|March 28, 2013||Posted by Photo GearHead under Cool Gear|
Founded one-hundred and eleven years ago in Dresden, Germany by the German Engineer Alfred Lippert and his partner Karl Peppel, the Certo Camera Werk specialized in manufacturing reasonably priced folding cameras for the European market. Just fifteen years after its founding, the company was purchased by Emil Zimmermann, who handed the operations of the firm to his son-in-law Fritz von der Gönna. Under Fritz’s leadership, Certo produced many mid-priced cameras — probably the most well known of these being Certo’s flagship model, the Certo Super Dollina.
When World War II broke out, Fritz was forced to hide the machines the company used to manufacture their cameras in the houses of the company’s employees — for fear they would be confiscated by the Nazis in order to be put to work in the war effort. After the war ended, Fritz began to restore the company to its former manufacturing potential in secret — this time for fear that the operations would be discovered by the Russians who now controlled East Germany wherein the company was located. The Russians were demanding that any such goods manufactured be sent back to Russia, without compensation to the manufacturer.
In the mid 1930s, Certo had added the “Super Sport Dolly” series to its product line. The Super Sport Dolly was a folding range-finder medium format camera that used 120 roll film and was capable of producing either 6X6 or 6X4.5 cm images. There were a number of different models made in the Super Sport Dolly line — some models featured both a removable lens and shutter unit which facilitated the use of interchangeable lenses, and some did not. The model that is up for sale today appears to be one of the models that does, and it comes complete with the somewhat rare Xenar f 2.6 F=705cm Schneider-Kreuznach lens and a “Compur shutter” which allows for eight different speed settings ranging from one full second to 1/250th of a second, including a “bulb” and “time” setting.
The seller of this particular Certo Super Sport Dolly reports that the camera shows signs of normal wear for its age, but is in otherwise in good, working condition. The lens appears clean and free from scratches. The aperture control functions smoothly, and the blades appear free from dirt and oil. The camera’s collapsing viewfinder is free of haze and fungus — although the round glass viewfinder has a crack, but is reported to still function properly nonetheless. The bellows are in good condition with no cracks or light-leaks. And, the camera’s folding mechanism is said to operate smoothly.
The seller of this Certo Super Sport Dolly has set a price of $59.00 USD — which, from our research, seems to be a reasonable price, with these cameras, in the condition described, regularly fetching upwards of around $70.00 or so. The Super Sport Dolly’s, when found in mint condition, can sometimes sell for a fair bit more than twice that. The sale is set to end on April 4th, and can be viewed by following this link.