Established in 1946, the Dacora mainly made cheap cameras. In Europe, it sold under its name and made cameras for Porst, Ringfoto, Universa, Ferrania, Ilford, Lumier and others; in the US, it sold under its name. The company had changed hands several times, and the factory had moved to different cities until it closed in 1972.
Early models were box cameras, then a couple of klapp models, and a long list of viewfinder/rangefinder models. Oddly, the early box models are the only ones that attract buyers’ interest.
The Dignette name was used for a series of cameras from 1955 to 1970, with an alphabet soup of suffix letters. Some cameras were almost the same as the predecessors, some added features, but all stayed within the market low end.
The camera described here is the 1962- model, almost identical to the 1960, but with recessed top dials. Some models have a front-mounted drop-down trigger, and it was offered with two lens/shutter combinations. As a precursor of the selfy generation, the viewfinder, large and clear with parallax marks, has a mirror-like coating, a neat touch for that time. This Dignette model has a mock rangefinder window but lacks that feature. Perhaps it was added as a marketing idea.
The Dacora cameras have no historical or technical value for the collector. Few change hands, and no model is worth investing in it.
I have a Dignette and an Ilford Sportsman, identical twins; see below.
|Manual||Dignette / Sportsman user manual|
|Weight||500 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||480 gr, Body with lens|
|Lens make||Isco Color Subitar, Steinheil Cassar|
|Shutter make||Prontor 250, Vario|
|Speeds||B, 30-250, some models to 200.|
|Service / repair links||See camerlog.com|
|More||Lippisches Kamera Museum