Foitzik Foinix 35
The Rhineland in Germany is predominantly rural and known for its vineyards; that is where the Reisling originates. It was the most unlikely place for Karl Foitzik to move his camera plant from industrial Lubeck, seems as far as it could be. There is a parallel between this and Wohler’s plant, which was located just south of it in the Saar valley. While it is stated that Dr. Wohler had derived advantages from being in the post-war French-controlled zone through French customs benefits, nothing indicates the same for Foitzik.
Foitzik had begun making cameras in 1945 and moved to Trier in Western Germany in 1950. Production there lasted only eight years, joining a long list of such short-term startups in post-war Germany. His claim to fame was a short run of Leica-inspired model sold under the Unca (Unka?), Foica and Foizica names. Rare then and now, they fetch high prices when offered for sale.
The company made only a few models; most were 6×6 klapp style, sold under different names through local distributors and export markets. Foitzik acquired a small lens factory at one stage, but I assume that sales figures were too dull to sustain the main plant and the glass factory.
The camera presented here, The Foinix, was made alongside the klapp models and enjoyed little followers. Most mass-market models at the time were klapp style, so this camera, with no outstanding qualities, made by an obscure maker, did not sell much.
Two models of this camera were made, differing by top assembly and lens barrel design. I have not seen the other model, nor is there any online information about it, but it seems that other than style, the specs are similar. Further, I do not know in what order they were made. See the last image below.
As with other camera makers of the time, it was offered with various shutter and lens combinations.
The camera is not pretty, nor is it well made. It looks as if it was made in the local smithy’s backyard, with finishes to match. It lacks the panache of cameras made by the major brands. Simple to operate, as with compatible models of the time, it carries a modest lens and shutter speeds. Both dials are easy to access, with a tab on the aperture dial so the finger will not stray to the speed dial. Tiny viewer, with a red flag on the right that drops after firing to indicate that it is not cocked. The film pressure plate is hinged to the camera body, so the film will not be dragged with cover when closed. The self-timer is with the sybch lever, marked ‘V’. The bottom is different from other makes. It has two thread mounts, a ¼” and a 3/8″, and a cartwheel-size dial to open the back. It sits on a 3/8″ thread, a really unimportant detail but odd.
Foitzik’s cameras were made in a short period in short production runs, so they are rarely offered for sale. For the collector who looks into oddities, it is a welcome addition to the shelf.
|Weight||485 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||450 gr, Body with lens|
|ASA range||14-200, memo only|
|Lens mount||Fixed lens|
|Shutter make||Prontor SVS|
|Service / repair links||See camerlog.com|
|More||The camera site
CJ’s Classic cameras