Lomopedia: Zeiss Werra I

So, how do we start with this one? It's actually a bit tricky since the Zeiss Werra I is such an interesting and unique camera. It's just leaps and bounds ahead of its time when it comes to features and styling. To give you a better idea of what we're talking about, we'll break it down for you below.

Werra I © Dennis Skley via Flickr, Image used under Creative Commons license

The Werra I is 35mm camera born during a time of dispute between East and West German divisions of Carl Zeiss Jena. It is a small, streamlined camera that shows little marking to almost no markings at all. Instead of adding garnishes to the camera body, the engineers behind the Werra decided to pour all of it into parts and features.

One of the most unique things about the Werra is its lens system. The Werra I almost had all of its shooting controls incorporated into the lens barrel. In it you'd find the film advance, focusing and, aperture mechanism in one stacked configuration. The user had to know turn corresponding rings to advance the film, focus and set the aperture to use the camera more efficiently. Without the presence of levers, advancing the film on the Werra was tricky for new beginners. A little nifty tip is to locate the knurled film advance ring and twist it to get the film along with the counter moving. How neat is that?

Werra I © Anthony Rue via Flickr, Image used under Creative Commons license

Another wonderful thing to point out is that the lens housing also doubles as a lens hood or shade. You'd just have to flip it over and use the screw-type mount to use it as a lens hood or housing. The lens cap can also be put on and removed with a simple twist.

Curious-looking, well-engineered, and a completely wonderful camera to study, the Zeiss Werra I definitely deserves a spot in anyone's list of "rare and unique" cameras to shoot with or maybe collect. It's just a unique piece of gear — plain and simple.

Photos Taken by Our Community

Credits: alex34, kerosin, emmka & pasqua

Technical Specifications

Lens: Tessar 4-elements f/2.8 50 mm lens
Focusing: lens barrel ring
Shutter: Prestor RVS shutter, speeds from 1 second to 1/750s and Bulb
Flash: hot-shoe with flash sync
Film Type: 35 mm
Winding Mechanism: found on the lens barrel, knurled twist ring
Viewfinder: large-image prismatic type


All information used in this article was sourced from Photo.Net, Film Photography Project, Butkus, and CameraPedia.

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2018-04-02 #gear #rare #carl-zeiss-jena #werra-1 #lomopedia

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