Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Orizont Amator

Orizont Amator

A simple camera, made in Romania, under license from a German company, King (Bad Liebenzell). So, as much would like Romanian optics industry to claim this camera as a Romanian one, it cannot, not fully. It was a camera designed and owned by a German company, the IOR only produced it under license. Completely mechanical, it does not require batteries to function.

It would be safe to assume that this model of camera is identical to the PICCA C, the simplest camera produced by the Kng company in the early 70s. 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”.

Featuring a fixed lens of f=40mm / 1: 2.8, FotoClar 300, in a 3-element uncoated, with a min focusing distance of 1 metre, shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/300, with a B (bulb) extra. The firing button had a threaded port for a release cable. The camera sports a fake meter, behind the bubbled window there is nothing.

Advancing the film is by means of a advance lever, aluminium (reinforced), and a frame counter can be seen right above the advancing lever, at the end of the camera. Focusing is by zone, and distance can be set in both in imperial and metric distance measurement.

Simple viewfinder, bubble type, with no parallax correction. A hot shoe can be used for flash photography. Long exposures can be achieved only by employing the use of a release cable, mounted onto the top plate, near the release button of the camera. Rewinding is by hand, cranking the film back in the cassette.

A few other details regarding the Orizont-series camera, produced in Romania and based on the same main model, can be found here:


These cameras were exceedingly prone to failure of the internal winding gear, made from brittle plastics. Many of those surviving are broken, with the usual numbers of surviving in good condition. Collectible? There is a rather minute demand for these, and the collector’s niche is almost non-existing. Being a copy of a less known camera to start with, manufactured under license in a communist country not known for its quality control does not help either. That said, I have one, and probably I would get another if occasion appears.