Adox Golf 63 (1952-1958)
This 6x6 German rolfilm camera is a good exemplar of numerous brands of similar folding cameras during the fifties. This one is a basic version without the rangefinder.
I have always admired the accurate function of the folding mechanism in these old German cameras and Adox is not an exception. A common aspect to most of them is a rather simple and cumbersome "squinty" viewfinder, actually a small hole through the top plate with a glass on each end. Obviously the finder wasn't yet much of an importance during the fifties. If you could see through it enough to satisfyingly frame a picture, that was OK. Anyway, it is in most cases much better than those "bright finders" in the box cameras. So, lets give a Bill Askey style rating "recommended" to Adox Golf.
Adoxar 1:6,3 / 75mm lens and a Vario shutter 1/25-1/200, takes care of the exposure. Very useful feature is a double exposure prevention with an indicator. A small hole between the shutter release and a rewind knob signs red, when the new frame is ready for an exposure. Adox Golf is as rigid and well finished as any of contemporary German folding camera. Camera is manufactured by Adox Kamerawerke in Wiesbaden.
|The roots of the factory goes back to early twenties. In the year 1920 two brothers Henry (Heinrich) and Josef Wirgin in Wiesbaden established a company for the production and importing of cameras. Henry Wirgin was at this time 23 years old. Thus being a businessman he had also a knowledge and skills in precision mechanics. His younger brother Joseph was the technician. Two other brothers joined later the group. Max studied chemistry, defended a doctoral thesis and took care of the export business. The youngest, Wolf, was responsible for the financial sector.
The first Wiesbaden cameras were large format plate cameras and they bear the names like Gewir, Metadux, and Alwe Philos.
In the late twenties the time of the plate cameras was coming to its end and the future belonged to the smaller and lighter roll film cameras. Such as folding 6x9 cm and 6x4 cm roll film cameras and soon followed by even smaller 24 x 36 format Gewirette and Edinex. In 1938 Adox (Fotowerke Dr. C. Schleussner GmbH) took over the camera factory of Wirgin because the Wirgin brothers had to leave Germany to escape from persecution by the German regime of that time.
After the war Henry Wirgin returned from exile and bought it back. The company recovered quickly and 1955 begun the manufacturing of Edixa Reflex.The first West German-made 24x36mm reflex camera with interchangeable lenses, interchangeable viewfinder and focal plane shutter to 1 / 1000 second. Edixa Reflex was quite a success, the company was expanding and soon it had about 300 employees. In the mid-60s came the Japanese competitors in the market and oust the German camera producers more and more of the world market. After the bankrupt in 1968, Photokina 1970 was the last occasion were the works of the of the Wirgin technicians was on the display. The TL Edixa Electronica, one of the first electronic cameras ever, but this was too late, because the market was now dominated by the Japanese and GDR manufacturers.
|Source of information: Richard Rudolph's summation of the history of the
Kamerawerk Gebr. Wirgin, and on a series of Günther Kadlubek in the
magazine Photo Deal " Wirgin-Edixa - a German history ".
Adox was one of the a major photographic film and paper manufacturer prior to the 1970’s. The only folders made by Adox are Adox Sport (6x9) and the Adox Golf.
The brand name ADOX is not dead. You can visit at: ADOX FOTOIMPEX and just like in a TV Shop, this is not all. A small Croatian film maker EFKE is producing quality B&W films using the old ADOX formulas, that were first introduced in the 1950s. There is a ADOX in Canada and in Holland and in, ...or is it...uh... use Google..
Wirgin brothers in Wiesbaden founded a camera factory which was later sold to Dr. Schleussner (Adox). The ADOX, Dr. Schleussner Fotowerke was the first photochemical factory in the world. After two WWs, in 1962 the company was sold to Du Pont Company, USA.
Names like Edixa and Franka belonged to that history too. Just like many other European camera manufacturer they had to close down in early seventies because of a hard competition with Japanese producers.