Dacora was another of about 250 German camera companies during the last three quarters of the 20th century. In the main, it too was a camera maker who catered to the middle of the road photography market, in other words, it “ain’t no Zeiss… or Agfa!” BUT, Dacora offered one 6×6 folder which I find very interesting… and worthy of attention, use and ownership – the Dacora Royal.
The camera is fitted with an uncoupled rangefinder, which is not so unique, but what IS unique is the film transport and shutter cocking mechanism. Film is advanced via a film advance LEVER, not the ubiqutous round knob or Zeiss’ flippy tabs. A real LEVER! Not only that, but the lever also COCKS THE SHUTTER!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought a folder to eye only to discover that I hadn’t cocked the shutter! However, while the lever does advance the film, you still have to watch the ubiqutous red window to bring the film to the next frame, but since that is the case with all but the top tier folders, that’s not a serious drawback. In fact, since the paper backing of films has changed since the sixties, using a window to register films is a surer method to prevent frame overlaps that the auto frame counter/stops of the more high-end Zeiss and Voigtländer folders.
The Dacora Royal can be found with the following lens shutter combinations:
Westar Anastigmat f4.5 / 75mm – Pronto shutter
Westar Anastigmat f3.5 / 75mm – Prontor SVS
Ennar Anastigmat f3.5 / 75mm – Prontor -s
Ennagon f3.5 / 75mm – Prontor SVS
Any of the Enna lenses are of very good quality, but the Ennagon is the lens of choice, the equal of lenses offered by Zeiss, Voigtländer, Schneider-Krueznach, Rodenstock, or Agfa. Dacora also offered three other models, the Subitar, Dacora I & II, but I would relagate those to “collector” status, there are many better folders out there for picture taking.