When my missus recently returned from a trip to Jena, Germany, to visit her parents I waited with anticipation as she unpacked her luggage to see what goodies might be coming my way. Not to sound ungrateful, I was a little bit underwhelmed when she presented me with a camera she had found in a second hand store. If you have read any of my previous posts you will know I'm quite partial to an old camera, but this one just wasn't doing it for me. The main reason was purely based on aesthetics, it looked like a lady's purse.
Not to disappoint my missus, I gave it a chance and did a bit of research as I'd never seen such a camera before. The name of the camera is a PENTI and was made by an East German company called Welta in the late 1950s. Its a viewfinder camera with a complete set of manual controls, all in rings around the lens: one for distance, one for shutter speed and one for aperture.
The PENTI's most unusual feature is the long film advance button. Once the button is pushed in the film advances to the next frame. After exposure the button pops back out again so you never forget to advance the film before taking the next shot.
The other interesting aspect is that it shoots half frame images so you get two portrait format exposures within the regular 35mm frame. So far I've put two rolls of films through it, and I have to say I'm starting to warm to it. The camera is tiny and light and fits in my coat pocket. It's a bit quirky looking, but for a 60 year old camera the images are not bad at all.