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The Turf is a bakelite-bodied folding camera for 4.5x6cm exposures on 120 or 620 size roll-film. It was made by Sida GmbH of Berlin, in about 1938.[1] By this time the company was no longer owned by Kaftanski because of the persecution of Jews. The camera bears no similarity at all to the Sida itself (other than the use of bakelite, as in some versions of the Sida). It is moulded with slim ribs along the body to give an elegant 'streamline moderne' style, and has a much better lens. This is a 7.5cm Sida Anastigmat in the early model, either an f/3.5 or f/4.5, and a 7cm Turf Extra Anastigmat, f/3.5, f/3.8 (as pictured here) or f/4.5, in the later Turf Extra. Both lenses have an iris diaphragm stopping down to f/32, and front-element focusing down to 1.5 metre (or about 4½ feet, as pictured). The two examples of the Sida Anastigmat cited are both marked with a serial number. Interestingly, none of the examples of the Turf Extra Anastigmat cited is numbered, except for the one pictured here. The camera also has a variable-speed shutter; an everset shutter with speeds 1/25-1/100 second, plus 'B' and 'T', with a cable release socket. This is named 'Turf' in some examples. The camera has tripod sockets for both vertical and horizontal orientation (threads cut into the bakelite, not metal inserts). It has a bakelite winding knob, and two red windows, with metal covers impressed 'Turf', to use the frame numbers 1-8 for sixteen exposures.[2] The folding table-stand on the front acts as the catch to unfold the camera.

McKeown identifies three models:[1]

  • Turf (1938), with a folding metal frame-finder.[3]
  • Turf Extra (about 1939), with a reverse-Galilean finder moulded into the body.[4]
  • Turf 40 (1940), a simplified model, and for 6x9-cm exposures. McKeown expresses doubt that this camera was ever made.

Collection Appareils shows two cameras which do not seem to fit into this classification:

  • A camera with a folding Newton finder (that is, a single negative lens, with a pointer behind to help in aiming; more typical of older cameras, perhaps 1910), with an f/3.5 Turf Extra Anastigmat.[5] It is possible this camera was assembled from available parts during a time of material shortage.
  • A metal-bodied folder for square-format pictures, with a 7.5cm f/3.5 Sida Anastigmat.[6] Only the lens is identified, and it seems very likely that the body is not by Sida, and the lens and shutter have been transferred to it by a user.

Interestingly, Sida filed a patent in 1938 for the strut mechanism of a folding camera but, though the diagrams show a moulded camera body, clearly that of the Turf, the patented arrangement of struts is not at all like that actually used in the Turf.[7] The width of the bellows in the sectional diagrams shows that the camera depicted cannot be the planned 6x9cm Turf 40.


  1. 1.0 1.1 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). p 438-9.
  2. Turf Extra offered for sale at ebay February 2016 (item 111912471357).
  3. Turf with folding frame-finder and 7.5cm f/4.5 Sida Anastigmat, at Kurt Tauber's Deutsches Kameramuseum.
  4. Turf Extra with reverse-Galilean finder set in the body, and with 7cm f/4.5 Turf Extra Anastigmat, at Collection Appareils.
  5. Turf camera (Turf body, with folding Newton finder and f/3.5 Turf Extra Anastigmat), also at Collection Appareils.
  6. Camera with 7.5cm Sida Anastigmat but metal folding body for 6x6cm exposures, also at Collection Appareils.
  7. German Patent 714512, Spreizenanordnung für photographische Springkameras (Strut arrangement for folding cameras), filed 5 August 1938 and granted 6 November 1941 to Sida Gesellschaft für Photographie und Optik mbH, at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.