Chris's camera pages

Braun Paxette Super IIL and IIBL 35mm rangefinder camera

Braun Paxette Super IIL and IIBL 
35mm rangefinder cameras

Manufactured around 1959, these well-specified 35mm rangefinder cameras were two of Braun's top-of-the-line cameras, and are rightly regarded as classics.

The interchangeable lenses are mounted in front of the Prontor SVS leaf-blade shutter using an M39 Leica thread. Leica cameras have a much shallower lens mount-to-film distance than the Paxette though, so you can't just swap the lenses from one brand to the other.

A range of lenses were available for these cameras, running from 35mm to 200mm in focal length.

The built-in rangefinder is coupled for all lenses except the 200mm lens, and the viewfinder has framelines for 50mm, 85mm and 135mm lenses. The instruction manual suggests the complete visible field in the finder shows the correct view for 35mm lens.

These cameras were fitted with Prontor SVS shutters, one with speeds running from 1 to 1/300 seconds in the case of the IIL model, and one with speeds from 1 to 1/500 second on the IIBL. The shutters on both cameras have X and M flash synchronisation, and both have a built-in self-timer.

The shutter release is a large knurled button on a lever, at the right-hand side of the shutter body.

The film advance is by lever on the top-right of the top cover. Two complete strokes are required to cock the shutter and advance the film to the next frame.

Unusually, there is also a lever to rewind the film. The rewind lever is at the base of the top cover at the left-hand end. The rewind button, which must be held depressed throughout the entire rewinding process, is the small button on the top of the top cover, on the right, towards the rear.
Braun Paxette Super IIL 35mm rangefinder 
camera

Paxette Super IIL

This example still has it's chrome trim around the viewfinder and rangefinder window frame at the front of the top cover. This so often missing that I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over it if your camera just shows the black plastic frame instead.

This one is shown fitted with a Steinheil Cassarit 50mm f/2.8 standard lens.

Also available were these choices of standard lens.

  • Schneider Xenar 50mm f/2.8
  • Roeschlein Luxon 50mm f/2.0
  • Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8
  • Steinheil Quinon 50mm f/2.0

Braun Paxette Super IIL 35mm rangefinder 
camera

Paxette Super IIBL

This one is fitted instead with a Staeble Braun-Katagon 50mm f/2.8 standard lens. Other choices include the Cassarit as fitted to my Super IIL and those lenses listed above.

In addition to the extra shutter speed, the Super IIBL also had a very useful built-in uncoupled Bewi exposure meter. The meter movement is at the left hand-end of the top cover, with the selenium cell on the front of the camera in the area surrounding the round rangefinder window.

Braun Paxette lenses

Paxette accessory lenses

Here are two lenses I have for these cameras, the wide-angle is a Staeble_Lineogon 35mm f/3.5, and the telephoto lens is a 135mm f/3.5 Enna Tele-Ennalyt

A listing of accessory lenses for the Super Paxette taken from the Super IIL instruction book.

Wide-angle

  • Enna-Werk Lithagon 35mm f/3.5 (four elements)
  • Isco Westron 35mm f/3.5 (four elements)
  • Staeble Lineogon 35mm f/3.5 (four elements)
  • Staeble Choro 38mm f/3.5 (three elements)

Long Focus

  • Staeble Telexon 85mm f/5.6 (four elements)
  • Enna-Werk Ennalyt 135mm f/3.5 (five elements)
  • Steinheil Tele-Quinar 135mm f/3.5 (five elements)
  • Enna-Werk Tele-Ennalyt 200mm f/4.5 (seven elements)

Here is a link to a copy of the Paxette Super IIBL instruction manual on Mike Butkus' excellent website.

Get your Paxette repaired

A brief history of the early Paxettes

Back to Camera List