Bertram

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Bertram is a German manufacturer of photographic products, best known for its Bewi light meters.

History

Ernst & Wilhelm Bertram, also known by its brand name Bewi, is a German light meter manufacturing company.[1]

Leiner & Bertram was started in 1919 by Ludwig Leiner and Ernst Bertram, as a workshop making camera shutters. Leiner left in 1928, and Paul Will took over the company in the same year, adding the manufacture of light meters. The first model sold (in 1930), the Bewi, was designed by Ernst Bertram (1886–1974); the Elektro-Bewi of 1935 was designed by Ernst's brother Wilhelm Bertram (1903–1990).

At some time in the mid-century,[2] Paul Will left and Wilhelm Bertram moved in, thereby forming E. & W. Bertram.

Later Ernst Rumpoldin came to the company from Linhof, and helped develop an unusual press camera, called Bertram Kamera, released in 1951. (Rumpoldin would leave for Agfa in 1956.)

In the United States, Bertram Bewi exposure meters were imported and distributed by Gem-Klein Photo Corporation, which was acquired by GAF and merged into another GAF subsidiary, Lenco.

Meters

  • Bertram Amateur
  • Bertram Bewi Automat
  • Bertram Bewi Automat A
  • Bertram Bewi Automat B
  • Bertram Bewi Automat C
  • Bertram Bewi Boy
  • Bertram Bewi Junior
  • Bertram Bewi Junior Mod. 2
  • Bertram Bewi Quick
  • Bertram Bewi Optical
  • Bertram Bewi Senior
  • Bertram Bewi Super
  • Bertram Bewi Super L
  • Bertram Chronos
  • Bertram Chrostar
  • Bertram Electro Bewi Standard
  • Bertram Electro Bewi Super
  • Bertram Standard


Bewi Piccolo shoe-mounted selenium meter
by siimvahur(Image rights)

Notes

  1. This history is derived from E. van der Aa, "Bertram" (2010), within E. van der Aa's website Exposuremeters.net. Accessed 3 April 2011.
  2. Unfortunately van der Aa's account is internally inconsistent on the chronology.
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