© 2013 Oscar Cintronmarina
BEER
DUCKS
© 2013 Oscar Cintronmarina
BEER
DUCKS
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The Wittnauer Automaton “Electric-Eye,” is a rebrand of the Braun Paxette Electromatic I.  Except for the icons on the upper right corner and the names on the tops of the cameras they are identical. It has a 40mm lens and is simply a heavy-duty point-and-shoot camera with a built-in meter.  This green light, according to the manual, appears to the far upper right corner outside the viewing area and looks like a small traffic- light circle.  In truth, it resembles a large vertical rectangle when it is exposed to a lot of light and a sliver, slit or vertical line when the light is weak.  Hence it expands from left to right depending on the light.  I’ve never experienced a green light in a circle as mentioned in the manual.  There is an exception. There’s an older version of the camera that you don’t want unless it’s for collecting purposes or because it’s just the way you received it.   This version has the green light indicator right smack in the middle of the viewfinder.  It looks like an upside-down silhouetted Indian club, bowling pin or just like the uvula at the back of your throat.  It’s  very annoying because of the in-your-face location.  This one lights up into a green circle and it blocks out the middle of your picture.  Whoever thought-up that grand idea must have been dirty-drunk in muck.  He should never have been allowed to work that day. The viewfinder is one of the most generous I have ever come across in my 35mm camera adventures.  It is extremely large and very clear.  It’s
one of the reasons you’ll enjoy shooting with it.  The other reason is that if you don’t want to play with f/stops, shutter speeds, just want to enjoy a pleasant day shooting without mental anguish, and you don’t mind shooting with a cool-chromed mini-tank, then this is the camera for you.  Yes, there’s probably a plethora of cameras out there that can do that for you; but, not many of them are built like this mini-rhino, or have the over-the-top blinding chrome of the Auto- maton—do they?  So, if you want to blind onlookers or want the feel of a knight in shining armor...get the Automaton.  It’s a dinky dreadnaught that takes good pictures as long as the green light shows up in the upper right hand corner and if you’re unlucky, in the middle of the viewfinder. Besides the location of the light meter’s green light, the Automaton was made with two different types of lenses.  The more common one is the Katagon and the other one is the Ennagon.  I say that the Katagon is the more common based on experience; every single time I get one, it’s mainly a Katagon lens stamped on the lens.  One thing, it appears that the Ennagon was the lens of choice  in the later models based on the serial numbers.  Of course, this is just a guess. It comes with nice sturdy hard case too.  The cases differ as well depending on the lens type.  If it’s a Katagon you’ll get the cheaper looking case.  It’s  got a leather bottom but the top is mainly hard plastic except for the leather that frames the nose, and  the back leather for snapping it to the bottom
piece.  It comes with a leather strap too.  The screw at the bottom that holds the camera in place appears to be made of aluminum or an alloy-- anyway it looks silver. The Automaton with the Ennagon lens does have the plastic nose but it’s fully covered in leather and has the Wittnauer brand name stamped right on the nose for a more official look.  The bottom button is still metal but coated with brown plastic to make  a design statement; and, on the back of the bottom portion of the case is stamped “MADE IN GERMANY,” whereas the Katagon case is stamped “MADE IN WESTERN-GERMANY.” This one too has a leather strap.  Now,  this is the way I got my versions of the cameras and may vary from owner to owner. Several of the Wittnauer branded cameras came in kits.  But not like the kits of today.  How they dare to currently call them kits is beyond me.  During this epoch manufacturers knew how to make kits worthwhile.  I was fortunate enough, thank God, to  acquire one.  It came with a Katagon version of the camera and with the good green light indicator.  It also came with a flash and of course the manual, warranty card and as a bonus the original price tag.  So, feast your eyes on the Wittnauer Automaton Camera Flash Kit of the past—when kits were kits.
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