Bildsicht

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In 1910 Germany was a "Kaiserreich". With its Prussian militarism it challenged the other European powers. The German soldier with his quaint spiked helmet became a symbol for that Germany. Another special German status symbol was the Bildsicht camera, made by the Bildsicht Camerawerk Levie & Sasse in Hannover[1]. The handling of this hand camera looked a little bit strange. But that was just for its users' convenience to replace the ground glass in the focal plane very quickly with the film plate before exposure. Thus it was a complicated mechanical marvel. The strut folding camera was made of metal and coated with black leather. Its body protruded the rest of the camera. The higher part of the body was the container for plate and groundglass. The fast-exchange mechanism pulled the ground glass up and let the film plate take its place before exposure. The camera had a focal plane shutter and a Meyer Doppel-Anastigmat f/6.8 135mm lens or a Schulze & Billerbeck Euryplan lens (probably also made by Meyer; Euryplan was a Meyer brand).

Over the ground glass frame's leather hood the camera had a shutter speed setting table that helped to find combinations of spring tension, brake action and maybe other parameters which were depending on whether the camera was used for horizontal or vertical shots.

The camera must be seen as an historical attempt to offer an alternative to the SLR camera.

Notes