Vintage cameras: BEWI Spezial Modell for “Leica” cameras

I recently acquired this little piece of equipment. A BEWI Spezial extinction meter from the 1930’s to be used with Leica 35mm cameras and produced by Bertram Munich .

BEWI Spezial Leica Extinction meter

BEWI Spezial Extinction meter by Bertram München for Leica Schlitzverschlusskamera

How the BEWI Spezial works:

You look through it like a little telescope and depending on the light conditions numbers around a viewfinder are visible. The highest number still visible is then used to get the reading by changing the tables on the outside of the light meter. A slight difficulty is the missing ISO as that DIN was introduced later. So in case you were wondering what the degrees numbers on film boxes mean – they are Schreinergrade. Not the easiest way of determining your manual settings, but a very authentic experience that helps you appreciate modern electronic light meters and inbuilt measuring mechanism.

For more information in German check BEWI – Leica at Lippisches Kamera Museum