My oldest camera: Franka Pronto

The actual model’s name is Franka Rolfix. It was made before World War II. Probably around 1938. I have looked at these brands of cameras and they all look different in detail.

It is a Folding Camera designed for “full” medium format 6 x 9 cm. The lens seems to have no coating and uncoated lenses are pretty rare in post-war folding cameras. This model was also called Hapo 5 , when it was sold by Hans Porst. The lens is Velostigmat 1:4.5 F=10.5 cm and the shutter is Pronto (Gauthier G.m.b.H Calmbach) B, T, 1/25 – 1/125, Nr. 447964.

Franka Kamerawerk was a manufacturer of camera equipment situated in Bayreuth, Germany. It was founded by Franz Vyskocil in 1909. The company was known under several names during its life: Vysko-Fabrik Franz Vyskocil; Weigand & Vyskocil; Frankonia-Kamerawerk; Hogaschwerk; Franka-Kamerawerk.

The leather case has name letters on it G.Z They mean Gustav Zeno (08.02.1874 – …) or Gottfried Zeno (14.03.1898 – 08.03.1955), his son.

1949, Vastseliina, Kütioru lähedal.

The leather picture depicts the Pskov-Caves Monastery (Petseri Klooster).

I got it from Madis Järvpõld (b. 1936) in 2020.


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