|1957 Arette IA with Isco Westanar|
1:2.8/45 lens, leftward shoe, central
viewfinder & top-plate winder
by David Broglin
|1959 Arette IA with Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:2.8/45|
lens, left viewfinder, central accessory shoe &
base lever wind by John Nuttall
|Arette IBN with Color Isconar 1:2.8/45|
lens, central accessory shoe
& light meter by David Broglin
The Arette IA was a 35mm viewfinder camera made in Germany by Apparate & Kamerabau, introduced in ca. 1956, and produced with many model variations until 1963. This was a cleanly-designed, well made camera featuring (among other combinations) an Isco-Göttingen Color-Isconar 45mm/f2.8 or Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm/f2.8 lens in a Pronto or 9-speed Prontor-SVS shutter. Except on early models, where it is on the top plate, the advance lever is mounted on the base, along with the frame counter and a pull-out foot to steady the camera when standing on a flat surface. Rewinding is via a knob on the top plate, which retracts, and is released by a small catch. The shutter release is a rounded lever beside the lens, on the users right, and opposite this on the lens barrel is a cable release socket. Flash sync is provided via a PC socket, and an V-X-M switch giving self-timer or X/M sync.
Some examples of this camera have a central viewfinder, some have it on the users left - possibly a change made in 1957. In 1959, a brightline finder was added.
The Arette IB had a light meter; the Arette IC added a coupled rangefinder, and the Arette ID had both meter and rangefinder.
The Arette A (possibly a cheaper, later version) had a 45mm f2.8 Arettar lens in a simpler Vario shutter - with no meter or rangefinder.
The Arette BN and Arette BW had a meter. The Arette C had a rangefinder but no meter; the IDN Arette (later the Arette DN) had both. The BW was renamed Optina BW for sale in Canada. Other variations include the P, Super P and Favorite.
The BW models had interchangeable lenses.
The 1959 Arette Automatic S had automatic exposure, with a Prontormat shutter and a Color-Westanar 45mm/f2.8 lens. The SE had a rangefinder added; the SR seems to be the same camera, but intended for the US market. The SLK is an S model, sold in the UK.