|Weltini II with f2.8 50mm Schneider Kreuznach Xenar lens in Compur shutter|
Welta's 35mm cameras closely follow the development of the Retina. The first Retina model was scale-focused but was soon followed in 1936 by the Retina II, a rangefinder version. A year behind Kodak AG, Welta brought out the scale-focused 35mm Welti in 1935, and a rangefinder version, called the Weltini, in 1937. My Weltini is the second version, which although not given a different name by the manufacturers, is generally referred to as the Weltini II to distinguish the camera from the original model. The Weltini cameras were closely based on the Welti, and used the some of the same components, notably the body itself, a design decision undertaken for the economics of production. As a result of fitting the rangefinder to the Welti body, the camera is in essence turned upside down, meaning the Weltini opens from the opposite side, the advance and rewind knobs are on the camera's bottom plate, the shutter release is on the left, and the film runs left to right inside the camera (which means that the negatives read right to left in sequence, in reverse to most 35mm cameras). The left-handedness of the Weltini also seems to extend to the frame counter reset and rewind release, small levers on the back of the camera most easily operated with the thumb of the left hand. The Weltini II greatly redesigned the first version's 'bolted on' look, streamlining the whole top plate (providing space for a depth of field scale), reducing the bottom plate's profile. Some minor changes to the Weltini II also occurred during production: the body release was redesigned, the stand for vertical images was changed to fold in the other direction and the shutter release was given a sharper rim. The picture below shows the Weltini next to a Weltix, a cheaper version of the Welti.
|Welta Weltix (left) and Weltini|
As a result of having to open the shutters and forcibly remove the linkage and release mechanism from the rest of the components (best left to those with more experience), in my clumsy attempt to put the shutters back together I didn't do a very good job on the Compur - although not tested for accuracy, the only speeds that sound near to being accurate are at 1/100th and 1/300th, which, although the Weltini camera is now working, does limit its use.
|Weltini II, showing advance and rewind knobs.|
The advance release button is just discernible against the gunmetal where the paint is worn away.
|Sample image from Weltini II on Ilford FP4|
|Sample image from Weltini II on Ilford Ilfodata HS23|
|Sample image from Weltini II on Ilford Mark V Motion Picture film|