Rectaflex – 79/99

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Italy 1954 – Compact – 35 mm – Rare.

The Rectaflex is a 35mm SLR camera developed in Italy by the eponymous company. It was presented for the first time at the Milan fair in april 1948.

It was the world’s first SLR equipped with a solid Pentaprism that allowed a vertically corrected view. The Contax S and the Alpa Reflex will implement similar prisms a bit later and Pentax will make its branding around it.

The Rectaflex is an incredibly well built camera, solid and comfortable to use. The 25000 series (shown here) was produced from December 1952 and offered a modified shutter to 1/1300, making it the fastest shutter at the time. About 7000 units of this series were made.

It was a very successful camera across the world, especially because of the company’s smart choice of distributors and communication. It was available across Europe and Americas but also in Australia and New Zealand. 

Ironically, this advertising driven success was the main cause of the company’s bankruptcy in 1955 for not being able to follow the demand, leaving space for more agile competitors. The Rectaflex remains an incredible and very sought-after collectible today. 

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