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Johann Bolten founded the Bolta GmbH in Nuremberg in 1921. He emigrated to the USA where he founded a second factory. His German factory began making cameras in 1935; two years later it was renamed Photavit-Werk GmbH. In 1946, Bolten returned to Germany as a US citizen and restarted the German company.

Bolta made the Boltavit and Photavit models from 1936 to the late 1950s. The early models used unperforated paper-backed 35mm film on special spools, called Bolta film. A late version of the 1950s was named Photina. A typical 1950s camera was the rollfilm TLR Photina Reflex for type No. 120 film, marketed by Sears as Tower Reflex and by Obergassner as OGA Reflex.

The company stopped making cameras in 1957 and was after that only a producer of specialized plastic components for industry. In 2022 the bankrupt Bolta-Werke were bought by the German-Czech company Winning Plastics a.s. [1].


35mm film cameras

Unless otherwise noted, these use unperforated 35mm film in special Bolta film cartridges.

Fixed lens

  • Boltavit (1936) identified by external hinges
  • Boltavit II (1937) identified by internal hinges.
  • Photavit I (1938) same housing as Boltavit II
  • Photavit II (1938)
  • Photavit III (1946)
  • Photavit IV (1948) advertised as "world's smallest 35mm camera"
  • Photavit V (1951)

Rangerfinder, interchangeable lens

Bolta roll film cameras

  • Photavit (1937)

120 film cameras

828 film cameras

  • Photavit 828

Super-8 cine cameras

  • Photavit Super-8 S800 (1972) manufactured by Chinon