Foth

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Contents

The Company

C.F. Foth & Co., Foth in short. This German optical company operated in Berlin in 1926, first working from premises at Cottbusser Damm 25-26 (–1928),[1] then from Berlin-Britz Grade Straße 91-107 (1928-1932)[2] and finally from Berlin-Buchholz, PankStrasse 1-3 (1932-1940).[3] The relationship of C.F. Foth Berlin to C.F.Foth in Danzig (Gdansk) and C.F. Foth & Cie in Paris is not clear at this point in time and requires further research.

Foth is known to have produced, or distributed binoculars and other optical instruments and manufactured a range of cameras and lenses from 1926 to 1940[4]. A cute little collectible is the Foth Derby, a vest pocket strut folder with focal plane shutter taking 30×40 mm images.

Cameras

Foth manufactured a range of camera and lenses, mainly a range of 6×9 plate cameras and folders.

Plate cameras

  • Foth plate camera 6×9 (1930–32)[5]
The camera was available with standard black leatherette and, as the luxus edition, with brown leather imitating crocodile skin[6]
  • Foth Mixte for film, 6.5×9 plates and 6.5×9 film packs.
The camera was fitted with a Foth Anastigmat f/4.5 (1933–37)[7]

120 roll film

  • Foth Film 6×9
initially offered with a Foth Doppel Anastigmat f/6.3 (1926-27)[8] and after one year with the faster Foth Doppel Anastigmat f/4.5 (1927-34).[9] The standard camera was covered in black leatherette. A Deluxe Version covered in brown leather imitating crocodile and brown bellows also existed.[10] A very rare unit covered in green leather (with green bellows) has also been observed [11]
  • Foth Film 6.5×11
fitted first with Foth Anastigmat f/4.9 (1931-33).[12] and then, in common with the 6×9 model, with the Foth Anastigmat f/4.5 (1933-)[13]
  • Foth Special 6×9 (self-erecting folder)
fitted with meniscus lens (1935).[14]
  • Foth Spring (self-erecting folder)
fitted with Foth Anastigmat f/4.5 (1933-36).[15]
Following the success of Franke and Heidecke’s Rolleiflex, Foth produced the Foth-Flex (1933-36) fitted with a 75mm f/3.5.[16]
Like the Derby the Foth-Flex had a focal plane curtain shutter, which was an unusual arrangement for the time. The Foth-Flex II was introduced in 1937, again with a 75/3.5[17], but also with a 75/2.5.[18] The Foth-Flex II was manufactured until 1939.

127 rollfilm

The Derby was a strut folding viewfinder camera for 127 film rolls, made by Foth from 1931 to about 1940. The Derby sported a cloth focal plane shutter capable of shutter speeds of 1/500th of second. It was marketed as a vest-pocket camera suitable for action photography. The first versions of the camera had a film gate size of 24 × 36mm, while all later versions used the full 30 × 40mm format the 127 film format was capable of.

Other cameras

  • Foth Tubus Kamera (1930)[19]
  • Foth Stereo


Lenses

The various folding camera models produced by taking 120 roll film or plates use the Foth Doppel Anastigmat F=105mm. None of these lenses carry serial numbers. The Foth Derby uses the Foth Anastigmat F=50mm, while the Foth-flex use Foth Anastigmat F=75mm

Foth Doppel Anastigmat F=105mm

  • f/6.3 (1926-27)
  • f/4.9 (1927-34)
  • f/4.5 (1933–37).

Foth Anastigmat F=75mm

This lens was used in the Foth-flex

  • f/2.5
  • f/3.5

Foth Anastigmat F=50mm

This lens was used in the Foth Derby.

  • f/2.5
The lens exists with and without serial numbers. Both have the same f-stops: 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18.
The lens was fitted with a focus scale in metres or feet with the following spacing:
Metre-scale: 0.75, 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, ∞.
Feet-scale: 2½, 3½, 4, 5, 6, 6¼, 10, 13, 23, 33, ∞.
  • f/3.5 (Berlin Model)
The lens exists with and without serial numbers. Both have the same f-stops: 3.5, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18.:
The lens was fitted with a focus scale in metres or feet with the following spacing:
Metre-scale: 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 20, ∞.
Feet-scale: 3½, 4, 5, 6, 6¼, 10, 13, 23, 33, 66, ∞.
  • f-3.5 (Paris Model)
The Paris-built Anastigmat f-3.5 found use in the Derby 5 with the following f-stops: 3.5, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18.
The lens was fitted with a focus scale in in metres or feet with the following spacing:
Metre-scale: not observed yet, but existence can be inferred.
Feet-scale: 3½, 4, 5, 6, 6¼, 10, 13, 16, 23, 33, 66, ∞.

   

Notes

  1. Berliner Adreßbuch 1927. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 510.— Berliner Adreßbuch 1928. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 528.
  2. Berliner Adreßbuch 1929. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 574.— Berliner Adreßbuch 1930. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 580.—Berliner Adreßbuch 1931. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 426.—Berliner Adreßbuch 1932. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft p. 444.
  3. Berliner Adreßbuch 1933. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft p. 446.—Berliner Adreßbuch 1934. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft Erster Band, p. 579; Zweiter Band, p. 405.— Berliner Adreßbuch 1935. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft Erster Band, p. 579; Zweiter Band, p. 433.—Berliner Adreßbuch 1936. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft p. 448.— Berliner Adreßbuch für das Jahr 1937. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft p. 442.—Berliner Adreßbuch für das Jahr 1938. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft p. 453.—Berliner Adreßbuch für das Jahr 1939. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 435.— Berliner Adreßbuch 1940. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 426.
  4. Foth & Co is no longer listed in 1941: Berliner Adreßbuch 1941. Zweiter Band. Branchenverzeichnis. Berlin: Verlag August Scherl Deutsche Adreßbuch-Gesellschaft, p. 438.—Some web sources perpertuate a 1943 date without much evidence
  5. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1930, p. 22; 1931, p. 27; 1932, p. 22.—6×9 Derby-Luxus in the Hungarian Museum of Photography.
  6. See Sylvain Halgand's site and Foth 6.5×9 folding plate camera in De Luxe finish at Early Photography.
  7. Catalogue Photo Sport 1933, p. 8.—Catalogue Photo-Hall August 1933, p. 7; May 1935, p. 12.—Catalogue Photo-Plait 1932-33, p. 61; 1934, pp. 32-33; 1937, p. 44
  8. Also available with lenses by other manufacturers: Catalogue Photo-Plait 1927, p. 40.—See also | Sylvain Halgand's site
  9. Catalogue Photo Sport 1930, p. 13; 1933, p. 8.—Catalogue Photo-Hall May 1932, p. 16; August 1933, p. 7; April 1934, p. 6; 1934-35, p. 24; May 1935, p. 12—Catalogue Photo-Plait 1928, p. 50; 1929, p. 95; 1930, p. 60; 1931, p. 58; 1932 p. 57; 1932-33, p. 61; 1933, p. 25; 1934-35, p. 24;—www.fotonyf.republika.pl/sprzet/mmm/mfoth.htm.—McKeown 95/96 p. 199.
  10. Halgand's site
  11. (eBay 370402991849 July 2010).
  12. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1931, p. 66; 1932 p. 57; 1932-33, p. 61;.—Catalogue Photo-Hall May 1932, p. 16; August 1933, p. 7
  13. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1931, p. 58; 1933, p. 25
  14. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1935, p. 32
  15. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1933, p. 25; 1934, pp. 30-31; 1935, p. 32; 1936, p. 24.—Catalogue Photo-Sport 1933, p. 8.—Catalogue Photo-Hall May 1935, p. 12; May 1936, p. 12.—Catalogue Au Bon Marche 1933, p. 22
  16. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1933, p. 27; 1934, pp. 36-37; 1934-35, p. 24; 1935, p. 68; 1936, p. 73—Catalogue Photo-Hall April 1934, p. 6; May 1935, p. 12; May 1936, p. 12.—A Deluxe Version covered in brown leather imitating crocodile also existed (www.liveauctioneers.com/item/2453029)
  17. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1937, p. 45; 1938, p. 74; 1939, p. 62 — Popular Photography 1937
  18. Catalogue Photo-Plait 1937, p. 45
  19. www.ukcamera.com/classic_cameras/Kamerahersteller/foth.htm
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Picture by Dirk HR Spennemann. (Image rights)

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