Introduction and contents

The Boltavit camera was introduced in 1936. The firm was originally called Bolta-Werk, located in Numberg, Germany, but changed it's name in 1937 to Photavit-Werk and the camera from Boltavit to Photavit.


The 1936 Boltavit model is a small cast-metal camera for 24x24mm exposures on 35mm film on special 'Bolta' spools. The camera has black leather on the front panel. B, 25-100 shutter. The 'S' on the shutter face is for "shutter lock".

Doppel Objectiv f7.7 40mm lens,

Boltar f7.7 40mm

Friedrich Corygon Anastigmat f4.5 40mm

Meyer Trioplan f3.5 40mm

Early version has large outside hinges on both ends and black enamel finish.

Further variants exist in the shutter face style.

82.5 x 55 x 57 mm, 180g

Ebay 2003/10/06 233.50USD, 2005/01/31 113.61USD (case)

Boltavit II

Later version, in 1937,  has removable back with smooth ends, black enamelled or bright chrome plated, otherwise the same as the previous model.

Ebay 2003/01/21 29.88USD, 2004/07/11 29.99GBP (case) (black)

2004/02/07 21.51GBP, 2004/03/25 20USD (chrome)

Photavit (Bolta-size)

In 1937 a change of name of company the first Photavit takes Bolta sized roll film.

Standard model is black enamel.

Luxus model is chrome with black leather front panel.

Early version has "Photavit" decals applied over the Boltavit name on the shutter face and back plate.

Corygon-Anstigmat f4.5 4cm, Doppel-Objekiv f7.7 4cm, Trioplan f4.5 4cm and Trioplan f3.5 4cm in Photavit shutter B, 25-100, and Trioplan

Primotar f3.5 4cm and Trioplan f2.9 4cm in Prontor II shutter.

The 'S' on the shutter means "shutter lock".

Ebay 2004/11/23 115.83USD (early with decals), 2005/03/27 100.99USD (case, Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan f 3.5 4 cm lens)

 Rodenstock Trinar 3,5/40 in Pronto

Photavit (35mm) I

Models I, I, III used 35mm film for 24x24mm exposures on standard 35mm film but in special Photavit cartridges. The film is pulled into the take up cartridge from the supply cartridge without the need to rewind. This also moves a cog that advances the film counter. Inside the cartridge is a standard 'Bolta' spool.

Standard model I of 1938 is black enamelled with leather covering.

Deluxe model I and all later models are chrome plated with leather covering.

Photavit (35mm) II


Photavit (35mm) III


The T lever.

Schneider Radionar 3,5/37,5 in Compur Rapid
Schneider Radionar 3,5/37,5 in Prontor II
Friedrich Corygon 2,9/40 in Prontor II

Photavit (828)

After the war Photavit made the 828 version, looking identical to the 35mm Bolta film version. The base is stamped 828.

Photavit IV

The Photavit IV was advertised in 1948 as the world's smallest camera for 35mm film.

T lever and cable shutter release socket on the top plate.

Schneider Radionar 3,5/37,5 in Prontor-S
Schneider Radionar 3,5/37,5 in Compur-Rapid
Schneider Xenar 2,8/37,5 in Synchro-Compur
Schneider Xenar 2,8/37,5 in Compur-Rapid
Schneider Xenar 2,8/37,5 in Prontor-S
Schneider Xenar 3,5/37,5 in Prontor-S


Photavit with Friedrich Axinon Lens

A new upper cap (starting from Photavit IV) with T-lever; back of camera has exposure table with Photavit signature; Front lens,  Trip mechanism, catch mechanics such as Photavit V but with Compur shutter and Axinon lens combination and not as usual with Photavit V Luxar in prontor-S/SV. No cable shutter release, like the Photavit III.

Photavit V

Similar to the 1947 Photavit IV but with a Roschlein Luxar f2.9 38mm or Xenar f2.8 37.5mm lens in Vario, Prontor-S or Prontor-SV shutter introduced in 1951.

Röschlein Luxar 2,9/38 in Prontor-SV
Röschlein Luxar 2,9/38 in Prontor-S
Röschlein Luxar 2,9/38 in Vario

Photavit Accessories

Case Ebay 2003/03/15 3.01EUR, *2003/11/02 4EUR, 2004/06/13 5USD

Photavit 36

Made in 1956 and changing to standard 35mm cartridges the Photavit 36 has coupled range finder and interchangeable lenses. Prontor-SVS behind the lens shutter B, 1-300.

The Photavit 36 cameras are too large to be considered subminiature and are listed here for completeness only.

Photavit 36 (meter)

Similar to the Photavit 36 but with uncoupled meter

Photavit 36 Automatic

Improved version, sold in 1958, has a coupled light-meter and new Prontor-SLK shutter. Color-Ennit f2.8 50mm or Color-Ennalyt f1.9 50mm.

Photavit 36 Lenses

  • 28mm f3,5 Ulta-Lithagon
  • 35mm f3.5 Lithagon
  • 45mm f2.8 Cassar
  • 45mm f2.8 Ennit
  • 45mm f2.8 Isconar
  • 50mm f2.8 Ennit
  • 50mm f1.9 Ennalyt
  • 90mm f3.5 Tele-Ennalyt
  • 135mm f3.5 Tele-Ennalyt
  • 135mm f3.5 Tele-Westanar
  • 200mm f4.5 Tele-Ennalyt


  • "Die Volkskamera der Dreißiger Jahre", Color Foto 8/99
  • "Von der Boltavit zur Photavit", Photo Deal III/98
  • "Kameras aus dem Photavit-Werk", Photographica Cabinett 28/2003, 30/2003


Christian Bauer' in German


Go up a level Last updated 16th September 2005