Roth

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A.O. Roth was the distributor in London for Meyer in the 1920s and 30s. Roth also sold Krauss Peggy cameras and Mentor equipment,[1] and may have made some of their own cameras.[2] An advertisement shown at Camera Eccentric seems to confirm this, referring to the Roth Superspeed Press Camera.[3] The Superspeed Press camera was also advertised in the 1925 British Journal Almanac,[4] as was the Lunar, a rare 'night camera' with an f/2 Meyer lens.[5]

In 1929, Roth sold Leica cameras fitted with a 1⅝-inch f/1.5 Meyer Kino-Plasmat, also well-chosen for available-light photography;[6]


Cameras

  • Lunar (1925): 4.5x6 cm plate camera with focal-plane shutter and fast lens for available-light photography.
  • Roth Reflex (C1926): 4¼x6 cm SLR made for Roth by Goltz & Breutmann (Mentor).[7]
  • Superspeed Press Camera (perhaps 1925):[3] Strut-folding camera with focal-plane shutter up to 1/1300 second, and with an f/3 Meyer Anastigmat. Advertised in sizes 2½x3½-inch, 3¼x4¼ (quarter-plate), 9x12 cm, 10x15 cm and 4¾x6½-inch.[5]
  • Superspeed Reflex: 4.5x6 cm plate camera with a focal-plane shutter and a 3½-inch f/1.5 Meyer Plasmat.[8]


Notes

  1. Meyer Catalogue of 1936, at Camera Eccentric, giving (on page 2) Roth as sole agent for Great Britain and the colonies. The details give an address for telegrams to Roth as 'Mentorflex, Catgreen, London'.
  2. The Company information pages at Early Photography. The notes give the address for Roth as 85 Ringstead Road, Catford, effective from about 1923-39. This address is a residential house, and could not be the premises at which a significant number of cameras were made.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Roth, Meyer and Mentor advertisements from pp 576-574 of the BJP Almanac for 1938, also at Camera Eccentric. One of the advertisements (p 572) refers to the Roth Superspeed Press Camera (sadly with no picture). Roth Unipods (presumably monopods) are also advertised.
  4. Advertisement for the Superspeed Press Camera, page 752 of the British Journal Almanac for 1925, reproduced at Grace's Guide.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Advertisement for the Lunar night camera, page 751 of the British Journal Almanac for 1925, also at Grace's Guide.
  6. In the Shop Window: Apparatus and materials viewed and reviewed by J.E.S., including the article A f/1.5 for Hand Cameras in The Amateur Photographer and Cinematographer, 25 September 1929, reporting the availability from A.O. Roth of the Leica with the f/1.5 Kino-Plasmat; JPG page-image at the Japanese lens-collector's site Oldlens.com. The article notes that the lens has a special mount (presumably wider), and is not interchangeable with the usual f/3.5 lens fitted to a Leica. This may suggest that Leica cameras with interchangeable lenses were already available, though this is usually said to have occurred in 1930.
  7. Roth Reflex with 3½-inch f/3 Trioplan and focal-plane shutter up to 1/1000 second, sold at the Tenth Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 18 November 2006.
  8. 'Mentor-Meyer Super-Speed Reflex' sold at Sale 7557 - Cameras and Optical Toys on 17 April 1997 by Christie's. The listing does not include a picture.