P1130070 (2)

Perfex Forty-Four Variation B = One Lever Variation C = One Knob ( Top Photo) By: Eastwestphoto


Perfex was the brand name used by Candid Camera Corporation of Chicago, Illinois, founded by Carl and Joseph Price together with Benjamine Edelman. The company focussed on 35mm rangefinder cameras, but also produced a double 8mm movie camera. Perfex cameras were in production from 1938 through 1950.

Perfex Cameras[]

The first Perfex camera was the 1938 Speed Candid. This camera took 135 film, featured a built in extinction light meter, an uncoupled rangefinder, and a cloth focal plane shutter with speeds up to 1/500 of a second. It had a Bakelite body, styled like a contemporary Argus. It was available with either a f3.5 or f2.8 50mm Graf Perfex Anastigmat lens.

The Forty-Four quickly superseded the crude Speed Candid in 1939. This model featured a much more cleanly styled body, a coupled rangefinder, a hot shoe, and shutter speeds up to 1/1250. This model was current to  the Fifty-Five in 1940.

                      Forty Four has Variation A= Two levers in front 1939; Variation B= One lever, Variation C = One Knob for Fast & slow speeds & film rewind button, like model fifty five of 1940. Three standard lenses Known- Graf perfex Anastigmat 5cm F:2.8, 3.5 & Scienar Perfex Anastigmat 5cm F:3.5. The Scienar lens was made by General Scientific Corp of Chicago, ILLinois., makers of Tube radios also. Heavy die cast polished aluminium body camera = 28 ozs. Extinction gray scale meter& scale on back, 0.5x  optical viewfinder, Coupled Green split image rangefinder, also the  First American Hot shoe accesory camera for FP bulbs - Eastwestphoto 10/18/2014.

The Thirty-Three introduced in 1940 was essentially the same camera as the Forty-Four but with blacked out trim, and minus the slow shutter speeds. Scienar 5cm F:3.5 lens was standard 

The Fifty-Five was essentially an updated and further refined version of the Forty-Four. This model survived WWII and was discontinued in 1947. One variation is known with large 25mm Black winding knob having  white lettering for exposure counter, also a black shutter speed dial of 20mm, a large 25mm black rewind knob. Serial # A39514. The camera is heavy 33oz's and has a Wollensal 50/3.5 velostigmat on it. Don@eastwestphoto

The de Luxe was much the same as the earlier models, but featured a stamped metal body instead of a cast one.

The One-O-One and One-O-Two were introduced in 1948 and featured an f4.5 or f3.5 lens respectively. They departed from the earlier Perfex models by having non-interchangeable lenses, and leaf shutters. They also lacked the extinction meters that were standard on all previous models.

The Cee-Ay 35 was introduced in 1949, but few were made before Perfex sold the design and it became the Graflex Ciro 35.


Companies of Chicago (Illinois)
Adams & Westlake | American Advertising and Research Co. | Bernard | Burke & James | Busch | Calumet | Candid | Chicago Camera Co. | Chicago Ferrotype Co. | Deardorff | De Vry | Geiss | Herold | Imperial | Kemper | Metropolitan Industries | Montgomery Ward | Pho-Tak | Rolls | Sans & Streiffe | Sears | Seymour | Spartus | The Camera Man | United States Camera Co. | Western Camera Manufacturing Co. | Yale | Zar | Zenith