Wilca Kamerabau, West Germany manufactured a limited number of Wilca Automatic cameras between 1960 and 1961 and introduced for sale in 1963. It is reported that less than 200 where made but they turn up frequently for sale (Serial numbers run from at least 600044 to 600204). The camera was designed by Swede Dr Erik Wilkenson.
It has a built in Metrawatt selenium light meter set both shutter (1/25-1/250 s) and aperture (f2-22) automatically. The cassettes are notched, a feature that was later seen in Agfa Rapid, 110 and eventually led to DX coding. The fixed focus Wilcalux Filtra f2 16mm lens has six elements and a permanently attached UV filter and sharp 1 metre to infinity.. Recessed into the body of the camera so a hood is not necessary. This gives a very wide angle for a 16mm subminiature. The Prontor shutter is fitted behind the lens.
The special metal cassette is for 24 exposures of 10x14mm on 16mm film.
Other Features include film advance by a lever, electronic flash synchronization, automatic frame counter re-setting and double exposure prevention.
The failure of the camera may have been because it is chunky (4 3/8" x 2 3/4" x 1 5/8", less than 16ozs), unnecessarily large using only a narrow band inside the camera where the film is transported. It was also launched in the same year that the Olympus Pen F which had the advantage of using 35mm cartridges and having a large range of accessories.
Expect to pay up to 1600EUR for a sample. Ebay has seen on offer 600112 (repeatedly times) and 600167
600202 sold for 566EUR on 2005/01/08, 600191 for 725EUR on 2005/06/27, 600160 for 4100SEK (675USD) on 2008/06/15
Ebay 2006/08/09 366USD (small ding, light meter not working), 2006/12/30 592.87EUR, 2007/01/27 838.88USD, 2007/06/03 680EUR
Last updated 15th July 2008