Still going strong, this camera from the 1950s works as well as it ever did!
The Braun Paxette is a 35mm rangefinder camera from the 1950s. Its “Pointikar” 2.8 lens operates at shutter speeds from 1/300th of a second to 1 second, plus it has a bulb setting. Interchangeable lenses were available, and when it’s all screwed together it feels like it could survive being run over by a tank! This thing is a serious heavyweight – there’s a lot of German engineering packed in to a relatively small package.
My particular example belonged to my Grandfather – who died long before I was born – but my Grandmother has entrusted me with its safe-keeping.
This model features a rangefinder (not all models did) although I don’t find it to be very accurate – better to guesstimate the distance from your subject. Despite being European, the lens is marked up in feet (handy for us old-school Brits!)
Now let me tell you, this camera may be old, but it still takes a sweet picture. The lens is pin sharp (despite the iffy rangefinder!) and the colours and brightness it produces are as good as you could possibly hope for. It’s not a camera for quick snapshots: it is, of course, completely manual so you either need to use a light meter, or carry an exposure chart with you – but it’s worth the effort. I enjoy the more considered approach you have to use. If you’re at all worried about calculating your exposure correctly you can save it for sunny days when it’s easy just to leave it on the fastest shutter speed and smallest aperture!
Being nearly 60 years old, my Paxette does leak ever so slightly (that’ll happen to us all when we get to that age…) but apart from that it functions perfectly – a tribute to an era when things were built to last. If you see one, snap it up: they feel like they could give great service for another 60 years at least!