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mvc-013f.jpg (63731 bytes)   The World's Cutest 35 mm Interchangeable lens Rangefinder?

the Braun Super II!

I know classic cameras fairly well, but I was immediately smitten by this little camera  that I had never seen before.  It is, quite simply, the smallest and cutest 35 mm interchangeable lens Rangefinder camera  I have ever seen.

It's the mid 1950's Braun Super II, from the Carl Braun Camera-Werk of Nurnberg Germany.  What gets me about this camera is it's compact  size and its   system  attitude.  It's a sophisticated system camera in a well finished,   small package.  

 

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   The Super II  comes complete with it's own red velvet lined brown leather  case for the body, the 50/2 Steinheil Quinon, the 38/3.5 Braun Wide Angle and the 85/5.6 Staeble-Telon, plus it's variable 35/85/135 finder made by Steinheil.      The fast 50/2 is very unusual for a compact 35 like this.   The camera and normal weighs in at 22 oz due to it's allergic reaction to plastic.    The diminutive 35 and 85 weigh in at only 2 1/2 oz and 3 1/2 oz each.       A 135/3.5 Tele-Ennalyt  was also made.   The "slow" normal is a 50/2.8 Cassarit.    The 35 and 50/2 focus to just under 3 1/2 feet, while the 85 focuses to 4 1/2 feet. 

 

 

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The small 50/2 Steinheil looks large on the diminutive Braun body.  The Super II lenses have a screw mount, behind which is a Prontor-SVS shutter.   Shutter speeds are between 1 to 1/300 plus B, with flashbulb or X sync at all speeds, with a self timer and cable release socket.               

 

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The Braun is unusual for the time in having a lever advance, although in two strokes.   The window in front of the accessory shoe is the film counter, which must be set manually by the knurled wheel at the back of the shoe.  The Viewfinder is a combined Rangefinder/Viewfinder.  It's rather small and squinty, yet the RF bright patch is large and bright for it's time.   The controls are well laid out, with most of them easily visible from above.   Turning the  large wheel at the   bottom of the baseplate  detaches the the camera back.  

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The camera has a nifty film flattening plate, much like the later Leica CL.     For it's time, the Braun has very easy film loading.

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The Steinheil variable finder offers parallax correction with the lever at it's base.   The view is correct left to right, and reminds me of the excellent Contax RF variable finders.   The same finder, with a different engraving, was the optional variable finder for the American made Argus C-44 Rangefinder. 

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Revised: November 25, 2003 Copyright  1998-2002  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.