Friday, June 15, 2012

Far From Being Typical

The Beika and Beira are 35mm folding cameras made by Beier in the 1930s. On all the models, the square front standard is mounted on scissor struts, and there is a focusing lever, moving the lens and shutter unit as a whole. The camera was released in 1931 as the Beika. It has a folding optical viewfinder, and takes 3×4cm exposures on unperforated film, loaded in special cassettes. (When loaded with perforated film, the usable exposure format is about 24×40mm.)
The name was changed to Beira in 1932. The reason for that change is not known for sure, but maybe "Beika" sounded too close to "Leica". The camera was sold by Birnbaum as the Birelle.
In 1935, a coupled-rangefinder version was offered, incorporating the Okula prismatic rangefinder made by Ernst Krauss in Jena. With that equipment, the camera was called Beira Okula or Beira II.

Beira II photos: rebollo_fr @ Flickr
Text: Camerapedia

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