Wirgin Edina / Edixa
In the 1950s, camera makers turned towards the up-and-coming amateur user base, hobbyists who wanted a simple-to-use camera at a matching low cost. The manufacturers responded with cookie-cutter models, cheaply made, with no soul.
At Wirgin, the famed Edinex line was long in the tooth, and the outstanding SLR model line was still on the drawing board. As a fill gap, so the Edina was born. A simple, no-frills model, modest shutter and lens, mighty four speeds to select from, B included. It did subscribe to the 35mm cartridges pushed by Kodak, where Kodak kept a close eye on the evolving models. In Kodak’s book, the Edina moniker was too close to the Retina name, although the allegedly competing camera models had nothing in common. Being a macaque, you don’t argue with the 200-pound gorilla, especially when the head gorilla has a stuffed elephant head above his living room door. So Wirgin obliged and renamed it Edixa.
The Edina / Edixa cameras came in two flavours; the base model, often called Edina I, was a viewfinder, and the same body with a rangefinder viewer was the elusive Edina II or the Edixa II. Other than that, both models were the same. The naming convention was fluid, with the brand and model names alternating between the top and the front.
The Edixa name adorned some 150 camera models, from designs similar to the early models to compact SLRs, pocket cameras, Stereo, and sub-mini models, and at the end of the name’s run, point and shoot that had nothing to do with the Wirgin legacy of excellence.
The Edina / Edixa cameras came with various lens and shutter combinations. Lenses were creative, with 40, 43, and 45mm focal lengths. Prices were to match, where I see suggested prices ranging from DM 69 to 165, which is unrealistic. Perhaps the higher prices were the rangefinder models coupled with advanced shutter, which is unclear in the records. The camera was also sold under distributors’ rebrands, including Foto Quelle and Obergassner, a confusing label whose cameras never show up for sale.
At first glance, the Edina and Edixa on my desk are similar. The rewind knob differs, with a fold-up grab handle on the Edina, discontinued in the Edixa. The lens assembly differs, with the earlier Edina having easier-to-use dials.
Good to know
- The film counter is modestly set at a nano-size window at the viewer’s right. To set it, use a coin to turn the screw head on top.
- That motif follows with the shutter speed display, which is Tiny and challenging to read.
- To rewind, pull up the rewind knob. It is spring-loaded so it will drop back once released.
- To allow rewind, slide left a tiny knob by the winder.
- The shutter will not fire without a loaded roll. To fire without a roll, turn the cog on the film path until it clicks.
The specifications below are for the units I have. As mentioned, the shutter and lens combinations vastly varied. These cameras are unimportant for the collector, and their prices copy that. It is a safe pass.
|Model||Edina I||Edixa I|
|AKA||Edixa I||Edina I|
|Weight||430 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||470 gr, Body with lens|
|Lens mount||Fixed lens|
|Speeds||B, 25, 50, 200|
|Service / repair links||See camerlog.com|
Vintage Camera Lab
Edixa images, show only different features