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Mentor Mentorett favori envoyer Print
Photos by JPP text by JPP. From the collection of JPP
France Version française

Chronology of the Mentor brand  New window

Manufactured in Allemagne from 1935 until 1936.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 6129

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Mentor Mentorett
Mentorett with Mentor-Special 1:3.5

The Mentorett remains as one of the most elusive TLR cameras from the 1930s. It is among the most well made TLRs from the period, but mostly unknown from collectors. It is a tough and simple to use camera with technical features well above the standard of the time. Many sources refer that 55 000 specimens of the Mentorett were made in 1936, but this is however hard to believe (as also referred by McKeown’s guide) – all current Mentorett cameras have serial numbers in the range 53xxx.

The cloth focal plane shutter delivers speeds from up to 1/600s. The same movement of the lateral lever advances film and cocks the shutter, and it also releases the shutter in the opposite direction. The operation of the Mentorett makes it as one of the most rapid TLRs – advertised as 12 shots in 30 seconds!

The viewing lens is provided with an iris for stopping down, meaning that the depth-of-field could be controlled through the waist level viewfinder. The standard taking lens was a Mentor-Special 1:3.5/f=7.5cm, but late cameras could be fitted with a fast Meyer Görlitz Trioplan 1:2.9/f=7.5cm. The Mentorett has also a telescopic viewfinder that pops up at the median left side which allows for direct view. The focusing mechanism has bellows inside the camera casing for both lenses, although only externally seen when focusing close range.