Edina camera by Wirgin, 1953


The instruction booklet for the Edixa I and Edixa II cameras can be downloaded here.
Good Photography - February 1957, p87, Reviews  

35mm Edixa Cameras
I HAVE recently had two Edixa cameras to try out, the IP and II SVS models. The bodies and general appearance are very similar, and they are neat and of bellow-less construction, the shutter being mounted direct on to the front of the body. On top, as held for use, a rewind knob is on the extreme left (with a film-type indicator built-in on the IP), then an accessory shoe sunk into the top plate which covers the viewfinder. The built-in optical viewfinder is central over the lens axis and a good point about it is that the rear eyepiece is black and not chrome (which can cause distracting reflections at some angles of the sun). Further right is the exposure counter which starts at 36 (or 20) and indicates how many exposures remain on the film. The shutter release works smoothly and has a thread in the centre, for fitting a standard cable-release when making exposures on a tripod, and is interlocked with the filmwind to prevent double exposures. The filmwind lever projects just enough to the rear to allow the right thumb to move it without fumbling.

The rewind button, which declutches the take-up mechanism, is just below the filmwind lever and stays in place when moved - it does not have to be held in position during the whole of the rewinding as is so often the case. The camera base, like the rest of the exposed metal-work, is finished in satin chrome and the English-thread tripod socket is in the centre. The back is hinged and has a positive lock and sprung black anodised metal film-pressure plate. Double sprockets are fitted and these are turned by the film movement to operate the interlock mechanism, the film being drawn forward by the rotation of the take-up spool.


On the Edixa IP, the lens is a 3-element f/2.8 coated Ennagon of 45mm focal length and has front-cell focusing marked at distances of 3.3, 5, 7, 10 and 20 feet, and infinity; the shutter is a 4-speed Pronto with settings of 'B,' 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 and 1/200th second, as well as delayed-action, which may be used on any of the speeds. A depth-of-field scale is fitted and the shutter is X-synchronised (for electronic flash at any speed or flashbulbs at 1/25th) with the now normal co-axial contact. The minimum lens aperture is f/16 and the front of the lens is well recessed in its mount.

The Edixa II SVS is the coupled rangefinder model and has a separate eyepiece about half-an-inch to the left of the viewfinder; it is of the split image type in which the lower part of the image has to be lined-up with the upper (stationary) part. The lens fitted is a 3-element coated f/2.8 Isconar of 43mm focal length (made, I believe, by a subsidiary of the famous Schneider factory), with front cell focusing and marked distances of 3.5, 5, 7, 10 and 20 feet, and infinity. A small arm projects from the focusing ring and is convenient to operate with a finger of the right hand in order to set the focusing distance in conjunction with the coupled rangefinder. The lens may be stopped down to f/16. The shutter is the 8-speed Prontor SVS which has, below the co-axial synchro contact, a small lever which is set to M (for flashbulbs at speeds from 1/50th to 1/300th second), X (for electronic flash or bulbs at 1/25th or slower) or V, for delayed-action on any speed (on the camera tested the delay was about 10 seconds) consistently.

On test, both lenses were well up to the standard to be expected from objectives of their type and aperture. Central definition was good, being quite acceptable at the full aperture of f/2.8 and at its best between f/4 and f/5.6 in the case of the Ennagon and at f/5.6 in the case of the Isconar. Good definition to the edges of the negative was obtainable in each case at f/8 and smaller. Checks on the focusing scales at measured distances showed them to be accurate and on the II SVS the coupled rangefinder agreed with the scale setting and measured distance. Each camera takes the standard film manufacturers' 35mm cassettes and will also accept the reloadable Shirley-Wellard type - a most useful point.

The Edixa cameras are the most reasonably priced for their specification in this country, the model IP retailing at £15.19.9d (near £15.99p) and the II SVS at £27.7.11d (£27.40p). Screw-in lenshood and filters are available (the IP will also take 32mm push-on accessories), and also an attractive leather Ever-Ready case at £2.13.6 (£2.68p). All these prices include Purchase Tax and all Edixa cameras are covered by a one-year guarantee. They are imported from Germany and distributed to the Trade by the North Staffs Photographic Services, Ball's Yard, Newcastle, Staffordshire.

Incidentally, it is not always realised that a 5cm lens on the usual 24 x 36mm frame is actually slightly long-focus - using the convention that the focal length of a normal lens is about equal to the diagonal of the negative, and a lens of 43-44 mm will give a more normal field-of-view for this negative size.

This page last updated: 31st August 2009