Certo  –  Vintage Camera Brand

Certo Brand Overview

Certo logo

Founded: c. 1902 — Dresden, German Reich
(modern day Germany)
Currently: Pentacon GmbH

Certo Brand History

Certo-Kamera-Werk was a German brand founded in 1902 in Dresden by Alfred Lippert and Karl Peppel as “Peppel & Lippert, Fabrik photografischer Cameras und Spezialartikel” (Peppel & Lippert, Photographic Cameras and Specialty Items Factory). Four years later, Peppel leaves the company and the name is changed to CERTO, Fabrik photografischer Apparate und Bedarfsartikel GmbH (CERTO, Photographic Equipment and Supplies Factory GmbH).

The company changes hands in 1917 when it is purchased by businessman Emil Paul Zimmermann. Upon Emil’s death in 1937, control of the company is passed on to his son-in-law Fritz von der Gönna. Years later, during the World War II, camera manufacturing is suspended. Fortunately, Certo’s factory is spared during the Allied bombing of Dresden and business is able to resume after the war.

In 1959, the East German government purchases 30% of the company, now led by Zimmermann’s grandsons. In 1972, Certo is nationalized and seized by the government; the company is rechristened as VEB Certo-Kamerawerk Dresden. In 1980, Certo comes under control of VEB Pentacon but still exists as a separate entity. All Certo-branded cameras are phased out by 1982 and the Certo name itself is dissolved in 1985 as the firm is completely absorbed by Pentacon.

Interested in starting or growing your own collection of Certo cameras?
Check eBay to see what’s available.

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, WI, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), p 140-142.

“Certo-Kamera-Werk,” Wikipedia, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certo-Kamera-Werk

“Certo,” Camera Wiki, http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Certo

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