The Foth-Flex is a TLR camera for 6×6 cm exposures on 120 film, produced by Foth in Germany in 1935. It has a number of unusual features for a TLR. It is one of the very few TLR to use a focal plane shutter; the 1936 Mentorett is another one.
The Foth-Flex has a focal plane cloth shutter with speeds up to 1/500s. It takes 6×6 pictures on 120 film. It has a curious (shove-under) accessory shoe and no flash synchronization.
The Foth-Flex has two Foth Anastigmat lenses, taking only push-on filters.
The Foth-Flex is focused by a wheel on the left side of the camera. Aperture is set by a lever under the taking lens. The shutter is operated on the right side of the camera: a lever to set it and a button to fire it. A separate wheel is used to advance the film. The last unusual feature of the Foth-Flex is the back which is hinged on two sides. The two parts are held together by a button on the lower back. There is no frame counter, but there is a ruby window in the bottom.
The earlier models (Foth-Flex I) are marked Foth on the waist-level finder, and have a FOTH–FLEX nameplate under the taking lens. The shutter only gives B, 25–500 speeds.
Later models (Foth-Flex II) have slow speeds down to 2s. This version is known to exist with Foth Anastigmat f/3.5 or f/2.5 lenses. At least some cameras have a sports finder integrated in the waist level finder.
From 1938 onwards, the focusing wheel was replaced by a lever between the two lenses. Variations are known in the position of that lever, which is either on the left or on the right. These models have a Foth–Flex nameplate on the conventional spot above the viewing lens.
|German TLR ( )|
|35 mm||Contaflex | Flexilette | Optima Reflex|
|4×4||Baby Rolleiflex (1931) | Baby Rolleiflex (1957) | Karma-Flex|
|6×6||Altiflex | Amplion Reflex | Brillant | Flektar | Flexo | Flexora | Flexora II | Flexora III | Foth-Flex | Ikoflex 1 | Ikoflex II | Ikoflex Ia | Ikoflex Ic Ikoflex Favorit | Karma-Flex | Mentorett | Montiflex | Peerflekta | Perfekta | Photina Reflex | Plascaflex | Reflecta | Reflekta | Reflekta II | Rica Flex | Rocca Automatic | Rocca Super Reflex | Rolleiflex | Rolleicord | Rollop | Superb | Superflex | Trumpfreflex | Vitaflex | Weltaflex | Wirgin Reflex|
|Fothflex with right side lever|
image by Geoff Harrisson (Image rights)
|January and February 1936||April 1936|
|September 1936||November and December 1936|
From September 1936, it was advertised by Nichizui, at an unchanged price. The advertisements placed in the November and December issues of Asahi Camera say that Nichizui was the main distributor for Asia (東洋総代理店). They list two versions of the camera, with f/3.5 or f/2.5 lenses. The f/2.5 model has a sports finder; the f/3.5 normally has none, but it could be added as an option.
- McKeown 12th edition, p.301.
- McKeown 12th edition, p.301, and 10th edition, p.200.
- Lever on the right pictured in McKeown 12th edition, p.301. Camera with lever on the left pictured in this page at olegvolk.net.
- Advertisements in Asahi Camera January 1936, p.A7, February 1936, p.A7, and April 1936, p.A7.
- Advertisement in Asahi Camera September 1936.
- Advertisements in Asahi Camera November 1936, p.A22, and December 1936, p.A21.
- Asahi Camera. Advertisements by Asanuma Shōkai:
- January 1936, p.A7;
- February 1936, p.A7;
- April 1936, p.A7.
- Asahi Camera. Advertisements by Nichizui Bōeki:
- September 1936, p.A33;
- November 1936, p.A22;
- December 1936, p.A21.
- 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). P.301.