Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Orizont Amator-D

Orizont Amator-D

Produced in Romania, around 1980, not certain though about the period of manufacturing. As with other models of this Orizont series, the Orizont Amator-D was built by the Romanian Optics Industry factory in Bucharest. The Romanian state owned company acquired a license to build these cameras from the King company (Bad Liebenzell) in Germany. It would be safe to assume that this model of camera is identical to the PICCA C, the simplest camera produced by the King company in the early 70s. The Orizont Amator camera (reviewed here) is a perfect copy of the Revue 300C, produced by the German company aforementioned.

Quoting from the Wiki-knows-all: “This camera was also licensed to be made by the IOR camera company in Romania, even until 1989 after King itself had ceased trading. Foto-Quelle sold the complete series Picca C, CB, CLK and Picca-mat as Revue 100 C, 200 C, 300 C and 400 C”.

Basic camera, 35mm format, all-plastic (almost), completely mechanical, the Orizont Amator-D sported a viewfinder bright enough, with closeup frame lines visible in the simple plastic prism. No information whatsoever in the viewfinder. Film advance via a aluminium lever, with a brittle and prone to fail mechanism of winding the film.

This Orizont Amator-D camera has no metering system, the window which appears to be a metering one is fake. This model is almost identical with the previous one, Orizont Amator; the difference is that the D model has a self timer, under the lens housing. No idea how effective was this device, I have never used this camera here.

This is a distance focusing camera; lens is a Romanian-produced FOTOCLAR 300, of 40mm/2.8, single coated (I guess). A double scale for distance focusing, both in feet and meters. Aperture and shutter are interlocked, and are set by means of 4 pictograms, with a combination of minimum 2.8 to a max of 16, shutter speeds set accordingly from 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300.

A flash shoe is set on the top plate, together with the release button and a threaded port for a release cable. Also, the rewind crank is to be found on the same top plate, left side.

A really solid latch mechanism is operating the back door, and a frame counter can be found on the right side of the aluminium film advance lever. Not a bad placement of the camera features, just very basic.

As said, this camera (and the entire Orizont / Picca series) were not appreciated by the populace; they were prone to defects upon loading the first film, materials of sub-standard quality and manufacturing quality control was applied bad to the job of controlling the quality of the final product. At the time of this camera release to public market, there were a multitude of Western=made models superseding it. Not to mention that the Romanian market was flooded with Soviet-made cameras, many of them of much better quality than this camera series.

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