The Wega cameras are Leica II copies with a 39mm screw mount, made by AFIOM in Pordenone, Italy, in the early 1950s.
The Wega is a viewfinder camera. McKeown dates it to about 1951, while Dario Mondonico states that both the Wega and Wega IIa were shown at the Milan Fair of 1953. The camera has a flash-synchronised shutter (with a PC socket on the font of the body), with speeds 1/20 to 1/1000 second, plus 'B'.
The first rangefinder camera was the Wega IIa, dated by McKeown to about 1952. Cameras produced later differ in their engravings: McKeown notes examples engraved Wega IIa <AFIOM>, Wega IIa <CD> and Wega 2a <CD>; CD refers to Domenico Chinaglia, who was making his own, very similar Kristall Leica copies in the nearby town of Belluno, and took over the AFIOM company at some time (Dario Mondonico states that AFIOM was definitely active until the end of 1956). Mondonico expresses doubt as to whether Chinaglia actually made any Wega cameras: those with the CD engraving may simply be those in AFIOM's inventory at the time of the takeover. The IIa has the same shutter as the viewfinder Wega. The rangefinder and viewfinder have separate eyepieces.
McKeown also lists another coupled-rangefinder camera, the Wega IIIa. The camera is very similar to the previous model, but has a restyled shutter speed control, and an extra control beside this (apparently variable synchronisation delay, for bulb and electronic flash).
The cameras are almost always seen with a collapsible Trixar 50 mm f/3.5 lens. In the examples at auction cited here, the lenses with the Wega and Wega IIa are scaled in metres, and those with the IIIa are in feet.
Mondonico estimates that 600-700 copies of the Wega were made, 1000-1300 of the IIa <AFIOM>, 200-300 of the IIa <CD> and 300-500 of the 2a <CD>.
- ↑ Wega serial no. 202, with Trixar 50 mm f/3.5, sold at the 24th Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 23 November 2013. The auctioneer notes the rounded end-shape of the camera body, stating that later examples have a more angular shape, as pictured above.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 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). p13.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 AFIOM: notes on company history and pictures of a Wega and a IIa, at Dario Mondonico's Mistermondo site.
- ↑ Wega IIa serial no. 31255, engraved Wega IIa <AFIOM>, also sold at the 24th Westlicht auction. The camera has the angled body-ends referred to above.
- ↑ Wega IIIa serial no. 31710, sold at the sale Pictures including Works by 'Snaffles', Furniture & Works of Art, on 11 May 2010.
- ↑ Wega IIIa in the highlights of the Photographica and Film auction by Auction Team Breker, on 26 April 2003.
- Wega IIa serial no. 40258 (engraved for AFIOM) offered but not sold at the 3rd Photographica Auction by Rahn AG, on 5 November 2005.
- Danilo Cecchi (2002) L'Industria Fotografica Italiana: le 35mm dal dopoguerra ai giorni nostri (The Italian photographic industry: 35 mm from the Second World War to our times); part 3 of 4, at the Nadir magazine website.
- A.F.I.O.M. Wega cameras at Fotocamere Italiane (Japanese)