Indra Lux

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    As product designs go, it doesn't get much better than this.

    Manufactured in 1949, the Indra Lux is a plastic camera that was made in Germany by Indra-Camera G.m.b.H. It's got a fixed-focus 60mm/f7.7 lens and a large viewfinder which is tinted to simulate what you'd see on black & white film. Two feet on the bottom allow it to sit flat, but are also functional; the one on the left is home to the tripod socket, and the one on the right unscrews, revealing a storage compartment for a spare roll of 127 film. Unscrewing the foot/cap also allows the camera to be pulled apart. Of course, it's the design, not the features, that makes this camera one of my most prized.

    The Indra Lux was advertised as being unbreakable, and the purchase price included a one-year warranty against breakage. Unfortunately, they were actually quite breakable, a fact that most likely contributed to the demise of Indra-Camera; apparently they were only in business for a few months. These facts make the Indra Lux very rare, so I feel rather lucky to have acquired one, and at a good price. Not to mention it arrived intact from France!

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    1. fed_v 42 months ago | reply

      That´s it. Hands down, the coolest looking plastic camera I´ve ever seen! Holy crap, are you lucky! How are the results from it?

    2. John Kratz 42 months ago | reply

      I haven't used it. I don't have any 127.

    3. Don Henderson 41 months ago | reply

      John, this is such a cool camera! At first glance it looks like old radio. The Art Deco design really makes this camera a work of art! What do you do to get the plastic to look so luscious?

    4. John Kratz 41 months ago | reply

      Most of the time all I have to do is breathe on it and wipe it with a cloth. Even if a camera is really in need of a cleaning, I usually just use water and a rag, sometimes Q-tips.
      Occasionally I'll use some kind of cleaning chemical depending on the material, but I try not to resort to that since you never know exactly how the materials and chemicals will react with each other.

    5. Don Henderson 41 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the info John. I'm always afraid of using anything after I fogged a viewfinder using alcohol on this Ansco
      www.flickr.com/photos/yankeedog57/5162107118/

      I forget what a friend of mine used on a Apple keyboard one time, but it caused a chemical reaction that made the plastic literally snap, crackle and pop!

    6. John Kratz 41 months ago | reply

      Well your friend probably figured an apple would go nicely with Rice Krispies! ;o)

    7. Don Henderson 41 months ago | reply

      It was really wild, it broke down like a how a piece of tempered glass keeps popping and breaking into smaller and smaller pieces.

    8. St. Valentine 41 months ago | reply

      I use a microfiber cloth with window cleaner, Q-Tips and wooden toothsticks for cleaning cameras. But the most useful tool is "Rodico" which is a kind of putty watchmakers use. It´s very sticky and great to get that ol´grime out of those nooks and crannies.

    9. Don Henderson 41 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the info!

    10. Vintage America 38 months ago | reply

      What a beautiful design. I can't say I've ever see anything like this one.

    11. f6point3studio 31 months ago | reply

      Truly unique! It actually reminds me of an old TV, and how they used to have the huge cabinet and the tiny screen. Too bad you have no plans to use it. I gave away all my 127 film to someone else, or I'd offer to send you a roll. Congrats on this acquisition, John!

    12. John Kratz 30 months ago | reply

      Hey thanks Pete. Maybe I should try taking a picture through the viewfinder, since it's supposed to approximate B&W results! ;o)

    13. photopeter159 29 months ago | reply

      I just discovered your cameras on Flickr yesterday.
      It is amazing to see, that you own a lot of the cameras that I either have or would love to have.
      Even though the Indra Lux has been on my wanted list (together with many others) for a long time, I never knew that it was that beautiful!
      The image in the 2001-2002 McKeown's guide is not that good.
      For me, the Indra Lux just moved up a few notches on the priority list.
      Your photos are great and your cameras are in beautiful condition!

    14. John Kratz 29 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the compliments Peter!
      Of course Jim & Joan McKeown couldn't possibly have color photos in their guide, but it sure does make a difference when you see some of those cameras in color!
      By the way, I see you have a few cameras that are on my wish list as well!

    15. Eli the Bearded 17 months ago | reply

      That's a very pretty camera.

    16. John Kratz 17 months ago | reply

      Indeed it is!

    17. andiamoci-vintage 3 months ago | reply

      I got one here in Germany recently very cool and I dont think its bakelite as people say it is plastic I think anyone know for sure?

    18. John Kratz 3 months ago | reply


      I think people just assume it's bakelite, but it's tough to get a good consensus since there are so few examples. I have a lot of bakelite cameras, so I'm quite familiar with the look and feel of it, and I am pretty confident that the Indra Lux is not bakelite.
      Auction Team Breker has sold a couple of them, and they described it as "The first plastic (not bakelite) camera in the world!"

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