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Robot II Luftwaffen-Eigentum
Listed is a fantastic German Air Force (Luftwaffen) camera, made by Otto Berning & Co. in Schwelm, Westphalia, in the early 1940s
Serial number F50349-6
The camera was used on several German fighter planes (Messerschmitt BF 109, Focke Wulf 190). Itcould be mounted andset up to shoot insync with theguns, orit could be used as a handheld device for reconaissance or otherwise, during the likes of Operation Barbarossa, orRommel's North African Campaign.It is identifiable as an authenticLuftwaffe camera in several ways:
The long advance knob was designed to allow pilots with large bulky gloves to wind on the film
The serial number begins with "F", which denotes "Flieger" (Germanfor flyer)
The end of the lens is inscribed with "Luftwaffen Eigentum" (Air Force Property)
Other aspects ofits design include its "vibration-proof" mechanics and its "automatic" clockwork wind-on.
The camera is in the typical black body colour, aluminium with a leatherette covering on the front and back, and a brass sliding lock to open the back.
The camera winds on smoothly, and the shutter fires at every speed (2-500 & B). I have not tested the camera with film, but it still has its original 'Robot' film canisters inside.
The lens is a Tele-Xenar f=3.8 F=7.5cm DRP Schneider-Kreuznach No. 1756025. It screws on and at the "inside" end it is enscribed with "Luftwaffen-Eigentum"
It is believed only roughly 20,000 of these were produced, many of which will have perished in the war, or have been lost and broken since then. I've provided a range of photos for you to gauge the condition of the camera - it is not mint, but considering its purpose, I doubt many are. However, it is fully complete and in my opinion, in good condition. This is a rare, unique, beautifully-designed camera,with some fantastic history behind it.
In the photos you will see that above the serial number there is a small scuff mark. This is where a "Luftwaffe Eigentum" stamp has been removed,something which was common practice after the War, so that the camera could still be used without its Nazi connotations. Personally I feel this adds to the historybehind the camera and makes it more of an intriguing item.
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