Foitzik Foinix 35

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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.

List number 13135
Brand Foitzik
Model Foinix 35
Value At
Format 35mm
Introduced 1955
Country Germany
Qty made
Initial price
Type Viewfinder
Body material Metal
Weight 485 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight 450 gr,  Body with lens
ASA range 14-200, memo only
Kit lens 2.8/45
Lens make Foinar
Filter size 30mm
Lens mount Fixed lens
Mount size N/A
Shutter Leaf
Shutter make Prontor SVS
Light meter None
Winder Lever
Lock No
Speeds B, 1-300
Mirror N/A
Viewer Viewfinder
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Cold
External sync X/M
Sync speed 30
Timer Yes, mechanical
Battery, original N/A
Battery, replacement N/A
Battery voltage N/A
Integral flash None
Service / repair links See
More The camera site
CJ’s Classic cameras

Foitzik-Foinix 35

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