The Foth Derby is one of the landmark 127 cameras. Originally introduced in Germany, in 1930 it featured a focal plane shutter, allowing shutter speeds of up to 1/500th of a second. The focal plane shutter was of course to go on to form the heart of the Exacta, and from there it's a very small step to even the most modern digital SLR cameras. However back in 1930 (and the revised model of 1931), the Foth Derby was a half from, with collapsable bellows, making this a very compact camera.

The camera was sold with a range of lenses including a Zeiss Tessar - this one features the Foth Anastigmat with a rather impressive 2.5 aperture and would have cost 8 pounds 10 shillings in 1939. The apperture markings on the lens predate the standard steps we use today, and are listed as 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5 and 18.

Sadly this paricular example is suffering from some damage to the curtains, rendering it currently inoperable. It's also lost the part of the self timer mechanism operated by a small lever on the top of the camera. It's a real shame, as these are really sweet cameras.

After WW2 manufacture and development of the Derby continued in France under the Gallus Brand.

Back to Cameras