nedelja, 23. oktober 2016

Ghetaldus Zagreb King Cameras


I admire work that has been done by many camera collectors sharing information about vintage cameras and their variants. Thus I decided it’s time to make a contribution. Luckily there are still an uncovered niches in the camera collecting world and one of them especially interests me – cameras made in (former) Yugoslavia.

 

Some years ago I stumbled upon a simple camera that didn’t interest me at all until I noticed the engraving on the lens – Ghetaldus Zagreb. Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia, former republic of Yugoslavia and neighbor country of Slovenia, where I come from.  
The company, whose name the lens wears, still exists in Zagreb, Croatia. Unfortunately, It seems that only a prescription glasses selling business survived, but in the golden ages of socialism the company produced optic equipment such as microscopes, prescription lenses and, as it seems, also camera lenses. After the fall of Yugoslavia, Ghetaldus divided into many branches and the production entities slowly went bankrupt.
Yugoslavia's import duties were very high to encourage domestic production. However, the fact was cleverly turned into profit by some firms with importing partly assembled goods and finishing them inside the country (e.g. some Yugoslav computer manufacturers and TAS Volkswagen factory). Ghetaldus may have establish that kind of business deal with the West German camera manufacturer Regula-Werk King KG that made the camera line named Regula. To which extent the cameras were actually made in Yugoslavia is unfortunately unknown to me. On the bottom of the camera it is actually written "Made in Germany". But the lenses itself are clearly unique, the lens caps and leather ever-ready cases wear Ghetaldus logo, cases even have metal buttons from TKG Ljubljana (Slovenia). 

Metal Ghetaldus lens cap with factory logo.

The Model Lineup

 

So far I have come across the following cameras wearing Ghetaldus lenses:
  • Regula IIb
  • Regula IIIa
  • Cita III
  • Regula L
  • Regulette

Regulas IIb and IIIa are kind of easy to find nowadays on a former Yugoslavian territory. They were made in relatively high quantities for such a small market. Serial numbers suggest that altogether 10000 of Regula IIb and IIIa cameras were produced.
It’s much harder to find a Cita III. Probably the camera was far more expensive and thus less popular. Based on serial numbers I recorded it seems not much more than 2000 examples were made. Regula L and Regulette are even scarcer. In my opinion they were introduced too late and never really caught up with East German and Soviet cameras widely available in the sixties across Yugoslavia.
Below you can find model descriptions and my own classification of the variants. Any help is highly appreciated – if you own a camera with Ghetaldus lens, please, share the serial number and the variant with me via the email address below.  


Regula IIb

 

The KING Regula IIb actually doesn’t exist in other variant than with Ghetaldus Ghenar lens. The body design clearly resembles Regula III series, thus the naming is a bit strange. On the other hand the shutter and lens assembly seem to come from the King Regula II series, could be even from Regula IIa, which would explain the logic behind the naming.
Regula IIb is the simplest among Ghetaldus cameras, but still offers a flash synchronization, a self-timer, a double exposure prevention and a shutter cocking with a film advance lever. The film counter is of a deducting type.

Regula IIb, variant RIIb250.
  • Simple viewfinder camera
  • Ghetaldus Zagreb Ghenar F/3.5 45 mm lens
    • 3 elements in 3 groups
    • Minimum aperture: F/16
  • Pronto shutter
    • 1/200, 1/100, 1/50, 1/25 + B
    • Self timer
    • Flash synchronization
The same form of the Ghenar lens is found on the Regula IIIa and it seems that the serial number sequence is shared among these two models indicating IIb and IIIa were manufactured side by side. There is no other serial number on the cameras than the one on the lens. 

RIIb100

Ghetaldus-Zagreb GHENAR 1:3,5 f=4,5cm AR engraving on the lens name plate, conical shape of the lens focusing part. A diamond shaped indicator of selected distance and shutter speed, a “20” m distance engraved on the lens. Sample needed. 

RIIb200

Ghetaldus-Zagreb GHENAR 1:3,5/45“ engraving on the lens name plate. The focusing part is barrel shaped, still with the “20” m distance engraving. Two triangles indicating selected shutter speed and distance respectively. A red dot on the shutter speed rim located on a flattened surface (previous version has recession between two teeth painted red). Sample needed.

RIIb250

Same as the RIIb200, but without the “20” m engraving.

RIIb275

Even width of the bright stripes on the film rewind knob. Strange front plate finish - looks polished while all other cameras has finely textured finish.

RIIb300

Same as the RIIb250, but “II” engraving on the camera name plate with Roman number characters further apart. Sample needed. 

Potential additional variants

There seems to be 2 slightly different film rewind knobs – one with even and one with uneven width of the bright stripes. So far I can confirm only 1 Regula IIb sample with evenly spaced rewind knob (RIIb275).
Additional oddity is the 05625 Regula IIb that has film speed memo on the rewind knob. The film speed memo seems to be the only functional difference among IIb and IIIa, thus I strongly doubt the rewind knob is original on the mentioned camera. Or could it be an assembly mistake?
There seem to be slight changes in arrow on the exposure counter knob, distance scale and DOF engraving style. Some cameras have thicker engraving. Not enough cameras were examined to confirm this isn't a production variation.

Regula IIb Ghetaldus Serial Numbers

In the table below there are all serial numbers known to me. In case there is a "*" symbol besides the Variant, the Variant was assigned based on an educated guess due to lack of data.

VariantsnLens Engraving20 m eng.Rev Knob Sp.IIb eng.Data OriginOther
RIIb10011631:3,5 f=4,5cm ARYes?IImojtrg.rsNo strap lugs, IIIa in this range has them.
RIIb10012741:3,5 f=4,5cm ARYes?IINjuskalo
RIIb10015491:3,5 f=4,5cm AR??IIcjs-classic-cameras
RIIb200*21721:3,5/45??IIphoto.net
RIIb20046101:3,5/45Yes?IIDoctorDJ
RIIb200*56251:3,5/45Yesn/aIINjebojsaFilm speed memo (as IIIa)
?59861:3,5/45?unevenII

RIIb25073131:3,5/45NounevenIIPersonal coll.
?75361:3,5/45?unevenIINjuskalo
RIIb27577251:3,5/45NoevenIIPersonal coll.
RIIb250*81051:3,5/45?unevenII

RIIb30090661:3,5/45?unevenI Icollectiblend
RIIb250*92131:3,5/45??IINjuskalo
RIIb250*99621:3,5/45?unevenIIfilmwasters.com
RIIb250*135911:3,5/45??IINjuskalo


Regula IIIa

 

The only functional difference compared to Regula IIb is the film speed memo on the rewind knob. Thus it is even more interesting that both models were produced simultaneously and I would really like to know what the original price difference of the mentioned models was. Other than that, the Regula IIIa looks a bit neater due to the black King logo and black paint filled stripes on the front plate.
  • Simple viewfinder camera
  • Ghetaldus Zagreb Ghenar F/3.5 45 mm lens
    • 3 elements in 3 groups
    • Minimum aperture: F/16
  • Pronto shutter
    • 1/200, 1/100, 1/50, 1/25 + B
    • Self timer
    • Flash synchronization

Regula IIIa, variant RIIIa150.

RIIIa100

Ghetaldus-Zagreb GHENAR 1:3,5 f=4,5cm AR engraving on the lens name plate, conical shape of the lens focusing part. A diamond shaped indicator of selected distance and shutter speed, the “20” m distance engraved on the lens. The film speed reminder on the rewind knob. Strap lugs. Sample needed. 

RIIIa150

Same as RIIIa100, but without strap lugs.

RIIIa200

Ghetaldus-Zagreb GHENAR 1:3,5/45“ engraving on the lens name plate. The focusing part is barrel shaped, still with the “20” m distance engraving. Two triangles indicating selected shutter speed and distance respectively. The red dot on the shutter speed rim located on a flattened surface (previous version has recession between two teeth painted red). Slightly different button on the film advance handle. No strap lugs. Sample needed. 

RIIIa250

Same as RIIIa200, but without the “20” m distance engraving.

RIIIa300

Same as RIIIa250, but Roman characters on the camera name plate further apart. 

Comparison between RIIIa150 and RIIIa300 variant.

Regula IIIa Ghetaldus Serial Numbers

In the table below there are all serial numbers known to me. In case there is a "*" symbol besides the Variant, the variant is an educated guess due to lack of data.

VariantsnLens Eng.20 m eng.IIIa eng.OriginOther
RIIIa10010771:3,5 f=4,5cm ARYesIIIcjs-classic-camerasStrap lugs
RIIIa10011921:3,5 f=4,5cm ARYesIIIcollectiblendStrap lugs
RIIIa15014581:3,5 f=4,5cm ARYesIIIPersonal coll.
RIIIa20036551:3,5/45YesIII

RIIIa20058171:3,5/45YesIIITomi Beskovnik
?62321:3,5/45?III

RIIIa25065451:3,5/45NoIIINjebojsa
RIIIa250*95171:3,5/45?III

RIIIa25096511:3,5/45NoIIIPersonal coll.
RIIIa300*103491:3,5/45?I I I

RIIIa300116881:3,5/45NoI I IPersonal coll.
RIIIa300*119081:3,5/45?I I I

RIIIa300121261:3,5/45NoI I INjuskalo
RIIIa300*126361:3,5/45?I I IeFotografija
RIIIa300*129421:3,5/45?I I IKupujem Prodajem
RIIIa300*139471:3,5/45?I I I



Cita III



The most advanced and feature cramped Ghetaldus camera is the Cita III. The common Regula III family body is fitted with an F/2.8 Ghettar lens, a Prontor-SVS shutter with slow speeds down to 1 second, a coupled rangefinder and an uncoupled Gossen light meter. The shutter and aperture settings are coupled to somehow behave like aperture priority mode, keeping the light value setting fixed while changing aperture and shutter speed.
  • Rangefinder camera
  • Ghetaldus Zagreb Ghettar lens F/2.8 45 mm
    • 4 elements 3 groups (TBC)
    • Minimum aperture: F/16
  • Prontor_SVS shutter
    • 1/300 to 1 s + B
    • Self timer
    • X and M flash synchronization
  • Gossen light meter

Cita III, variant CIII100

On the focusing rim there are plastic ears that seems to aid grip while focusing. However, some Citas are without the ears and have only recession in the spots where the ears should be fitted. So far I didn’t recognize any pattern among serial numbers. Maybe the ears had tendency to fall off, however, I haven’t seen specimen so far with only one ear. Thus I decided the plastic ears won’t be used in variants classification at this point. However, that doesn't help much with classification since there seem to be no evident rule for the known variants.

CIII100

Two concentric lens nameplates: the outer ring with “Optička industrija "GHETALDUS" –Zagreb-” and the inner ring with “-Ghetaldus- GHETTAR 1:2,8 / 45” engraving.  A metal aperture couple knob. The Gossen light meter with rectangular hole on the bottom side of the cover, low profile cover hinges. Even spaced stripes on the rewind knob (the same stile rewind knob as on the Regula IIb). 

CIII200

Same as CIII100, but with plastic aperture couple knob, higher profile Gossen light meter cover hinges, no hole on the bottom light meter cover part, uneven spacing on the film rewind knob. Finer teeth on the film counter dial, slightly different film advance lever handle knob (different inner circle diameter). 

Comparison between CIII100 and CIII200 variants.

Cita III Ghetaldus Serial Numbers

In the table below there are all serial numbers known to me. In case there is a "*" symbol besides the Variant, the variant is an educated guess due to lack of data.


VariantsnFoc. earsAperture buttonRev Knob Sp.LM hingesOriginOther
?32692YesMetal?LowDoctorDJ
?32748No?evenLowCollectiblendStrange metal knob - plastic may have fallen off.
?32769Yes??Lowphoto.net
CIII10032822NoMetalevenLowPersonal coll.
CIII20033613YesPlasticunevenHighPersonal coll.Finer granulation on the film counter knob
CIII10033919YesMetalevenLowNjuskalo 20151962 year on the waranty sheet


 Regula L

 

Based on specifications and considering only Ghetaldus King cameras, Regula L seems to be an updated and upgraded Regula IIIa. The lens is still triplet Ghenar, however, it's 2/3 of the F stop faster with maximum aperture F/2.8. The viewfinder has bright frame with parallax correction mark and is bigger, which looks nice but has a downside in form of a significantly darker view. Shutter moved from the top plate to the lens barrel. Film reminder is still located on the film rewind knob while an exposure counter moved to the bottom plate of the camera. Film advance and shutter cocking is performed by a lever hidden to a camera body.
There seems to be another version of Regula L with Prontot-SVS shutter adding the slow speeds up to 1 s.

  • Viewfinder camera
    • Bright fixed frame in the viewfinder
  • Ghetaldus Zagreb Ghenar lens F/2.8 45 mm
    • 3 elements 3 group
    • Minimum aperture: F/16
  • Pronto shutter
    • 1/250 to 1/30 s + B
    • Self timer
    • Flash synchronization
Regula L (RL100 variant) looks somehow more modern with it's clean top and shaped lens plate.


I found a Regula L in a Ghetaldus leather case, but with a Cassar 1:28/45mm Steinheil München lens. At first I thought it is a coincidence and someone just replaced the ever ready case, however, I spotted at least two such additional specimens on the local internet selling site.The L series cases are different compared to the III series, since a hole for the exposure counter is made on the bottom side and "Regula L" is embossed on the upper part. Since Ghetaldus isn't mentioned on the camera itself, I don't treat these cameras as of Yugoslav origin.

RL100

Pronto shutter, metal aperture knob.

Regula L RL100

RL200

Pronto-SVS shutter, plastic aperture knob. Sample needed. 

Regulette

 

Sorry, not enough data gathered so far.

Useful Links

cjs-classic-cameras - website with a lot of King cameras mentioning and showing Ghetaldus IIIa and IIb.
Ghetaldus web page - obsolete website containing couple of words about history of the company mentioning camera production, but nothing more.  





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