Pekka Buttler, 12/2023
Revue (cameras) and Revuenon (lenses) were the private labels (a.k.a. house brands) of Foto-Quelle, a German mail-order retailer. During the heyday of the SLR film camera (1960s-70s), Foto-Quelle was one of Europe’s largest camera retailers.
Foto-Quelle was founded in 1957 to act as a specialised (cameras and optics) subsidiary of the German mail-order retailer Quelle. Foto-Quelle’s catalogue was typically published twice a year, and – at its height – was available in both several other European markets, as well as the USA.
Foto-Quelle’sparent company merged with the German department store chain Karstadt in 1999. The resulting company (KarstadtQuelle was renamed Arcandor in 2007) filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and the parts of the company was sold off. What was left of Foto-Quelle was subsequently acquired by ORWO.
Foto-Quelle House Brands
Revue, Revueflex and Revue-matic (cameras)
Who were the OEM’s?
One interesting question with rebranders is always the origin of the actual gear. Sadly – in the case of Revue/Revunenon – there is no easy answer.
Revue and Revueflex branded SLRs were produced by a wide range of Japanese companies including Mamiya, Cosina, Chinon, Yashica and Konica, with even a few Ricoh and Petri-based models thrown in for good measure. Beside those, East German Prakticas as well as Soviet KMZ Zenit’s were often offered as Revue cameras, with even one Edixa and one Alpa-derived camera (not to mention a Chinese Minolta). As a result, Revue cameras used an amazingly wide range of different lens mounts including Alpa bayonet, Contax/Yashica, Konica AR, Konica F, Mamiya Z, Minolta SR, m42, Pentax K, Petri FT, and Praktica B.
The origins of Revuenon-branded lenses is more difficult to identify conclusively, as they seem to be sourced from a wide range of manly Japanese, but also German and Korean manufacturers. Quite apparently, some Tomioka and Mamiya lenses are included in the lineup, but a vast majority seem to be of unclear origins.
Revue/Revuenon gear on JAPB
A Revuenon 50 mm f1.4 (Pentax-K mount) was covered in a JAPB comparison review of fast fifties and did really well.