Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Sida Extra – simple as they came in the 30’s

Sida Extra – simple as they came in the 30’s

The SIDA camera first appeared in or around 1935, manufactured by Sida GmbH, Berlin Germany. It was an all metal (cast) simple viewfinder camera, and I mean very simple. The film used was a 35mm film, with a paper back, as sold by Sida company for this camera, and marked with this name.

This model here is a subsequent one, Sida Extra, and it would appear to be an almost exact copy of the metal bodied one. It is made from bakelite, with a pleasant enough colour. The name Extra is visible on the front of the camera. Some parts are metal, but not much; the camera looks sturdy enough and it survived really well.

A simple meniscus lens, marked Sida-Optik, 1:8 in a 35mm focal, with only two shutter speeds, T and B. Being a simple meniscus, I do not expect this lens to be coated. Release of the shutter is made by operating a small metal lever or tab, which is positioned within the lens housing. It shot a 24×24 frame format on (as said) paper-backed 35mm film, spooled and packaged/sold by the producing company, Sida.

Mind, there are some divergent opinions on the film format: some say it was plain 35mm film, respooled by Sida, others maintain the film had a slightly different width, proprietary to Sida manufacturer. No idea what the reality is, never loaded or shot such film.

As can be seen, the red window is long gone, but as all hell breaks loose when you shake this thing, I suspect it could be inside, fallen off a long time ago, together with God knows what else.

Do note that I do not own this camera; it belongs to a friend of mine, an old collector. The condition of this bakelite Sida Extra camera is not good, parts are rattling inside and it’s missing a couple of parts. The dust on it speaks about being relegated to the back of the shelves in his (small) warehouse.

A simple viewfinder is present on the top plate. Focusing is by guesstimating the distance, of course.

Loading the film is simple, as is this camera: a pin on the side of the camera is pushed and the back detaches in one piece. Film is loaded and it is transported by the manual winder from right to left.

What else? Basically that’s it, given this camera is very basic. A nice object from the yore days.