Sociedad Ibero-Americana de la Historia de la Fotografia Museo Fotográfico y Archivo Historico "Adolfo Alexander"
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CLARUS 

A tribute to an undervalued American Classic

 

One of the first series.  Scott Bilotta collection

 

The Clarus model MS-35 camera was made and sold by the Clarus Camera Manufacturing Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota USA between 1946 and 1952.  The MS-35 was the only camera model manufactured by Clarus. After a management change, the camera was sold under Wescon name . They also prepared a lower priced  central shutter model and its original flash received a golden reflector.

 

It used the most perfect formula of the era, always using the typical American tooling facilities die cast molding, instead of pressed parts:

- Its departure was from the Leica II concept with an enlarged body in order to be easier assembled by unskilled American technicians. 

-Adopted the Praktiflex type shutter design to speed production alignment handcraft.

- Used a sturdy body aiming a large market and consumers catching several other market niches,

- Was sold at a low price level to be placed everywhere.

Immediately, it suffered an unjustified attack and kept the fame of being unreliable and a poor performer.

Today surviving units prove they were superior to famous makes of the era.

 

 

 

 

 

Three pictures of a 1950 model . ALON collection

 

Three lens outfit at ebay

 

A rare  f/2 Raptar  John Kenehan collection

 

clarus.ms-35.101633.jpg

 

With  Wollensak-Raptar 3.5/35 wide angle and finder

 

 

With Wollensak-Raptar 3.5/101mm Telephoto and finder

 

With Elgeet 4.5/4” Telephoto and shoe synch

Thee units from Scott Bilotta collection

 

 

Telephoto finder corrector detail from rear

 

Telephoto finder corrector detail from front

Bob Kelly collection

 

 

Top mounted Flash

 

Bottom mounted flash

Scott Bilotta collection

 

 

 

October 1948 ad at Popular Photography. Directory issue.

Compare Clarus potentialities against top known cameras.

 

 

Montgomery Wards 1951 catalog

 

 

Tag and  lens tissue from camera package

 

With the  Clarus Raptar wide angle

 

 

 

Wescon - Name variation of last Clarus series

Bob Kelly collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wescon with Alphax shutter and 4.5 lens. The low price end model

 

 

 

Wescon focal plane Same body parts.

 

 

Wescon – Clarus type views and eveready cases Clarus and Wescon

 

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