Gallus Derlux 1947-50

Tomei Collection


 

 

A trademark of Gallus cameras was the laquered aluminum body dating back to the early 1920's.  This camera model entered production as the Derby during the German occupation between 1939 and 1941.  It had been conceived of as the French version of the German Foth.  After WWII when production eventually resumed at Gallus, it appeared once again as the Derby Lux.  This was again changed in 1947 to the Derlux but by 1950, production had ceased.

 

The fortunes of this unconventional camera fell over the decades after its introduction in direct proportion with the degeneration of its original shiny finish.  Build quality is marginal for a  company like Gallus  However, today collector interest is returning and many that appear on the market have been, if not restored, at least cleaned.  The focal plane shutter derived from the German Foth Derby design is fairly reliable and many, such as the one shown here, are quite serviceable. 

The only difference between the two appears to be the addition of the accessory shoe on the later model.

 

 

Production of this Gallus model ceased in 1952.  This example was produced late in the production and is labeled the Derlux, the final name given to these cameras.  It is equipped with the Gallus Gallix f/3.5 50mm lens, as was the Derby Lux, as well as an accessory shoe.  Others may have the much more uncommon and superior Boyer Saphir f/2.8, but the fine Berthiot lens that was found on many preWWII cameras from Gallus was not available.  

It was not an inexpensive camera costing up to 25,000 Fr in 1950, or approximately $600.00 in 2006 currency.  Although I can find no reference to production numbers, it apparently sold sufficiently well to populate eBay with a constant supply.

Below is the early Derby-Lux version c1945.