Carl Braun Gloriette / Gloriette B
Carl Braun was established as a machine parts manufacturer in 1906 in Nurnberg, Germany. Like many other machine shops, they seized the post-war market revival and branched into making cameras and slide projectors. They followed the usual path of evolving from box models through a few unremarkable Norca klapp models to viewfinders and rangefinders, mainly under the Paxette, Colorette and Paxina names. An unsuccessful trial with compact SLR halted with the first model, the Paxette Reflex.
The company mainly sold under its brand but, like many other minor Geman manufacturers, sold through European and US distributors, such as Kaufhoff Associated Merchandising, Wittanauer, Bolsey and Rothlar. There was an association between Carl Braun and Nizo of the Cine camera fame. I am not sure how, will explore it in further post.
The company ceased making cameras in the 1970s, but the name is still used for cheap point-and-shoot cameras, namely Trend, Handy, Candy and Bravo, and several Chinese-made SLR rebrands. There still is a Carl Braun company in Germany with no associated products.
The Gloriette line was entry-level, with price and specifications to match, aimed to complement the higher-end Paxette line. Two Gloriette models were made, 1954 with a center viewer, and 1958 with an offset viewer. The latter was a Gloriette B without the light meter lens. There is a reference to a 1956 rangefinder model, the Gloriette Super, but I haven’t seen any or found any reference to it; might be a misidentification.
The camera does not have much to offer. Armed with the usual 2.8/45 lens and meagre speeds offering, it has the bare minimum expected. The Pronto and Prontor SVS models have a self-timer added. The model you’ll likely see is the early one with the center viewer.
At first glance, the Gloriette B looks almost identical, as it shares most features. A bold light meter lens and calculation dial are on top of the body. It is much heavier than the basic model; I am unsure what contributes to it. The high-end shutter of the Gloriette is now the standard option, with more speeds in between the B and the 300. The lens is the same as the Gloriette. As it is perceived to be at a higher echelon and has a self-timer, marked V at the X/M synch lever. At the back, behind the meter dial, there is a hole with what seems to be a screw head. It could be a mark of something, no manual, so I cannot decipher.
On both models, as with other models of the time, to press the trigger, it needs the film to progress one frame. To fire without film, turn the cog on the film path til it clicks.
It’s not a great deal for the collector, but it’s available cheaply if you want one for the shelf.
|Value||At camdex.ca||At camdex.ca|
|AKA||Branette, Reporter Brown Gloriette|
|Initial price||Vero 75
|Weight||460 gr, Body with lens||570 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||480 gr, Body with lens|
|ASA range||12-100, memo only||4-160|
|Lens mount||Fixed lens|
|Shutter make||Vero, Pronto, Prontor-SVS||Prontor-SVS|
|Light meter||None||Selenium, external uncoupled|
|Speeds||B, 25-200||B, 1-300|
|Timer||On Pronto and Prontor-SVS models||Yes|
|Service / repair links||See camerlog.com|