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The Pronto is a long-lived series of leaf shutters made by the German company Gauthier based in Calmbach. The Pronto appeared in 1912, the same year as the Vario, also made by Gauthier. Early Prontos are dial-set everset shutters and offer speeds 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100 second plus 'B' and 'T' settings. Both the Pronto and Vario were modified in 1929; the Nagel Vollenda pictured is from the early thirties, and has the same range of speeds, but these are set with a sliding control on the top of the shutter nstead of the dial. A flash-synchronised Pronto was available from 1930[1] (unsynchronised models were still produced).

Later models require cocking with a lever on the shutter body. Others, such as that on the Retinette pictured, are cocked automatically by advancing the film. Late models offer speeds according to modern convention (1/30 second rather than 1/25, etc.) and, like that on the Retinette pictured, offer one more speed at the fast end of the range.

Despite their relatively low specification, all models of the Pronto offer a delayed action control (self-timer), an important feature for family photography.


  1. Shunkan o torae-tsuzukeru shattā-ten, p. 6.


  • Kamera no mekanizumu sono I: "Hai! Chīzu" Shunkan o torae-tsuzukeru shattā-ten (カメラのメカニズム・そのⅠ・「ハイ!チーズ」瞬間をとらえ続けるシャッター展, Camera mechanism, part 1 "Cheese!" Exhibition of instant taking shutters). Tokyo: JCII Camera Museum, 2002. (Exhibition catalogue, no ISBN number)