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 GRIIb250.
  • 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.

GRIIb100

“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.

GRIIb200

“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.

GRIIb250

Same as the GRIIb200, but without the “20” m engraving.

GRIIb275

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.

GRIIb300

Same as the GRIIb250, 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 (GRIIb275).
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 a lack of data.



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.

GRIIIa100

“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.

GRIIIa150

Same as GRIIIa100, but without strap lugs.

GRIIIa200

“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.

GRIIIa250

Same as GRIIIa200, but without the “20” m distance engraving.

GRIIIa300

Same as GRIIIa250, but Roman characters on the camera name plate further apart.

Comparison between GRIIIa150 and GRIIIa300 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 a lack of data.


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 GCIII100
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.
   

GCIII100

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 style rewind knob as on the Regula IIb).

GCIII200

Same as GCIII100, 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 GCIII100 and GCIII200 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 a lack of data.


Regula L

 

Based on specifications and considering only Ghetaldus King cameras, the Regula L seems to be an updated and upgraded Regula IIIa. The lens is still a triplet Ghenar, however, it's 2/3 of the F stop faster with a maximum aperture of F/2.8. The viewfinder has bright frame with a parallax correction mark and is bigger, which looks nice but has a downside in form of a significantly darker view. The shutter moved from the top plate to the lens barrel. The film reminder is still located on the film rewind knob while an exposure counter was moved to the bottom plate of the camera. Film advance and shutter cocking is performed by a lever hidden to the camera body.
There seems to be another version of the Regula L with a Prontor-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 (GRL100 variant) looks somehow more modern with it's clean top and shaped lens plate.
I found Regulas L in a Ghetaldus leather case, but with a Cassar 1:2.8/45mm Steinheil München lens. At first I thought it is a coincidence and someone just replaced the ever ready case, however, I spotted several such specimens on the local internet selling site. The ones that had lens caps, had Ghetaldus ones. These Regulas L have the older style of the Regula's L body which was made mostly out of metal. One distinguishable feature is less leatherette like surface and more shiny metal on the front side, as with GRL100 which seems to be a transitional model. Since Ghetaldus isn't mentioned on these cameras itself, I didn't track these cameras as a version of Yugoslav origin King cameras.
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.

GRL100

Older style of Regula L body - less leatherette, more metal. Probably constructed mainly from metal parts. Pronto shutter. Sample needed.   

GRL200

Pronto shutter, metal aperture knob.

Regula L GRL200

GRL300

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

Regula L 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 a lack of data.



Regulette

 

Ghetaldus Regulette is by specification practically identical to Ghetaldus Regula L GRL100. Even the main body parts are the same with some minimal cosmetic details that indicate the Regulette was probably targeted to be manufactured for even lover final price. On the bottom there is no leatherette patches and the film speed reminder is omitted. However, Regulette has a film rewind crank which simplifies and speeds up the film changing process.
The Pronto shutter is mounted in a simple and visually non appealing lens barrel with a cheap look and feel aperture adjustment lever. The same Ghetaldus Ghenar 1:2.8/45 lens elements seems to be used as for the Regula L.

From the front the Regulette looks practically the same as Regula L.
  • 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

The Ghetaldus Regulette cameras are hard to find and all three that I discovered so far are different in details. The Ghenar serial numbers suggest that Ghetaldus Regulette production followed Regula L production, which seems logic. Additionally this was the last produced camera by Ghetaldus which fits with Regulette's hard to find status.
All Regulettes I found came with an ever ready case marked "Regula L". 
   

GRLT100

Silver shutter cocking lever. This specimen was gifted to the Ghetaldus employee as a 10 year work anniversary at Ghetaldus. Such gifts were common in the former Yugoslavia. The engraving says: "To <name> <surname> for 10 years at Ghetaldus".

The Regulette has simple lens barrel with a cheap looking aperture setting knob

GRLT200

Black shutter cocking lever that fits the design better than the silver one. Note that this difference exists also among West Germany made (non Ghetaldus) Regulettes. Showed specimen again with 10 years work anniversary engraving.

Regulette GRLT200 and GRLT100, both anniversary gifts. The only difference is the film advance knob finish.

GRLT300

Silver shutter cocking lever again, no setting knob for the exposure counter - seems to be auto reset. Sample needed.

The GRLT300 specimen doesn't have the red manual exposure setting knob as the pictured GRLT200 on this photo.

Regulette 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 a lack of data.


Useful Links

cjs-classic-cameras - website with a lot of King cameras mentioning and showing Ghetaldus IIIa and IIb.












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