The Certotrop cameras were produced between 1927 (some say 1925) and
1941 by Certo, Dresden. They were made in different formats, 6.5x9,
9x12 and 10x15. In 1931 Certo added the possibility to interchange the
lens/shutter units. The name suggests a "tropical" version of a
camera, resistant to humidity, but this isn't the case for the
The Certotrops are top level cameras with luminous lenses and double
extension. This is a 6.5x9 model, it's
in very nice shape. (I also own 2 of these
in 9x12 format):
Lens: Steinheil Doppelanastigmat Unofokal 1:4.5 10.5cm, F4.5-36
Compur 1-1/250 B T (working)
A nice set with camera, leather case and an old film pack holder...
...but also some holders.
Camera closed. Tripod socket on the bed (and one on the bottom of the
Seen from the right. Brilliant finder with spirit level, can be switched
to landscape format. Distance scale on the bed.
Seen from the left. The knob of the bed advance has to be pulled to
unblock and pushed to block the bed movement. Tripod socket for landscape
format on the housing.
Lens and shutter.
Rise/fall and shift movements are possible. Risen and shifted a
The camera has double extension
Back, hood open.
Ground glass deposed.
This camera has a rapid change back. You don't have to slide the backs or
holders all the way in from the top, just insert the bottom edge at the
bottom of the back and swing it into place.
camera opens via a button on the side near the top. Lower the bed
until it clicks into place. Squeeze the tabs on the front standard and
extend, there is an automatic stop. You can either use the finder and
the distance indications or the ground glass to focus. Set shutter
speed and aperture, cock the shutter. Put a film holder into place,
lift the dark slide and take your photo. Do not forget to put the dark
slide again. To shut the camera, push the front standard over the end
of the bed into the housing, press the hinges of the bed and it will
6.5x9 is no longer made on a regular basis. So you would have to build
a stock whenever it is available. Think of searching for the inch
equivalent, 2.25x3.25. Or you get
yourself a 6x9 roll film holder. Rada and Rollex made them, some are
branded Plaubel. They tend to be on the expensive side and add size to
the camera. Browse old camera part sales. But maybe an old roll film
folder would be a better choice.
These cameras are
about a century old. The lenses are uncoated and the shutters are simple.
Nevertheless they are still nice cameras. Most of these
cameras are very cheap, the Certos tend to be more expensive. They are
simple to use and can give a lot of fun.