Friday, November 09, 2012

KW Patent Etui

The Patent Etui was manufactured in Dresden between 1920 and 1938.  This one makes 6.5x9cm images on plates or film.  It has an f4.5 12cm Tessar lens and a Compur shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/250 plus T and B.  I don't normally talk about cameras here without having some sample images to show.  I'm making an exception this time because the Patent Etui is quite an extraordinary camera, and because I won't be able to get images from it unless I can turn up a roll film back.

Besides being very well made, the Patent Etui is exceptionally small.  When folded, the camera can easily be slipped into a pocket.  My similar Kodak Recomar and Zeiss Ikon Maximar cameras are small too, but the Patent Etui is in another league.

My Patent Etui is in nice shape for its age.  The lens is clean and the shutter is only a little slow at 1 sec.  The bellows had just a couple pinholes which I was able to paint out easily.  Most impressively, the bubble level on the viewfinder still has fluid and a bubble.  The camera arrived along with a case in pretty good condition, and there is a nice little packet of film holders as well as a ground-glass back for critical focusing.  The bellows does not extend quite as far as the Recomar or the Maximar, but it still gets pretty close to 1:1 on the ground glass.

So, I'm ready to go except for a way to use available 120 roll film.  I have a good Rada film back which I have used successfully with both the Recomar and the Maximar.  Unfortunately, the Rada has a rim that is just too thick at 1.5mm to fit into the back of the Patent Etui which appears to need a back with the edges measuring between 0.5 and 1mm in thickness.  I have seen illustrations of  Rollex backs on the Patent Etui, but the ones I've seen for sale have been for the larger 9x12 cameras or for 127 format rather than the 120 roll film size I need.

Leads to the needed roll film back will be greatly appreciated.  I'm willing to pay a reasonable price, and I'm also open to  trades from my collection. ( I found the roll film back I needed.)


Jim said...

Clearly I'm a little behind on your blog. What an interesting camera. Can you adapt it for sheet film maybe?

Mike said...

I have sheet film holders for the camera, but it seems nobody produces film in 6.5x9 size any more. There are still European suppliers for the 9x12 size, but it is pricey. I think I'll likely turn up a roll film back, but it might take a while.