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Foth-Flex

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The Foth-Flex is a medium format TLR camera produced by Foth in Germany in 1935. It has a number of unusual features for a TLR. It is one of the very few TLR to use a focal plane shutter; the 1936 Mentorett is another one.

General description Edit

The Foth-Flex has a focal plane cloth shutter with speeds up to 1/500s. It takes 6×6 pictures on 120 film. It has a curious (shove-under) accessory shoe and no flash synchronization.

The Foth-Flex has two Foth Anastigmat lenses, taking only push-on filters.

Operation Edit

The Foth-Flex is focused by a wheel on the left side of the camera. Aperture is set by a lever under the taking lens. The shutter is operated on the right side of the camera: a lever to set it and a button to fire it. A separate wheel is used to advance the film. The last unusual feature of the Foth-Flex is the back which is hinged on two sides. The two parts are held together by a button on the lower back. There is no frame counter, but there is a ruby window in the bottom.

Variations Edit

The earlier models (Foth-Flex I) are marked Foth on the waist-level finder, and have a FOTH–FLEX nameplate under the taking lens. The shutter only gives B, 25–500 speeds.[1]

Later models (Foth-Flex II) have slow speeds down to 2s.[1] This version is known to exist with Foth Anastigmat f/3.5 or f/2.5 lenses.[2] At least some cameras have a sports finder integrated in the waist level finder.

From 1938 onwards,[2] the focusing wheel was replaced by a lever between the two lenses. Variations are known in the position of that lever, which is either on the left or on the right.[3] These models have a Foth–Flex nameplate on the conventional spot above the viewing lens.

Export Edit

The Foth-Flex was exported to various countries, including Japan. In early 1936, the Foth-Flex II was advertised by the distributor Asanuma Shōkai, with f/3.5 lenses, at ¥210.[4]

From September 1936, it was advertised by Nichizui, at an unchanged price.[5] The advertisements placed in the November and December issues of Asahi Camera say that Nichizui was the main distributor for Asia (東洋総代理店).[6] They list two versions of the camera, with f/3.5 or f/2.5 lenses. The f/2.5 model has a sports finder; the f/3.5 normally has none, but it could be added as an option.

Notes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 McKeown 12th edition, p.301.
  2. 2.0 2.1 McKeown 12th edition, p.301, and 10th edition, p.200.
  3. Lever on the right pictured in McKeown 12th edition, p.301. Camera with lever on the left pictured in this page at olegvolk.net.
  4. Advertisements in Asahi Camera January 1936, p.A7, February 1936, p.A7, and April 1936, p.A7.
  5. Advertisement in Asahi Camera September 1936.
  6. Advertisements in Asahi Camera November 1936, p.A22, and December 1936, p.A21.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

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