I am not sure which version of the certix this is, there is an A and B version. There also seems to be a few variations of each. I am sure this is a German camera from about 1935. I bought it from a charity shop for a friend who has a love of folding cameras. It seemed in good condition, the bellows being intact and the shutter working. So I bought it and tried it out before passing it on.
This camera is the oldest I have ever tried and produces the biggest negatives, 6×9. So a 120 roll only gives you 8 shots. The tiny glass viewfinder swivels so you can line up horizontal and vertical shots. On this one, the glass had a tendency to fall out if you weren’t careful. As I said the mirror/glass is tiny and very hard to use. I had real trouble framing shots and as I only took 8 shots I didn’t get much practice.
This one had aperture choices from f4.5 to f22 on the front of the lens. The shutter speed was chosen on the small dial at the top of the lens with 1/100 as the top speed. So I recommend a slow film of 100asa or less, which would match what was available in 1935. The red button on the side of the lens is the self-timer, but it did not work …or maybe the lens speed has to be set to T to make it work??
The whole bellows folds back into the case and can be opened by a small metal button near the film winder. To open the back and insert the film, there is a sliding button under the handle.
The film winding is completely manual, as is the shutter which always fires. That means it is very easy to take multiple exposures either by accident or on purpose. There are two red windows, for 6×9 pick one and stick with it. Then wind on the film until the numbers change in the window you have picked. Having two makes me think there might have been a mask option in the past for 6×4.5 photos, but not now for this one.
To focus you have to guess the distance and match it to the very hard to see numbers on the front part of the lens. I assumed they were in meters, but for the most part, I left it on infinity.
And that is it and here are my 8 shots.
Actually, I did like using it and is fascinating to think about the photos it has taken in the past.
But I bought it for someone else so I haven’t kept it now I know it works. I hope she has better luck framing the shots.