King Regula Cita

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King Regula Cita

King Regula made cameras under different name legacies. The early line was the Regula, with later sub-lines like Sprint / Sprinty / Sprintic, Regulette, Picca, Olymatic / Olympia, and Cita. The Cita was meant to be a higher-class camera and priced as such. Kerkmann praises the Cita quality, but the only tangible reference is to the surface plating ‘hard as diamond’. I cannot see any noticeable difference between the Cita and an earlier Regula.

Apparently, there were three Cita models:

  • Cita or Cita I, marked just Cita, a rangefinder with an extinction meter between the viewers.
  • Cita II, also marked just Cita, is the same but without the meter.
  • Cita III, marked Cita III, is a more elaborate rangefinder with an added uncoupled Selenium light meter.

See the diagrams below or on the Regula family list page.

Everywhere, the Cita and a Cita III are shown, so I was looking for a camera marked Cita II, but there is no trace of it in print or online. I found what seems to be an early Cita in Kerkmann, p. 116, with the extinction meter window. The book refers to it as just Cita. Nevertheless, there is another Cita on the next page, made in the same year but without the meter. The Cita III is mentioned as well.

Oddly, there is no single image of the early three-windows Cita online, not even a mention. Kerkmann is a reliable source, so I deem it a short-run model, especially as both were made in the same year. Kadlubek mentions an early ‘Cita-o’, which could be a typo and meant to be ‘Cita-0’, but no image. McKeown shows a Regula rangefinder with an extinction meter under Regula IP-a.

As with most mid-century cameras, there are as many described versions as are publications. Hereafter, I refer to the three-windows model as Cita I and the two-windows as Cita II.

The Cita II was Regula Gipsy in the US, with a gold version sold as Citalux 300. The Cita III is the Regula IIIb with an added meter. The Regula IIId / IIId Automatic are similar-looking versions. They are the first Regulas with an interchangeable lens and the only ones in the Regula III variants.

The Cita II and III on my desk have little in common with each other and clearly belong to different generations. The Cita II has the early Regula body with a top borrowed from the Regula II. The back and inside are the same as the Regula. The lens barrel is very similar, with the Cita having a rotating lens base for focusing and an additional lever for synch setting and self-timer. The viewer window is as tiny as the early Regula models, making for a challenging patch match.

Regula Cita II

The Cita II winder just pulls the film to the next frame, with the shutter cocking via a cog at the film path. It will not fire without a roll inside; in which case it takes turning the cog manually to enable the shutter.

The top controls are the same as the earlier Regula models. The lens assembly has a large focusing dial with two finger rests at the base, and the scale is marked in meters. Next, on top of the barrel, is a smallish fin to set the F stops, and to its right is a slightly bigger lever that activates the self-timer on V and sets X/M for flash synch. The front dial sets the shutter speed, B, 1-300, heavy on slow speeds offering, to match the film sensitivity available at the time.

Regula Cita III

The Cita III is based on the Regula III models, having a redesigned body and more features and is heavier, with some efforts on modern styling. The same body was used with all the Regula III models, with different tops:

  • Regula Ia, a viewfinder
  • Regula Ib, a viewfinder with a meter
  • Regula IIIc, a rangefinder,
  • Regula IIId, a rangefinder with a meter = Cita III
  • Regula IIId Auto, a rangefinder with a meter, interchangeable lens
  • Regula IIIbk, a rangefinder with a meter, a different top arrangement

All Regula III were offered two or more lens options at varying prices. I don’t see matching price differences in the used market.

The Cita III was advanced to its generation, and like the rest of the early Regula models, it was a well-made camera intended to provide a quality product at a competitive cost.

The camera body is finished in a satin-like chrome, perhaps what Kerkmann meant in his note about hard as diamond finish. My camera is just shy of 70 years old, and there’s no blemish on the body or skin.

The top has a short throw cocking lever with an easy-to-set frame counter within it. The cold shoe has a neat spring to hold any accessory in place. Next are the light meter panes. The back is for the film speed, marked ASA and DIN, values selected with a thumb press, easy to set but challenging to read. The front pane shows the EV / LV values scale, marked red or white over black, with a needle hovering about it. The front meter lens is covered with a hinged lid, taking a brave fingernail to pop open. With bright light conditions, close the lid, and the meter reads through the hole punched in it. In dim light, open the lid. With a closed lid, refer to the LV values marked red; with an open lid, use the white values.

A pull-up rewind button at the top left and rewind is released by pressing the button at the bottom.

The viewfinder is large and easy to use, with a clear focusing patch but no parallax marks.

The lens assembly has a large focusing ring marked meters by the camera body. Two protruding tabs add to the finger grasp. The next ring carries the depth of field marked in red and a selector lever for X/N synch and V for self-timer. Next is the aperture setting dial, F values marked in black, followed by a long list of LV values in red. Use the latch on the ring’s left side to move the ring and change the setting. These values are to be set to conform with the meter reading values.

The shutter speed ring is in front of it, offering the typical selection of B, 2-300, leaving a guess as to what to set it against. The aperture and shutter rings can be locked together to retain the given LV. Press the latch on the aperture ring and set it as desired. It takes both hands to achieve that.

The shutter speed values are marked black. The green values by it cannot be set; they indicate how long the shutter will open when set to B, governed by the coupled aperture setting.

As with other classic Regula models, a large takeoff drum is easy to handle. Unlike early Regulas, here the lever cocks the shutter as well, so it can fire without film inside.

Camdex list number 3968 3967
Brand Regula Regula
Model Regula Cita III Regula Cita II two windows
Manual Butkus CJ’s 
Value Regula Cita III Regula Cita II
Format 35mm 35mm
Introduced 1956 1954
AKA Regula Gipsy, Hapo 36
Country Germany Germany
Qty made 2,000
Initial price 231 162
Currency DM DM
Type Rangefinder Rangefinder
Body material Metal Metal
Mode Manual Manual
Weight 625 gr,  Body with lens 440 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight 660 gr,  Body with lens 660 gr,  Body with lens
ASA range 12-650 Memo only
Kit lens 2,8/45
Lens make Cassar
Filter size 30mm slide on 30mm slide on
Lens mount Fixed lens Fixed lens
Mount size N/A N/A
Shutter Leaf Leaf
Shutter make Prontor SVS Prontor SVS
Light meter CdS, external uncoupled None
Winder Lever Lever
Lock No No
Speeds B, 1-300 B, 1-300
Mirror N/A N/A
Viewer Viewfinder Rangefinder
DOF preview No No
Exposure lock No No
Exposure compensation No No
Shoe Cold Cold
External sync X/M X/M
Sync speed
Timer Yes, mechanical Yes, mechanical
Battery, original N/A N/A
Battery, replacement N/A N/A
Battery voltage N/A N/A
Integral flash None None
Service / repair links See See


Regula Cita II vs USC 35 / Regula IP

Regula Cita III & Regula Cita II

Regula Cita II images

Regula Cita III images



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