OddCameras.com                          Musashino Rittreck / Optika IIA

 Musashino Kōki made the Rittreck cameras from 1955 onwards. It closed its doors in 1972 and resurrected the same year as Wista, which still makes field and technical cameras.

The Rittreck IIA is a 6×9cm SLR without a revolving back, launched in 1955 by Musashino Kōki. The Optika IIA was a  brand name of the Rittreck IIA, sold by Seymour's, a distributor based in New York. It is one of the very few 6x9cm SLR cameras ever built.

The standard lens is the Luminant 105mm f/3.5. The "wide" lens was only slightly wider, 92mm, RetroFocus lenses allowing wide angle lenses in SLR cameras were not yet available. There were longer lenses up to 400mm and extension tubes.

Most cameras have a single shutter speed dial with either 1/400s or 1/500s as the top speed and 1/20 as lowest, but some models have a separate dial for slower speeds.

Besides backs for cut film and film packs there are 3 types of rollfilm holders.

Type I holder has no removable insert and no automatic stop. It allows 3 formats (with masks for the smaller formats): 10 pictures 6x7cm, 12 pictures 6x6cm or 15 pictures 4.5x6cm per roll of 120 film. It has 3 film counters on the top of the holder, one for each format. Film advancing is made by turning a knob and watching the corresponding counter window.

Type II holder has a removable insert and room for storing 2 spare film rolls. It gives 8 pictures 6x9cm per 120 roll. It has an automatic stop. You have to push a lever to allow moving to the next frame.

The type III holders are single format holders for the smaller formats, 6x7cm, 6x6cm and 4.5x6cm. All 3 have an automatic stop. Like the type II, there is a small lever that to be pushed to advance to the next photo.

The Rittreck roll film holders have one major inconvenience: the exposed 120 film is wound with the backing paper on the inside of the spool and the light sensitive film side on the outside. So there is no information about the type of film visible from the outside of an exposed roll of film. Keep this in mind.

The 6x9cm focusing screen is a bright, high quality screen with a Fresnel lens and has frame-lines for 6x7cm, 6x6cm and 4.5x6cm formats. The camera seems to be on the heavy side, with lens and holder it weighs about 2.3 Kg. Seen the format, that's not so much. A Mamiya Universal with lens, grip and back weighs as much, isn't that compact and isn't a SLR. A 6x7 Mamiya RB67 weighs more.

My camera is battered and the shutter needs service. But it was so cheap that I could not resist.

Some photos:

This camera lacks the flap that usually covers the font.

Camera with standard lens. Aperture setting on the lens. A ring on the lens can be turned to open aperture for focussing and has to be moved back to the preset aperture before taking a picture. Shutter relase on the right edge.

Right side. Flash sync switch and strap lug. Advance and shutter cocking via the big knob, moves counter-clockwise. Little lever to block shutter release.

Back view. Sheet holder mounted.

Left side. Speed setting. To change speeds, you have to pull the knob away from the body and then turn to the desired speed. Another strap lug. Flash socket. Accessory holder. Tripod socket for portrait format. Distance setting.

Seen from above.

Camera bottom. Tripod socket.

Film holder taken off. Do not touch the shutter cloth. The mount is standard, holders from old 6x9 folding cameras fit as well as old roll film holders.

Lens taken off. It's held by 2 sliders. Do not touch the mirror.

Focussed to infinity.

Closest focus, less than 2.5 feet, about 70cm.

Camera and standard folding viewer. There was a reflex viewer available.

Ground glass with Fresnel spot and lines for all formats.

A foldable loupe is provided.

If ypu lift the loupe, there is a gate that opens the lens of the sports finder. You have to peep through the little hole visible at the bottom of the photo. Lines for 6x6 format are present.

The camera is easy to handle. The screen is very bright. If you are into 6x9 landscapes, it's a must-have. There are 6x9 folders, but their rangefinders are not that reliable. 6x9 backs for large format rangefinder cameras have the same problem and large format view cameras with ground glass focussing are very slow. Both are bigger and weigh more. So this camera fine for its purpose, even today. With a 6x9 and a multi-format holder you have a good choice of formats. It's compact and very sturdy. Anothe nice find.