Norca (35mm)

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There is also a series of 6×9 cm folding roll-film cameras called Norca, made by Braun.

The Norca is a series of cameras made by the French society FAP between 1938 and the beginning of the 1950s. They were inspired by the Argus A.

The original Norca, or Norca A, was launched in 1938 and was the first 24x36 camera made in France. It had a 50/3.5 Boyer Saphir or Berthiot Flor lens, and a T-B-25-50-100-300 shutter marked Norca Paris. According to Vial, this shutter was made by Gitzo. The lens and shutter assembly was mounted on a spring-loaded telescopic tube. The Norca had a black plastic body with leather covering, and a metal removable back, with Norca engraved, sometimes upside down (seen at ebay auction). It had a tubular optical viewfinder molded with the body, an exposure counter at the top right, an advance knob at the top left and a rewind knob at the bottom right. The metal front plate was attached by four apparent screws. The production was stopped by the war. Known lens/shutter combinations for the Norca A:

  • Boyer Saphir 50/3.5 & Norca Paris T-B-25-50-100-300 (see here, pictured in Vial and McKeown)
  • Berthiot Flor 50/3.5 & Norca Paris T-B-25-50-100-300 (see here, probably a Norca A mistaken for a Norca B)
  • McKeown mentions a Berthiot Anastigmat 50/3.5 lens (never observed) and also a Norca Paris B-T-25-175 shutter (never observed)

The Norca A was offered in 1939 by Manufrance, a French distributor, with a Berthiot Flor 50/3.5 and a T-B-25-175 shutter.

The production was resumed in 1945 as the Norca B. It was the same model but the telescopic tube was no longer spring loaded. Some protruding part was added inside the exposure counter, probably a body release. The advance knob had two knurled rows instead of one on the Norca A. After the war, FAP began to assemble their own FAP Anastigmat 50/3.5 lens (marked FAP PARIS ANASTIGMAT) and their own Rapid-Synchro shutter from 1s to 1/500 (marked NORCA on top and RAPID-SYNCHRO-00 at the bottom, with FAP logo on the left and Norca logo on the right). Some Norca B had an accessory shoe between the finder and the advance lever. Known lens/shutter combinations for the Norca B:

  • FAP Anastigmat 50/3.5 & Norca Paris T-B-25-50-100-300 (pictured in Vial and McKeown)
  • FAP Anastigmat 50/3.5 & shutter only marked Norca on the rim (same as on the Norca Pin-Up), said to be an Atos I 10-300 here, with accessory shoe
  • Berthiot Flor 50/3.5 & Norca Rapid-Synchro B-1-500, white shutter plate (see here), with accessory shoe
  • Vial also mentions Compur shutter, never observed

The Norca B was offered in 1948 by Manufrance, a French distributor, with a 50/3.5 lens and a T-B-25-300 shutter.

The Norca C or Norca Cmt was the same camera with an aluminium body instead of the black plastic body. In the designation, mt stands for "metal". The top, bottom and front plate were in polished aluminium finish, and the rest was leather covered. An accessory shoe was added between the finder and the advance knob. It also exists with brown leather covering and a brown shutter plate. Known lens/shutter combinations for the Norca Cmt:

  • Boyer Saphir 50/3.5 & Norca Rapid-Synchro B-1-500 (see here and here, pictured in Vial)
  • Boyer Saphir 50/3.5 & Norca Rapid-Synchro B-1-500, brown leather and brown shutter plate (pictured in Vial)
  • advertised with a Berthiot Flor 50/3.5 or a FAP Anastigmat 50/3.5 (see here)

The Norca III A was announced with a focal plane shutter and interchangeable lenses (see an ad here). According to Vial, it was presented at the 1948 salon in Paris, but it never came into production.

The Norca Pin-Up was a very different camera, treated in its own page.

Norca accessories

An ad displayed here at Sylvain Halgand's site shows the following Norca accessories:

  • flash unit
  • pocket rangefinder Here
  • eveready case
  • hood and filters

Bibliography

  • Vial, Bernard. Histoire des appareils français. Période 1940–1960. Paris: Maeght Éditeur, 1980, re-impressed in 1991. ISBN 2-86941-156-1.
  • Le Manufrance du collectionneur, Titre VI, La Photo, Ed. du Pécari

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