Dr Wohler Favor
Online research for most camera brands yields endless pages, where only a few are original; most are just advert vessels with copy-and-paste data. When this fails, there are numerous printed sources with coherent information. The data derived here is agreeable with the rest, so one can mine helpful information.
That is not the case here. I am looking at the Favor by Dr. Wohler, and all I get online is enough Dr. Wohlers to staff a hospital. The camera is scantily mentioned online, and the printed guides carry different information or, better still, different views. At least they did not copy from each other.
All agree that Dr. Wohler had a post-war factory in the Saar Valley, an area now in Germany, and had changed hands after WWI and was in the French-occupied zone after WWII. The factory produced Leica If and IIIa models, marked Monte en Saar, for sale in France and its colonies, assuming that, at that time, the colonies had the resources and the mood for Leica cameras. The factory is estimated to produce about 500 cameras, selling today at three times over the regular Leica models. Further, it is agreed by all that the factory also made the Favor models, which had a reputation for well-made, if expensive, cameras.
Dr. Wohler’s factory made Leica cameras till 1955, when the Saar was back in German hands. As such, there was no justification for the “French” made Leicas. The Favor cameras continued for three more years till production halted. Dr. Wohler’s company still exists, making minor optical equipment, such as loupes, binoculars, and scopes.
Here, the unity of opinion ends. Some guides mention it in a catch-all one-line. Some ignore it altogether, and where it is mentioned, each guide uses its own naming convention.
From what I see, I believe that Dr. Wohler made two models. However, as with other camera makers, they used a lens and shutter assortment, which could have been catalogued as different models. Further, there were three distinct markings on the bodies: some models were marked “Dr. Wohler Kassel” and “Dr. Wohler Saar”, and some just “Dr. Wohler”. In France, the second model was sold under Favor Auto.
The first model, named Favor or Favor I, used a knob winder, a serrated trigger lock slider, a frame counter on top, and a cold shoe on the right.
The second model, named either Favor II or Favor III, had a lever winder, and had done away with the lock; the shoe is on the left, with the frame counter embedded in the winder.
There were some models with a different synch lever housing.
The camera is compact, heavy, and exudes a solid feeling. The body is nicely finished. It has a teutonic appearance, all angles, not a curve, much like the Montana of the same crop.
Like other cameras of that time, the fastest is 300, although models equipped with Compur R shutter go up to 500. As advertised in the ad below, the aperture and shutter dials lock together to retain the desired EV, marked in read on the lens barrel. The cocking lever also turns the film guide cogs, which is a nice touch. To open the back, turn the knurled thumb button at the bottom to A’ for Auf – open; the back slides away. To lock, turn it to ‘Z’ for Zu – close.
The camera is a true collector’s item, a high-quality model available now for less than comparable makes of that period.
|Value at camdex.ca||Early Favor
|Weight||420 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||440 gr, Body with lens|
|ASA range||12-160, memo only.|
|Kit lens||Color Docar 2.8/45
|Lens mount||Fixed lens|
|Shutter make||Prontor SVS
|Service / repair links||See camerlog.com|
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