a means of accessing the back of the lens for cleaning purposes, since the rear of the body did not open and was not removeable.
Production of the camera was resumed by Wirgin again after World War II. The exposure counter was modified and a body release was added c.1949. In the early 1950s, the top plate of the camera was significantly modernized, including integrating the viewfinder into the top plate of the camera, and adding a standardized accessory shoe to replace the proprietary cylindrical mounting post of earlier models. This version is generally referred to in literature as "Version 2", though was never called this by Wirgin. This "Version 2" body was initially released with two different styles: one is marked only Edinex and the other is marked Edinex I. The Edinex model does not include a body-mounted shutter release button, while the Edinex I model does.
|Edinex I, Edinar 1:2.8/50mm lens
Picture by Jacks_ON photo. (Image rights)
|Edinex, similar Edinar lens|
Picture by Rick Soloway. (Image rights)
An unusual and rare variant of the "Version 2" Edinex is the Edinex S. It is easily identified by the additional fairing across the front of the body, joining the characteristic grips on both sides. This version also does not have the characteristic collapsible lens used in all other Edinex models. The example pictured below has a Vario three-speed shutter and a 43mm f/3.5 Edinar lens with a focusing scale in feet combined with a depth-of-field scale.
|Edinex S, Wirgin Edinar 43mm f/3.5, Vario shutter (B, 25, 75, 200).|
Pictures by Daniel T. Jones. (Image rights)
Some websites, including previous versions of this page, mistakenly discuss a model called Edinex II. There is no known camera marked Edinex II that was manufactured by Wirgin. It is probable that some collectors mistake the informal use of the term "Version 2" to describe the post-1950 versions as a reference to an Edinex II. Also, because there is an Edinex I and an Edinex III, some collectors might believe that there must also be an Edinex II. No such camera is known to exist.
|Edinex III-S, Pronto shutter.|
Pictures by eBayer Yalluflex. (Image rights)
The Edinex III has a coupled rangefinder and unit focusing. It was made with and without an accessory shoe.
|Edinex III, Rodenstock Heligon 50mm f/2, Compur-Rapid shutter. Pictures by eBayer Yalluflex. (Image rights)|
The Edinex III-S is a less advanced version of the Edinex III, with separate eyepieces for the view and rangefinder. It has no manufacturer's markings other than a small label on the bottom of the lens mount ring.
- McKeown, p.1001, says c.1935. Some websites, including a prior version of this page, say 1927, but this seems way too early.
- "Cameras of the 1930's", Delaware Valley Photographic Collectors Association, 1977; reprinted page from "The Camera" magazine, December 1936. This page from an original 1936 publication, reproduced in its entirety in 1977, includes the full description of the camera as introduced in the US in 1936, and verifies most of the critical information about the early versions of this camera.
- McKeown, p.10. Some websites, including a prior version of this page, say 1934, but this is perhaps a mistake.
- "Cameras of the 1930's", Delaware Valley Photographic Collectors Association, 1977; reprinted page from "The Camera" magazine, December 1936.
- Popular Photography, May 1938
- Bass Camera Co. advertisement in Popular Photography, May 1939
- McKeown's, 1997/98
- Photography Directory, 1954
- Brooks Camera Directory, New York, 1965
- McKeown, p.1001.
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Pp.10 and 1001–2.