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Diax Standard

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Hi - I have only used my Nikon Coolpix E950 and my new Nikon D40. I have now

found a Diax Standard in my late father-in-law's things and would like to use

it. As I am ignorant even as how to open it to put a film in, I wonder if

someone could point me in the right direction for some instructions on how to

use this lovely little camera.

Thanks, Rene

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Hi, Rene Congratulations, mate - you've got yourself one of the world's rarest cameras there! It was only sold in 1954 and probably only in Australasia, as a special model requested by the Oz Diax importers, Slamon & Gardner Pty Ltd. Only some 22 Diax Standards are known to exist as at the last count by Diax-Guru Peter Geisler. Of course, he would dearly love to have the details of your camera to add to his database.


You can email him at geisler.peter@t-online.de with those details, but first you might like to look at his Diax website at:




which has just about everything you need to know about Diax cameras, including the elusive Standard. (Pete Naylor)

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Hi, Rene Thanks for taking the time to contact Peter Geisler with your Standard's vital stats, mate. Regarding picture taking, if you scroll down to a previous post titled "Worst Exakta Lenses" you'll find some relevant comments there about the capabilities of the f3.5 Isco Westar lens that came , er, "standard" with the "Standard" (Sorry!).


If you do decide to go looking for other Diax lenses, try to get the "A" series type which just read "Diax" in copperplate script underneath, rather than the "B" series ones which read "Diax B". Both work, but the "B" series won't align straight.


Also, be prepared for some nasty shocks about the prices the Schneider 35mm f3.5 Xenagon and the 90mmm f3.5 & 135mm f4 Telexenars are fetching these days on Fleabuy, not to mention how much the auxiliary VFs cost! (Pete N)

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Rob, your Diax L-1 is not my favourite from the Voss stable in Ulm, being a bit of an "Ugly Duckling" IMHO. However, undeniably it has a special place in any Diax collection for two reasons. Firstly, it was the last Diax made - (if that's makes sense!). Secondly, it's so much larger than all the previous models because it sported the new higher and wider body shape for Voss's New Generation of Diax cameras - which included a very clever SLR with a flat-top, like one of the Olympus half-frame models whose title escapes me at the moment.


Unfortunately, 1957 was something of a watershed year for German camera manufacturers because of the increasing pressure from Japan. The Diax company was a very small player in the world scene, but Herr Voss could see further than the end of his nose and decided enough was enough, or should I say "genug was genug?"


With the West German economic miracle of the late 50s and consequent high wages compared to what the Japanese companies had to pay their workers in a very labour-intensive field, there was no way that the new Diax "L" range were going to be competitive with what Japan was offering. So Herr Voss cut his losses and closed his small Ulm company down at the end of 1957, rather than see it go down the bankruptcy gurgler.


So your L-1 has a special place in Diax folklore despite its Miss Piggy-like dimensions. You really need now to acquire some of the earlier models to become a dedicated Diaxsammler, mate. I suggest a Diax 1 as a nice example of the early non-interchangeable lens models, and a Diax 11a from the later i/c range, to get you convinced. Both of these are considerably smaller than your L-1 by an Aussie country mile, and in the case of the 11a, sonsiderably heavier too especially with the f2 Xenon. (Pete N)

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Peter, I haven't really been bitten by a Diax collecting bug. It just happens that my father emigrated to Canada in 1956. I guess he picked it up shortly after his arrival. He used that Diax for years, and in 1986, when I got socially connected with this lady who is now my wife, it was given to me as a family keepsake. In the meantime, I picked up a Kodak Signet 35 at a yard sale for $4.00 as I felt it might be nice to learn how to use a mechanical camera of my own. I couldn't use a flash with it, and the internet (and computers in general) were quite foreign to me. I bought a Vivitar 1900 flash that I could use with the Diax (it came with the pc synch cord attached). At this time, the shutters were getting slow, and he bought himself something a little more exotic (I think it was made by Ricoh). I eventually came to learn about shutter repairs and naphtha flushes, and now, this Diax with the Compur Rapid shutter works perfectly at all speeds, and so does the self timer. I've also managed to pick up a 40.5 to 46 mm step ring which allows me to get results that I've never imagined before. Even though I have since bought a bunch of other cameras, I always seem to come back to the Diax. In servicing the shutter, I accidentally broke the lock ring, but being fortunate in working in a factory with an unlimited variety in fastening hardware, I found a snap ring that fit perfectly with a minor bit of doctoring up. The shutter still stays tight internally while being perfectly functional.<div>00N6Mp-39380684.jpg.4f0f479fdcb44574772bb467c6134299.jpg</div>
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Rob, I'm dead envious about all those limitless connections you have to gizmos and gadgets, courtesy of the aircraft business. You've done very well to keep the L-1 running with such ingenuity. I served 20 years in the Air Force myself, but that was then and now I'm retired, so my similar sources are long gone.


From my researching into Diax sales, it certainly seems that Canada was another top export market along with Australia. Strangely, neither the USA nor the UK were. I guess it was just a matter of which local import concessionnaires won the job, and how hard they went about doing their selling.


Although you've not got into Diaxsammler mode by choice, only by family connections, I really think you would be agreeably surprised at the quality, compactness and feel of the i/c lens Diax models. So please don't stop there with your L-1 ........ My special favourite is the 1a, but don't ask me why a camera with three separate viewfinders but no rangefinder should get my No 1 Award. I've long since given up on trying to find any logic in camera collecting! )Pete N)

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  • 1 year later...

<p>Peter Naylor: Hi my names Ben and Ive recently been given a Diax Standard. I know nothing of the brand, and after a long websearch came across some postings on the cameras that youve made. Ive tried to email Peter Geisler the specs, but havent received a reply, thinking it might have been deleted as spam? Can you please try and get in touch with him for me?<br>


Diax Standard<br>

Serial# 64502<br>

Sorry I dont know much about these old lenses, but the outside of the lense says:<br>

SYNCHRO-COMPUR, with ISCO-GOTTINGEN WESTAR 1:3.5/50, with a red letter C, then 234690 on the inner rim next to the lens with original black plastic Diax cap.<br>

It also came with a Bower lightmeter and two Cenei Ceneiplan lens rings.<br>

Im in Melbourne and would like to know where I can get the camera serviced. Noone Ive spoken too knows anything about them and Im not willing to let someone just 'have a go'.<br>

Also would you (or anyone reading) know a rough value as Im getting it insured due to its scarcity and no vintage camera price guides can help me out (even the ones that claim to have prices for 'every camera ever manufactured')<br>

Thanks for the help.</p>

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