Rothlar

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German, French & Italian Cameras using 127 film
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Rothlar-Optik Walter Roth was a small company in Weigendorf, near Nuremberg, Germany, which sold a few simple cameras in the 1950s.

Walter Roth already owned the Optolyth optical company, which made telescopes and binoculars (originally at the low, toy end of the market[1], although Optolyth later concentrated on high-quality products). Optolyth was set up in the 19th century, when Walter Roth married into the Sill family (Sill Optics bought Optolyth in 2004,[2] but the Optolyth brand is still used).

In about 1953,[3] Rothlar made the achromat lenses for a bakelite camera for 4×4 cm pictures on 127 film, made and sold by Erka-Kamerawerk. Erka stopped selling the cameras in 1955, and they became Rothlar's own product. There are three versions; none is identified on the camera. All have a 6 cm f/9 achromat lens (labelled as such on the front ring), with focusing, and a simple shutter for 'I' and 'B' exposure.

The first model (McKeown calls this the Rothlar I[3]) has only a reverse-Galilean viewfinder under the metal top housing. The shutter is synchronised for flash, with a PC socket and cold shoe,

The second model (Rothlar II[3]) also has a reflex finder.

The third model (the Rothlar S[3]) has only the eye-level finder, and no accessory shoe or PC socket.

Rothlar later sold a rebadged Gloriette 35 mm viewfinder camera, made by Braun, also in Nuremberg, as the Gazelle.[4][5]


Notes

  1. Optolyth history at Optolyth Company website.
  2. Sill company history at the Sill Company website.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 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). p862.
  4. Rothlar Gazelle with an f/2.8 Enna Stellar lens and Vero shutter (with several pictures), among past stock of English camera seller F. & S. Marriott.
  5. Gazelle with the same lens and shutter, at Kurt Tauber's Collection.
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