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Robot IIa with biotar 40mm f2 info request
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Robot IIa with biotar 40mm f2 info request Reply with quote

Bought this on the bay. I was after the Biotar for my NEX 5n but when the camera came in I was wowed. Amazing device. Just a gem of precision manufacturing and craftsmanship. It seems to work and has both of the film cartridges. My main issue is I cannot get it to close properly. It seems like it is tight but I can't get the latch to slide when it is shut (it slides fine with the door open) My research on the web says it is a IIa based on the serial number prefix (C). I learned that some of these were used by Luftwaffe and maybe RAF and Danish or Swedish air force. The tall clock mech winder as supposedly there to accommodate the gloved hands of the pilots. Any info you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice piece! Congrats

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks very good. ROBOT cameras were always top grade, produced from stainless steel with high precision. A camera designed in the 1920s with a precise, high speed rotary shutter and auto advance film. The camera was capable of six shots per second.

All of the German military services used the ROBOT camera although I am not aware of any other nations using them officially. The tall 'tower' spring was designed to allow for double the amount of energy, allowing for twice as many shots per wind. Useful particularly when mounted in a fighter as a gun camera where the crew could not access the camera to rewind.

They also served the Stasi and other eastern European secret police organizations as spy cameras, while serving in more mundane roles as ID photo cameras and RADAR control intersection surveilance cameras.

Just this week I received a unique ROBOT lens from Romania. It wasn't produced by any of the formal ROBOT lens manufacturers (Schneider-Kreuznach, Zeiss & Meyer) but by IOR Bucharest (Romanian Optical Enterprise). The Ebay seller said that the Romanian Secret Police couldn't afford to buy S-K lenses from the East Germans so they had IOR produce a modified version of the Prakticar 2.4/50 (a lens they were producing under contract for VEB) that would work on the ROBOT. I didn't really believe the story but it was only selling for $30 so I went for it. When it arrived I put it on an NEX-ROBOT adapter and it works perfectly. Live and learn.

One note, until the very latest models, the Royals, of the late 1960s the ROBOT cameras are half frame cameras, which is why ROBOT lenses won't work well on full frame cameras (except my Prakticar tee hee). Unless you do your own developing it may be difficult to find a lab that can handle that.