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Five German Leica Inspired Cameras
The immediate post war days were fertile for a variety of new camera projects. Areas and tools as well as prepared technicians previously used for weapon producing became readily available for new money making hi- tech products. Germany produced a variety of new cameras and prototypes. The Leica success stimulated new constructors.
1) Franz Neubert Neuca I Prototype
Probably one of the first to appear was the now extremely rare and also intriguing early German post-war Jena produced Leica copy Neuca. A similar camera can be seen at LEICA COPIES by HPR where there are illustrated a prototype and an early production. This top plate is not engraved; coupled rangefinder, M39 screw mount, strap lugs, shutter speeds: Z, 20, 30, 40, 60, 100, 200, 500, with very interesting shutter mechanism, vulcanite covering, This exact model has no removable back and is bottom loading as early Leicas and FEDs - this beautiful camera comes with a Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 2/5cm no.3095467.
Further production of this camera has a complete removable back ŕ la Contax way (NEUCA II).
Very interesting curiosities happens here. The overall construction is too close to the “FED” cameras of the same era, mainly in shutter curtains and external finish. The rangefinder seems to use the same ideas of the FED 2 1940 prototype. The back of the second model opens also very similar to the FED 2 1953 prototype and the further model… the Neucaflex shared the same body using same M39 Leica register (28.8mm). and its first series descendant, the Ucaflex, uses M39X1 screw threaded lens with 45.2mm register… The same of 1950 Zenit cameras!!!! Any information change between both?
Its reflex version Neucaflex/Ucaflex can be seen at: http://www.novacon.com.br/odditycameras/Ucaflex.htm
About Mr. Neubert
Franz Neubert In Jena Germany started to build cameras. The first one was
the short lived Neuca. It was a simplified Leica inspired camera much
influenced by the pre war FED success. He intended to build low priced and
good performer cameras using the Zeiss and Ludwig M39 lenses left out after
the WW conflict.
At the period of industry nationalizing in East Germany Mr Neubert moved to Nurnberg and founded the ELOP company
Franz Robert Neubert, Jena. Same designer who later produced the ELOP Ucaflex, made in Flensburg. Viewfinder and small reflex finder, which shows part of the image for focusing. Focal plane shutter 1/20 - 1/1000 sec., Meyer-Optik Görlitz Primoplan 1.9/58 mm with M39 Leica compatible screw-mount. Extremely rare!
Uca, Flensburg (successor of ELOP this successor of Franz Robert Neubert). A very inventive mixture of SLR and viewfinder camera. The first series used Elolux 2/50mm M39 mount with a register of 45.5mm. soon after they were equipped with the extremely rare coated Xenon 1,9/50 mm in a similar Exakta bayonet mount!
Bayonet Exakta type.
4) Karl Foitzik Foinix Foitzica
The last and most rare of the three Leica copies by Karl Foitzik in Lübeck (Lübeck Leica) with coupled rangefinder, M37 screw mount, the no engraved top housing and the base plate are shiny nickel plated, inside stamped: 38A, optically in very good condition, equipped comes with very uncommon Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 3.5/5cm T no.3068793 (a maximum of 30 cameras were finished from February - April 1949, most of these with Rodenstock Isar lenses, this is the only known camera with Tessar lens)
This is the first series Foitzica with a different top and embossed frame on finder.
1948 model with Steinheil Cassar.
Foinix Universal Viewfinder –A masterpiece.
5) INA Werk Navax
"Navax", 1956 Ina-Werk, Herzogenaurach. 35-mm camera with metal vertical focal plane shutter 1 - 1/1000 sec. With "Roschlein Kreuznach Pointar 2,8/45 mm" (M-39 Leica screw mount). Very small camera maker, a very few cameras were ever made: "Navax" and "Mec 16" (for Feinwerktechnik), with case. Serial no. 961! - Very rare!
Ina-Werk, Herzogenaurach today is a large roller bearing manufacturer.
Film advance lever and rewind knob coaxially mounted on the left.
Speeds 1/5 to 1/1000 . Release knob coaxially mounted.
Green leathered "Navax" with prototype lens "Steinheil Munich: Noctar 2/5 cm, serial no. 506258", 1956. Very rare German camera for 35 mm film by the small manufacturer INA-Werk, Herzogenaurach. With Leica screw mount! An exceptionally rare non-Leitz lens. - Very nice and rare camera.
See other German Leica copies at: