what the heck is a WINTU?

My WINTU in its original box

Toronto. A popular means of disguising a camera is to take a photo at right angles to your position. This was often done with still camera viewers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. One such right angle viewfinder was created in 1930 for the recently introduced (1925) Leica 35mm camera.

When a rangefinder was added in early 1932, a means was needed to allow both view finding at right angles and the use of the newly offered rangefinder. Enter the WINTU. This neat little Leitz gadget was sold from 1933 to about 1939, although some were apparently made through and after the war. The drop down prism allowed viewing of the rangefinder with a slight movement of the eye. The WINTU could also be attached to a special lens cap sold in the early-mid 1930s to aid in framing when using an enlarger-like column for copy work before Willard Morgan’s popular focoslide (focaslide) came to market.

The WINTU was sold in either black or chrome to match the Leicas of the day. In Europe the chrome WINTU was also code worded WINTUCHROM. See these books: Leica Accessory Guide (1984) by Hove Photo Books; The Collectors Checklist 4th edn (1980) by Dr Neil Wright and Colin Glanfield; and Leica – An Illustrated History – Volume III – Accessories (1998) by James L Lager.

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