Foth Derby folding strut camera

Foth Derby II
Foth Derby
Threesome of Foth Derby Cameras

This is a Foth Derby folding strut camera made in Germany by C.F. Foth & Co.  The Foth Derby was in production from 1930 to about 1940 and was designed as a lower-cost alternative to Leica and Contax cameras of the time.  It was a direct competitor to the Kodak Vest Pocket camera and used that camera’s 127 format film.  Originally designed to make sixteen images of 24 mm x 36 mm like the Leica, in 1931 was redesigned to take advantage of the larger 127 format film and would make sixteen 30 mm x 40 mm images.  Although sold as a lower-cost camera, it was still built well and came with a variety of quality lenses, had a focal plane shutter with a fast 1/500 top speed, a self-timer, and in later years, could be had with a built-in rangefinder.

Film Type: 127 Roll Film (sixteen 4cm x 3cm exposures per roll)
Lens: 5cm f/2.5 Foth Anastigmat uncoated 4-elements
Focus: 2.5 feet to Infinity
Viewfinder: Flip-up Scale Focus Viewfinder
Shutter: Cloth Focal Plane
Speeds: B, 1/25 – 1/500 seconds
Exposure Meter: None
Battery: None
Flash Mount: None


C.F. Foth & Co was founded in Berlin, Germany in 1926 by a Dutch mechanic named Carl Friedrich Foth.  Not much is known about Carl Foth, other than he was likely born in the late 1800s somewhere in the Netherlands.  At some point in his youth, he relocated to the Baltic city of Gdańsk which depending on when he arrived, was either part of the German Empire (pre-1919) or independent Poland.