I came across this 6x9 camera last weekend at a flea market. My first thought was: It is a relatively common French Photax from 1938 in poor condition. I have all Photax models in my collection, because I just like the shape of these 1940`s Bakelite cameras ;D. As I looked more closely I found “Fotex” written on the lens cap and the labelling is in Spanish, so I bought it for 10.- and cleaned it at home. Inside the camera I also found the manufacturer: L.E.P.I.S.A. Fabrication Espanola ( I think the S.A. stands for “stock company” ). The lens is a Objetivo Cottet No 10155. Unfortunately the camera and the manufacturer is not listed in catalogues and I found nothing interesting at the internet.
Has anyone seen this model before, or knows something about it ?
The trouble with some flickr links is that there is an @ and that and everything after it are sometimes missing - or you have to copy and paste rather than just clicking on.I've tried several variations of Mickey's link without "getting through".
The Universal Camera Corporation of New York City which was founded in 1933 and lasted until 1952 manufactured a large number of cameras under the name Univex. For a number of years they were highly successful and may have been, as they claimed, the world's largest manufactures of cameras.
I can find no connection between Universal and Casa Univex in Spain. According to McKeown, They (Casa) used the Univex trademark, unchanged, without authorization.
An interesting "coincidence".
Last Edit: Jun 28, 2012 17:41:49 GMT -5 by mickeyobe
The Mercury II indeed is a very fine camera and one of the favorites in my collection too. They are hard to find here in Europe and prices are rising constantly. Today you will not find one below 160.- EUR.
Here is a bakelite Univex: The Uniflash fom the 1940`s.
Two of the Spanish Univex cameras:
Univex Winar from 1954.
Univex Unica II from 1946.
This model has three film-windows on the back.
I read somewhere that Univex USA actually had no cooperation with Univex Spain, they had only stolen the name, but they dont made copies of the cameras. Today the Chinese are copying even whole cities, just like our famous Austrian Hallstatt.
Excellent, well designed,well built, sturdy 35mm 1/2 frame cameras with "eye appeal" thanks to the shutter housing arch on its top. They are also very quiet.
I think that because the shutter travels in an arc and is not subject to the jarring close - open - close action of both leaf and focal plane shutters that they will not self destruct and should last a long time.