other Arette camera in my collection:
- Arette 1dn Rangefinder
A&K Arette Super P [1959 - 1963]
A&K cameras bore the logo AkA until 1957, after which it was changed to akw (not akio as is often seen on eBay and other websites). I have been unable to fathom why A&K used the insignia AkA or akw!
The camera's distinguishing features (common to all Arettes) are that the advance lever is mounted on the base, along with a pull-out foot to steady the camera when standing on a flat surface, although this doesn't support the camera level, because the tip of the wind-arm lever is thicker than the tripod bush protrusion. Rewinding is via a knob on the top plate, which retracts into the camera body, and is released by a small catch. The shutter release is a rounded lever beside the lens, on the user's right.
The lens is a 45mm f2.8
Isconar (a lens made by the Isco Company, which made lenses for many German cameras) with a ten speed Prontor shutter. The aperture and shutter speed rings can be locked so that they adjust synchronously. The black lever protruding from the lens barrel is the lock/unlock switch. The aperture/shutter speed combination settings can also be read against an EV scale on the lens barrel. For an explanation of EV numbers, see this article.
In 1960 the Super P cost £19 19s 11d; the equivalent of just over a week's average UK wages (circa £18).
35mm film cameras use a length of film enclosed in a single-spool, light-tight, metal cassette to produce 36 x 24mm negatives, which is known by the terms "135", or "35mm" film. The idiom 135 was introduced by Kodak in about 1934, and is little more than a numeric name to distinguish it from other film formats, e.g. 110, 120, 126, 127, 820, etc. The alternative name of 35mm is descriptive of its width, although in reality, the film is a tiny bit narrower than 35mm: it's actually about 1 3/8 inches wide (or 34.9mm), because at its inception, 135 film was made by cutting another standard size film strip - 2 3/4 inch - in half. 35mm film first became available in 1913, although it was patented some years earlier.
Follow this link for information on the Rapid film system, which loaded standard 35mm film in a different form of cassette.
Viewfinder: Albada with parallax markings.
Lens: 45 mm. f/2.8 Isconar. Number of elements unspecified, but I assume it's a triplet.
Close Focus: About 3 feet.
Diaphragm: 5 blade, f/2.8 stopping down to f/16.
Shutter: Prontor SVS five-blade leaf shutter with speeds - B, 1, 1/2nd, 1/4th, 1/8th, 1/15th, 1/30th, 1/60th, 1/125th and 1/300th sec. The shutter can be set at M or X synch.
Cable Release: Standard screw-in on the top of the body lens mount housing.
Exposure: Manual with capability to synchronise shutter and aperture settings.
Filter Size: 32mm.
Flash: Cold shoe and PC terminal. M and X sync.
Film Advance: Lever on bottom of camera body.
Frame Counter: Count down manual reset.
Rewind: Pop-up knob with tension release on bottom plate.
Back Opening: Twin levers.
Size: 127 x 91 x 67mm (W x H x D).
I paid £2.21 for this camera in June 2014 (£1.21 after re-sale of the unwanted camera case).
I bought the camera because I liked its curvy styling, The viewfinder is big, bright, and silvered/mirrored (like a pair of sunglasses I once had). The camera feels comfortable and is easy to operate. It's in pretty good condition, except for the knackered focus adjustment: the barrel just turns without any effect - making the camera unusable - so it's a display item only. I had to replace a very fiddly hair spring to get the rewind-knob release button to pop-up, but at least that works. As can be seen in the photos, it has a stain on the left side cover (facing), which I haven't been able to shift ... yet!