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Wirgin Gewirette

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G 1937

Gewirette 1937 w/ black top-plate

Gewirette 1932 3

Gewirette 1932

Reporter G 1932

Gewirette-Reporter 1932 w/ gold plates

Gewirette 1932 2

Gewirette 1932 w/ nickel lens plate

Gewirette 1937

Gewirette 1937 w/ gold lens front

Gewirette is a medium format film viewfinder camera made by Wirgin in Wiesbaden, Germany and produced between 1932-1937.

This collapsible camera (the lens collapses into the body to make it more compact) takes 127 film using a 5 cm lens. The specimen I have has a Gewironar f/4.5 lens, marked "Wirgin Wiesbaden". It has a 3-speed Vario shutter (1/25, 1/50, 1/100 plus T & B). The camera is interesting in that the entire top of the camera comes off to load and unload film; there's a winding knob (marked "F") on the left, and a latch knob on the right, marked "Z" (for "zu", closed) which you turn to unlatch the top and allow it to be lifted off of the body.

The back has two red windows, covered by little spring-loaded hinged metal covers. The two windows are used together to locate the next frame to expose, by first lining up the exposure number in the right-hand window, then by lining the same exposure number up in the left-hand window (the film winds from right to left). This gives 16 exposures on a roll of film.

The lens is a triplet, with the front element on a helix to focus (down to 3 feet).

The camera has "GERMANY" stamped in the vulcanite on the back, and the focus scale is marked in feet, so I assume it was made for export. (I obtained the camera recently in the United States.) It also has the standard American thread for the tripod mount (1/4") as opposed to the European standard 3/8".

The camera's name Gewirette (Ge-wir-ette) is derived from the company name Gebr. Wirgin (Gebrüder Wirgin = Wirgin Brothers).

During its production times, there are some technical and cosmetic variations of the camera: [1]

  • Gewirette 1932: It looked like a smaller version of the 35mm Edinex, but takes 3x4cm frames. It has black body or nickel lens plate and the finder is in the center of the top plate. There are many lens-shutter combinations. Many cameras are nameless. It was also sold as Reporter which has a gold top and lens finish.
  • Gewirette 1936: This model still has black body like Gewirette 1932, but now the finder is off center and has cold-shoe. There are many lens-shutter combinations. It was also sold as Miniature Marvel in UK.
  • Gewirette 1937: This later model Gewirette has nickel body, but some cameras still has black top plate and some has coloured lens front. Some have helical focusing. There are many lens-shutter combinations. Many cameras are nameless and some are marked Adox on back and it was also sold as Adoxette. [2]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. McKeown's p.1011
  2. This camera is also known as Klein-Edinex (small Edinex). This was the same camera as the Gewirette. We can find no original advertising with the Klein-Edinex name, but it has appeared in some collector publications. McKeown's p.1012

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