Braun Super Paxette 1b c1954

Purchased on ebay very cheaply. It arrived through the post I unpacked it at once and was amazed by just how small the Paxette is. “Very cute” is the best description of the camera. It was grubby and needed a good straightforward clean. The shutter appeared to work reasonably well at all speeds (1 second to 1/300th second) but the focus was less than smooth and the aperture setting felt rather sloppy. In a burst of enthusiasm I started to attack the camera with a jeweller’s screwdriver undoing the three grub screws around the lens barrel thereby enabling me to remove the shroud with the focus and aperture settings engraved on it. Naturally, I wasn’t paying enough attention at this point and not taking a clear and careful note of just how to put it all back together once more. Oops! I went even further with the dismantling by removing the lens assembly from its helical mount. It came straight out with just a little twist. I cleaned both the assembly and the helical with some tissue and lighter fluid and was able to remove all of the old grease. I used just a little smear of new Castrol LM grease on the helical and the iris detent ball bearing. Hopefully this would make the focussing and the aperture setting function smoothly once I had put it all back together. Then I looked at the iris assembly and noticed that the cage which operated the blades that create the aperture had moved and that the individual blades were not in their original position. Oh dear! I looked at the pattern that they made and I thought that if I just nudged them into an even position around the circumference they might go back into the right place and that I might then be able to drop the cage back over them. I had a go and it worked. The next problem was that the cage has to fit into a single position so that the slot that is cut into its reverse side can engage with a tab on the inside of the aperture operating ring. This meant carefully removing the cage without disturbing the iris leaves so that I could get it back on again in the right place. There was a clue here though in that the aperture detents into which the detent clicking ball bearing fits shows the correct orientation – well nearly, at least it can only fit in a limited range of locations. There are also two small stop screws inside the iris assembly and as it turned out these mark the ends of the aperture setting movement and so it was possible to work out the proper position for the components.

This then just left the problem of getting the lens assembly back into the correct helical thread so that the focus setting would be right. It was possible to work this out by using the engravings on the shroud as the relationship between the aperture setting and the focus position was fixed. I knew the aperture position so if I set this then the focus position should also be correct. With a bit of experimentation it proved to be the case and I was able to get the lens assembly into the correct thread. The focussing and aperture setting now felt smooth, positive and wobble free. Incidentally, there was also a “V” mark scratched on the lens assembly barrel, probably from the camera’s original manufacture, and this lined up with the fixed focus mark (the one in the middle of the depth of field scale) on the camera body when the lens was inserted into the correct helical thread. Another clue.

Having reassembled the lens and iris I checked the focus setting by taping some baking parchment across the film gate and opening the shutter at “B”. I used a loupe to examine the focus and it looked to be okay, at least as far as I was able to tell. I decided to try a test film as this would show up any problems. Loaded up with some Agfa APX 400 black and white negative film and shot some pictures. I processed the film in a rotary tank using D76 1+1. On the test film I tried all sorts of focussing on objects both using the rangefinder and the distance scale. All of the images were fine and in good focus. Success.

Now the focus and aperture setting are smooth and positive. Combined with the silky smooth film wind on using the double stroke thumb winder the whole ensemble is very pleasing to use.

This particular example came with its original leather case in reasonable condition and it also had an original polished alloy lens hood, a light green filter and a close-up lens.


I just thought that I’d investigate the winder mechanism so I undid the big screw on the top of the winder lever – this was not a good idea! There is a big coiled spring that sits underneath the top plate of the winder and this simply shot out when the top plate was released slightly. It is proving very difficult to put back in place – I’ve not yet succeeded.



Braun Super Paximat, Made in Germany (West)

Camera Type

35mm rangefinder focusing camera with a behind-the-lens leaf shutter

Film Format



Staeble – Kata 45 mm f/2.8

Filter Size

29mm ?

Focusing Range

1 m to infinity

Shutter Speeds

1 second to 1/300th second Plus B. Prontor SVS

Exposure Meter Type


Film Speed Range


Viewfinder Information

Small with rangefinder spot

Focusing System

Rangefinder visible in viewfinder

Synchronization & Flash

"X" and “M” synchronization

Loading Film

Standard 35mm 135 loading

Advance Film

Double-stroke, Built-in double exposure prevention

Self Timer 

Yes “V” setting




113 X 75 X 65 mm


500 g


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