The KW Patent Etui has got to be the slimmest (when folded) medium format camera ever made. You probably know this, but Etui in German (as our US friends here who love to practice the German of their ancestors will attest) means a small or slim case, as in Zigarettenetui, and the folded Etui isn't much bigger.
It was made to take cut film, either in a film pack or as individual sheets held in a sheath inside a slim plate holder. Unfortuntely not all 6.5 x9 plate holders will fit on an Etui, and cut film in this size is just about unobtainable now. If you have, or can find, a plate holder and cut film sheath you could try cutting down bromide paper and rating it between 5 and 10 ASA (ISO). Develop it by inspection under an orange safelight in paper developer and you get a negative image which you can scan and invert to a positive in the computer. Definition on bromide paper isn't bad, but the tonal range is much more restricted than film. I haven't seen a 6.5 x 9 film pack holder, let alone a film pack to go in it, for years.
However, some pre-war roll film adaptors will fit and let you use 120 film for 8 exposures. Typical makes were Rada and Rollex. Be very careful about buying a roll film adaptor without trying it on the camera. As with plate holders, not all of them will fit in an Etui.
I've used a Rada rollfilm adaptor on my 6.5 x 9 Voigtländer Avus, and the film numbering in the window is rather odd for this size because it lines up with the 1 to 16 numbering on modern backing papers.
On the Rada there are two windows side by side. On mine, using the window nearest to the camera's viewfinder backsight, the sequence: first dot after 1 first dot after 3 first dot after 5 first dot after 7 first dot after 9 first dot after 11 first dot after 13 first dot after 15 gave me 8 nicely spaced exposures, all well within the film. If you start with No. 1 in the middle of the window the first exposure is so near the start of the film you'll catch it on the drying clip - or the process lab will!
Other roll film holders may be different, so use a spare backing paper and mark it with a pencil at the film plane before you try a film.
The Etui also has a useful bellows extension. At its closest focus it's almost macro.
I would like to show you my favorite german camera: The Zeiss Ikonette 35 (500/24). It was built from 1958 to 1960. I admire the unusual design by an german art-professor ( unfortunately i`ve forgotten his name ). It has a bluish-grey plastic-body in a bended form, why somebody here in europe named it "The Zeiss-Banana". A fancy feature of this camera: the winding-lever is also the release button. A working model is hard to find, because this system is very susceptible for failure. There are rumours, that the Ikonette suffered from light-leaks and so Zeiss Ikon bought them back to scrap them. I took pictures with mine years ago, and they were alright. Anyway a very rare Zeiss-model even in germany. The second picture is a top view.
Post by stefankoeder on Jul 10, 2013 14:30:32 GMT -5
I've seen that this is quite an old post, but after I've just joined this forum this is just too much fun to ignore :-D As I am from southern Germany a lot of my cameras are from German companies - west and east. I don't own a "real" Leica, because they are mostly seriously expensive collectors items, but I've got a very nice Kodak Retina IIIc (I hope you don't mind me calling this a German camera, of course I know that Eastman Kodak is an American company but the Retina was produced in the town I live in from 1934 to 1969) and quite a lot of east German cameras which I like.
The Kodak Retina IIIc: Kodak Retina IIIc von StefanKoeder auf Flickr<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefankoeder/9174330827/" title="Kodak Retina IIIc von StefanKoeder bei Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5342/9174330827_1cb44e1567.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Kodak Retina IIIc"></a>