Sociedad Ibero-Americana de la Historia de la Fotografia Museo Fotográfico y Archivo Historico "Adolfo Alexander"
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Detrola - 400


This is the most famous and rare American “Leica”

Rare American Leica copy with focal plane shutter up to 1/1500 Sec., Wollensak Velostigmat 3,5/50mm – Very interesting camera, manufactured in 1940, in Detroit Michigan by the Detrola Corporation. As say Stephen Gandy , - “The Detrola 400 is remembered today as an interesting American   design that even  most experienced American camera collectors have never seen.”

Although a very good design, the camera was said not to be reliable. This was also said from Clarus cameras, but all Clarus I did see, works perfectly after so much years. The camera had advanced specifications for the era, but at a low selling price of only US$ 69.50. The camera has the all body parts on stamped steel sheet and its chassis is rivet mounted. The 38mm screw thread lens mount was not compatible with Leica standard. Although in different mounts, it was planned to use same optics of Perfex cameras.  The production was very small and the factory went bankruptcy in 1941.







We include an important article of Rick Soloway published in Photographica Digest of Western Photographic Society vol. XII nº 5 May 2006 



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