Super Paxette

  • Type: Super Paxette (II?)
  • Serial No: 267828
  • Manufactured: 1953-58
  • Manufacturer: Carl Braun Camerawerk
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS metal leaf shutter
  • Shutter speeds: B, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/300
  • Lens: Steinheil München - Cassarit 1:2.8 f=45mm
  • Aperture: 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16
  • Lens Serial No: 1573545
  • Lens is not interchangeable
  • Last CLA: 08/2011

This camera is a gem. You can tell it at first sight. The Carl Braun Camerawerk created an outstanding design. (This Braun has nothing to do with the one making hair dryers of course.) It looks beautiful and unique with a very high quality finish. In fact, the whole camera feels to be the highest quality. Every knob and ring works smoothly and firmly. It's like a Voigtlander. Lovely.

Braun Super Paxette II

Braun Super Paxette II

The camera is small and heavy. I mean really small and really heavy. The whole body is barely larger than two 135 film cartridges and the 36x24 mm frame. It has been specially designed to be as compact as possible.

The handling is comfortable but needs some practice; everything is so small. The wind lever is almost a knob and it has to be stroken 2 times to forward the film and to cock the shutter. One could say that it was stuck in an earlier stage of the wind lever evolution but it's easy to get to like it after using it for a while. Unique solution for a unique camera.

Braun Super Paxette II

Braun Super Paxette II

Shutter speeds up to 1/300 and an f/16 aperture requires a 100 ASA film in sunshine. The coupled rangefinder is easy to use, however the viewfinder is a bit narrow and dark. Not recommended for night photography. Otherwise it's a real joy to use it. It's a small precision equipment.

Film loading is a special experience revealing more of the distinctive character of the camera. Just take a look at the pictures.

Braun Super Paxette II

Braun Super Paxette II

Braun Super Paxette II

Almost everything is adorable on this little machinery except one thing: the lens. This Cassarit performs poorly. It has astonishingly low resolution. It cannot handle strong light. Almost every photo looks like to be overexposed but in fact they are not. Whites burn out immediately and leave a white golve around. The samples above were the best of more than 90 shots but still needed to be strongly enhanced digitally, especially in contrast.

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I enjoyed using the Super Paxette very much but getting the film back from the lab was a shock. The photos were unusable. The best thing can be told was that they were so vintage-looking. But if you compare it to other lenses of that age, this performance is simply miserable. However enjoyable and charming little construction it is, I ended up not liking this camera. I would love it with a Tessar or a Trioplan. What a pity.

10 comments:

  1. I thought the lens is interchangeable for this camera?

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  2. Mee to. But this model has a built in lens. I know it for sure because I dismantled it.

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  3. "Dismantle"...??? You can simply grab the lens and unscrew it. I have the same camera, so speak from experience.

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  4. You can only unscrew it if you break a small metal stick inside. Believe me, I did it. And I dismantled the whole front to be able to put it back. I know that this camera type should have an interchangeable lens but this one has a built-in lens. That is for sure.

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  5. I have this lovely paxette, it's mechanically compatible to the Leica M39 screw mount, but the flange focal distance differs, because the leaf shutter needs more space than a focal plane shutter, so the Paxette lenses are not interchangeable with the Leica lenses. Mine has the Xenar Shneider Kreuznach 50mm 2.8 and I can confirm that it's very sharp indeed.

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  6. I envy you for that. Tis camera is so special, I'd love one with a good lens and a Xenar is definitely that. Unfortunately, mine has a built-in lens, not an interchangeable one so I have to find an other camera not just a lens.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. I have a stunning one that is on for sale also with a Xenar lens. Contact me if you would like to see some photos. e.faro@mail.com :-)

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  9. After replacing the Cassarit with a Tessar there is a massive improvement in the quality. I was always disappointed with the Cassarit way back in 1957. Sold the Super Paxette and bought an Asahi Pentax S1 - amazing difference.

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  10. Thanks for the comment, Tom.

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