Fita

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Description

The Fita is a folding camera of 129 film size (4.8 x 8.0 cm). Single ‘meniscus’ type fixed focus lens of F1:11,105mm, set in a two-speed, simple shutter with ‘Instant’ and ‘time’ settings; a two-direction shutter lever that fires on shifting the lever in either direction; a three-position aperture of F22, F 16, F11. Leather bellows extend from the body to the shutter housing. The shutter is extended manually, after opening the front door, sliding on two rails from the ‘stored’ to the ‘ready’ position. Rigidity is maintained by two sliding brackets either side of the bellows which lock into place when fully opened. The front folding door has a chromed ‘leg’ that allows the camera to stand upright on a flat surface, and doubles as the opening latch for the door. There is also a tripod socket in the front door, for ‘portrait’ orientation. The body is of metal construction, covered in leather, red film number viewing window rear, a chromed film compartment opening catch on one end and with film advance key at same end but on the bottom section. Tripod socket on bottom section, for ‘landscape’ orientation. Viewfinding is by a rotating ‘brilliant’ optic on the shutter housing. Internally the film spools are retained in their chambers by spring brackets, with a third spring to maintain roll tightness on winding. The film gate has chromed rollers to facilitate smooth advance, but there is no pressure plate. Film spool removal on the take-up side is by lifting the winding key to disengage the winder from the spool.

History

It is believed the Fita was a product of Bing Werke, Nürnberg, Germany, and of C 1931 vintage. There is also a very similar-looking camera that was manufactured by a Nuremberg company, Fa. Mayer (unconfirmed), and called the ‘Feba’. It is not totally clear if the Fita was produced by Bing themselves, or on their behalf by others and distributed under the Bing name. Bing were a major toy manufacturer, but had produced lantern slide projectors and stereoscopic cameras and viewers (also named ‘Fita’ – but a very similar apparatus was made by an Austrian manufacturer and named the ‘Mecum’). Bing Werke had suffered financial hardship in the Depression years, and the owning family fled Nazi Germany in the early 1930s. The Fita displays its tin-plate toy heritage with the shutter housing construction of pressed metal plates secured by tags.


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