Perfekta (Bakelite)

Jump to: navigation, search

There is also the Perfekta folding TLR camera

The Bakelite Perfekta was a 120 rollfilm camera produced by VEB Rheinmetall in East Germany. Two models can be distinguished.


The Perfekta is a Bakelite 6x6 120 film fixed-focus box camera made by VEB Rheinmetall in Sömmerda, Thuringia, East Germany, 1953-1957.[1] The body was made in black Bakelite, with cream-coloured controls.

The original model of the Perfekta has a flip-up frame finder. The lens is an 80 mm f/7.7 achromat lens There is an aperture control knob below the lens, giving f/7.7, f/11 and f/16.[2] A second knob on the side of the boxy lens housing selects between 'B' and 'I/M' shutter.[3] The shutter-release is a button below the lens, opposite the aperture knob. The back simply snaps on. A red frame counter window, placed in the centre of the back, can be closed by turning a small plastic knob. The manufacturer's name is en relief on the back. The shutter speed selector also carries a number '1' inside a triangle,[4]and the company number: 37/286/0000.[5] Total production of the Perfekta was reputedly 1, 026,000 units.[6]

The design of the Perfekta is very much like the Druopta Efekta, except for the placement of the shutter control and release. The Perfekta is a good example of the persistence of the streamline moderne style in the 1950s.

Perfekta II

The more rounded Perfekta II (also c.1954[1]) is more compact, with a lens housing that collapses into the body. It has an optical finder in place of the frame finder. The lens is the same as in the original model. The aperture is set with a wheel under the lens (and is presumably a set of three circular apertures in the wheel, not an adjustable iris). The shutter now has timed speeds, 1/25 - 1/100 second plus 'B', set with a knurled (plastic) rim around the shutter housing. The shutter-release is now on the top of the body. The Perfekta II occurs with the name in upright lettering and with it in script (as in the picture at far right). The camera was also sold by Sears as the Tower 66P.

The Modell P66 of c.1955 is very similar. It is marked 'Export model' on the back; the example pictured in McKeown has a cold shoe[1], so is presumably synchronised for flash.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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). p820.
  2. Two variants of the wheel have been observed. With and without little arrows indicating the correct position.
  3. The M[oment] label was used for the German market, while the I[nstant] label was used for the non-German-language export market
  4. The production quality was classified through the use of numbers in triangles. A number '1' inside a triangle signalled first quality production (suitable for export). A number '2' in an upside down triangle indicated second choice, technically fully functional but with cosmetic blemishes, while an upside down triangle without any number signally defective product Prüfzeichen, Qualitätszeichen und Gütezeichen der DDR (Dresdner Kameras)
  5. That 37/286/0000 is a company number can be demonstrated by the fact that the same number is not only found on a Perfekta II but also on a Rheinmetall (Welta) Weltax and even on an adding machine (archived) and typewriters also manufactured by VEB Rheinmetall