1956 Adox Golf (GDR)

Adox were mostly in the film and photochemistry business – in fact they still make specialist film for uses such as medical imaging or hi-resolution archiving. After acquiring the Wirgin company just before WWII however, they went into the camera business. They made medium format cameras in a variety of form factors as well as 35mm rangefinders until the late 1960s. Mine is a 6×6 folding camera from 1958.

Like the Russian Moskva, the design brief was to make a high -quality camera in a convenient size. The Golf however was aimed more at enthusiasts rather than the pro-level audience of the Moskva. Controls are basic although the camera is well-made.

Again, like the Moskva, the camera betrays its view-camera roots by having most of the controls mounted on the lens. The lens in this case is an Adoxar 75mm, f/6.3 unit with a Pronto (AGC) shutter attached. The lens is obviously not very fast but the fastest shutter speed is a rather poor 1/200th and the slowest is only 1/25ths. This is a camera you are only going to use in ideal light with fast film.

Ergonomically it’s a bit of a mixed bag to use. The camera is physically small and light, it easily slips into a trouser pocket when folded up. There’s a hotshoe and the leaf shutter means that it will sync at any speed which is nice, there’s no PC sync port however. You need to cock the shutter at the lens and wind the film on with the wheel on top of the body before the shutter will fire. Focusing is done with a rather fiddly ring on the very front of the lens. There’s no link between the focus wheel and the viewfinder though so you have to trust the range guide engraved on the focus ring. Winding on is slow and awkward thanks to the relatively small and hard to grip film advance knob.