|Finetta-Werk (Saraber/Goslar) Finetta IV D, 35mm Camera, c1950|
The Finetta IV was a relatively cheap but attractively styled camera of the short lived West German Finetta -Werk company based in Goslar. Founded shortly after world war 2 by Peter Saraber, his name being moulded into the main body. Saraber's principle interests prior to this had been electrical and radio engineering, it was likely this experience that lead him to creating his first camera, the Finetta, around a plastic body. The main body and shutter mechanism cover/lens mount are made from a thermosetting plastic, often known under the trade name of Bakelite. Unlike thermoplastics that melt when reheated, thermosetting plastics do not. Well, within reason... if you throw a Finetta IV into a fire, whilst it won't combust and melt into a pool, it will burn to powder. But it's a decent material choice, being dimensionally stable over a wide temperature range, moulds nicely to produce parts that require little or no finishing, can be machined or tapped, available pre coloured in black and is lightweight, all good attributes for a camera. On the negative side, it's brittle and prone to cracking if dropped and is shiny which can lead to unwanted reflections. Finetta Werk over came these last two by wrapping the metal rear hatch around the sides, so that no Bakelite parts were likely to be hit directly and used a separate matt black insert to control reflections between the lens and film plane. Even the shutter cover received a metal surround to protect the corners.
The base plate is steel and screwed to the body which allows simple assembly of the take up spool. This spool travels half a rotation for each frame, no adjustment for frame spacing being built in. The shutter mechanism is pre assembled onto a brass plate and mounted to the front of the body, subsequently being covered by another Bakelite part with a decorative chromed steel surround. The Finetta IV has a basic two blade shutter adjustable from B to 100th sec. with flash synchronisation at all speeds, via a non standard socket mounted to the side of the shutter speed dial. Most of the shutter mechanism is made from copper and is self energizing, rather than pre-tensioned during the wind on process. The base is a pressed assembly from thin satin chrome plated steel joined with a rolled sheet metal rear forming both the back, sides and the base locking from the bottom, counterclockwise. The covering for this is faux leather on a linen base. The top housing is a satin chromed metal pressing with accessory shoe. Within this are the viewing optics, hiding one of the Finetta's oddly well done aspects, for they are housed in a rubber block isolated completely from the body, protecting them from shocks and dust ingress. The camera is a little unusual in that it has a 26mm screw fit interchangeable lenses, the standard 43 or 45mm lenses as well as a f/6.3, 70mm Colorfinar, shown in the picture. The same body with a different style top housing and a "hot shoe" was available as the Finetta Super from 1951. This Finetta IV was donated in January 2010, requiring a deep clean and removal of dried grease from the shutter mechanism. It was fully serviced again in January 2022, Project page 13 shows this in some detail.
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