I’ve stumbled over this camera, an AkArelle I from the mid 1950s, whilst looking for spare-parts of my Arette BN. Little did I know about the German company AkA Apparate und Kamerabau Gmbh which has been founded in 1946 by the brothers Dr. Eugen Armbruster and Dr. Max Armbruster, starting manufacture in a disused hotel in Wildbach, a town in the Black Forest.
Over time, the company grew considerably and eventually settled down in a former preschool for aviation technics at the beautiful Lake Constance, producing my little camera. If you are interested in the history of AkA as well as all the series and models which have been produced, I kindly invite you to visit Martin Kohler’s website.
The AkArelle has a very pleasant and smooth form. The upper, lower and front parts are chrome-plated, unfortunately, the front-cover easily wears off over time, hence you will see the brass shining through. Nonetheless, my sample is overall in a good shape and after CLA, working as expected.
When it comes the camera’s specialities, it is the support for interchangeable lenses, back-wards compatible with AkaRette, the (uncoupled) viewfinder with bright frames, indicating the focal lengths for 50/75/90mm and the combined film advance and shutter cocking feature – something that not that usual back in those times.
The CLA was rather straight forward, with the Prontor SVS shutter being accessible from front and the relevant mechanics being easily accessible by removing 4 screws exposed behind the chrome-plated front elements. Unfortunately, I could not completely CLA the film advance mechanism as there was a screw I did not manage to remove and I did not want to ruin anything. However, I’ve managed to take off the old and sticky grease. Top and bottom covers are held by screws with the top cover requiring to remove rewind knob and film advance lever. Not special tools are required 🙂
See my journey in pictures below and as usual, reach out to me on FB or through the comments section on this page, should you have some questions on the CLA process.