|Czech style copy of French bakelite camera Photax.
The Pionýr is a Czech copy of the French bakelite camera Photax, with smaller exposure formats: 6×6 and 4.5×6 instead of 6×9 on the Photax. Different versions of it were made by Dufa. According to different sources its production began 1940, 1948 or 1950.
Its lens barrel has to be moved into working position by screwing it out of the camera body. This was a characteristic feature of many bakelite viewfinder cameras (for example the Polish Druh). Its shutter release button has a long shifting travel for the reason that the shutter works without need of cocking. Despite of this simple shutter mechanics a switch over the lens offers different shutter speeds: 1/25 sec, 1/100 sec, and B. Another lever below the lens can be shifted from position 1 to position 2. This causes that a smaller aperture is moved below the shutter blade. The shutter release button can be locked by turning it counterclockwise.
In the camera back is a shifter to open the two exposure counter windows for the different formats. The smaller image format can be chosen by laying a 4.5 ×6 frame into the camera before loading the film (Maybe a frame is needed for the 6×6 format too). Further control elements of the camera are the camera back open/close shifter and the film advance turning knob. Maybe the embossments on the camera body DUFA and FIT II mean that this version of the camera is Dufa's outfit II of the Pionýr, or show a type name FIT II originally planned for that camera.
Other versions of the camera had different speed selections (M an T) or a metal knob for film advance. The latest versions had a focusing lever with distance symbols and a connector for a flash cable near the speed selector. Maybe these late Pionýrs of the 1950s were produced for or by Druopta.