Compur serial numbers

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The Compur shutters made by the German company F. Deckel, based in München are a good avenue to date of cameras. The number can generally be found on the side rim of the shutter, between advance lever and release switch. Deckel never published production lists. However, as most cameras also carry body and lens serial numbers in addition, collectors have used correlations and other information to compile below lists. An early list has been published in a little french collector's booklet[1] and also appeared in other generally reliable publications [2]. This old assignment is shown in column 2 of below table. However, this older list did not address the introduction of the Compur-Rapid shutter in 1934, which obviously started fresh with 5,xxx,xxx serial numbers, while at the same time the older Compur shutter kept using the old consecutive numbering. In addition, this older list seem to underestimate the Compur production during the late 1920'ies. Therefore, recently (2020) two new lists have been proposed based on >50 examples from different collections[3] (column 3 and 4). On this web-site the author also have programmed a little camera dating tool based on a series of serial number lists [4].

Year serial no. [1][2] serial no. Compur [3] serial no. Rapid [3]
1912 214,000 214,000
1914 250,000 250,000
1920 450,000 600,000
1922 500,000 700,000
1925 600,000 850,000
1926 750,000 920,000
1927 850,000 1,070,000
1928 950,000 1,250,000
1929 1,000,000 1,500,000
1930 1,150,000 2,000,000
1931 1,500,000 2,450,000
1932 1,800,000 2,500,000
1933 2,250,000 2,700,000
1934 2,700,000 3,000,000 5,000,000
1935 3,200,000 3,250,000 5,050,000
1936 3,750,000 3,950,000 5,250,000
1937 4,250,000 4,200,000 5,500,000
1938 4,850,000 4,350,000 5,800,000
1939 5,400,000 4,450,000 6,050,000
1947 6,000,000 6,100,000
1948 6,200,000 6,200,000
1949 6,500,000 6,500,000
1950 7,000,000 7,000,000
1951 7,700,000 7,700,000
1952 8,500,000 8,500,000

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Patrice-Hervé Pont, Les Chiffres Cles, Fotosaga 1994, ISBN 2-906840-06-8, p 48/49
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wilkinson, M, and C Glanfield. 2001. A Lens Collector's Vade Mecum, CD-rom Version 3F. Edited by A. N. Wright. Cornwall, UK: David Matthews Associates. Chapter 12. Pages 65-66
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Knippsen.blogspot.com
  4. Camera dating tool at Knippsen.blogspot.com