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La Cinescopie was a camera maker in Brussels. The company produced two early 35 mm cameras in the 1920s. McKeown states that the designer of these was André Van Remoortel.[1] He was later to patent a design for a still film projector,[2] and a simple projector was produced alongside the 1920s cameras.[3] This is designed to hold the film on two spools, just as in the camera. It is interesting that a separate projecting device was made, whereas a number of similar cameras by other makers were made to be also usable as the projector (the Debrie Sept, the Minnigraph and the Sico) simply by attaching a lamphouse.

It seems that the cameras were intended for photographing documents; Cinescopie is mentioned in this regard in relevant journals,[4][5] and one source states "an apparatus described as "new" and consisting of a small camera and projector using motion picture film had been developed by La Cinescopie, a Brussels firm, for manuscript photography and for reading of the film".[6] Cinescopie may also have produced and distributed film-strips: PIAFF (Plateforme Interne d'Archivage des Films Fixes; Internal Archive Platform for Filmstrips, a project of ASFFA (Association pour la Sauvegarde des Films Fixes en Anjou; the Anjou Association for Conservation of Filmstrips) lists three filmstrips by 'Edition de la Cinescopie', and many by 'Editions de la Photoscopie'.[7]



The Photoscopic, from 1924, is metal-bodied. It has a curious shape; the back, top and bottom of the body are flat. The front is formed with the two ends in one curved piece. The body is finished in black paint, with a 'crackle' texture in some examples. The camera makes pictures 24x24 mm on 35 mm film in special cassettes (the film is wound from one cassette on the supply side to another on the uptake side), and holds enough film for 50 exposures. Its lens is a 45 mm f/3.5 Labor by OIP of Ghent ('Gand'), and the shutter is an Ibsor with speeds 1 - 1/150 second, plus 'B' and 'T', or a Pronto with speeds 1/25 - 1/100, plus 'B' and 'T' (both are dial-set everset shutters).

McKeown states that three types were made. These differ in the focusing and film advance:[1]

  • The first cameras have a metal tab on the right hand side, which is pulled to advance the film.[8] The camera has helical focusing, with a scaled disc behind the shutter.
  • The second type was improved with a film advance knob; it still has the helical focusing disc as above.[9][10][11]
  • The third type, according to McKeown, has fixed focus.[1] No examples of this have been seen.

The camera has a frame counter, and a reverse-Galilean viewfinder mounted on the top.


The Cinescopic,[12][13] from 1929 to the mid-30s, is a similar design to the Photoscopic. The body is again metal, now with leather covering, and with fully rounded ends instead of the plane flat back of the earlier camera. It has a 50 mm f/3.5 Labor lens, with front-element focusing, and an Ibsor shutter. The lens and shutter unit is removable, supposedly to allow it to be used in an enlarger,[1] (or perhaps a projector). It has a film advance knob, but no frame counter. McKeown suggests that there is a wire feeler in the film chamber, which might make an audible click as each perforation passes; the user could advance the film while counting the clicks.[1] A reverse-Galilean viewfinder mounts in a special shoe on the shutter. The bottom of the camera is removable for loading, and the film is held on simpler spools, not in cassettes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p206.
  2. British Patent 435,319 Improvements in or Relating to Optical Projecting Lanterns for Projecting Still Pictures, granted 1935 to André Edouard Louis Van Remoortel, at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.
  3. Photoscopic camera and projector outfit offered for sale at the 27th Westlicht Photographica Auction, in June 2015; first type of the camera, with pull-tab film advance, and with 45 mm f/3.5 Gand Labor lens and Pronto shutter, and projector with its power rheostat and leather case.
  4. M. Llewellyn Raney (1937) "Microphotography Round Table". Bulletin of the American Library Association Vol. 31, No. 11, pp808-813; a report of a symposium at which suitable equipment for photographing documents, and viewing the recorded information, was discussed.
  5. G.A. Cooke (1941) "The microfilm - its use as an instrument of administration". Australian Journal of Public Administration Vol. 3, No. 4, pp151-163.
  6. Reginald Hawkins (1960) "Production of Micro-Forms": Volume 5, Part 1 of "The State of the Library Art" (Ralph R. Shaw, ed.). Rutgers State University, New Brunswick, NJ. Page 27. Available in several formats, including PDF at the Internet Archive.
  7. Page from a list of filmstrips including three by Edition de la Cinescopie (Painters of the Flemish School, Palestine from Bethlehem to Amman, and Flora and Fauna of the Bible), at PIAFF (Plateforme Interne d'Archivage des Films Fixes).
  8. Photoscopic, first type, with pull-tab for film advance, and Pronto shutter. Shown in the highlights of an auction in March 2009 by Auction Team Breker in Cologne.
  9. Photoscopic, second type, with film advance knob and Ibsor shutter; shown in the highlights of an auction in September 2008 by Auction Team Breker.
  10. Photoscopic, second type, serial no. 5555, with Ibsor shutter; sold at the nineteenth Westlicht camera auction, on 28 May 2011.
  11. Photoscopic, second type, serial no. 5124, sold in December 2010 by Leonard Joel in Melbourne.
  12. Cinescopic at Sylvain Halgand's Collection Appareils.
  13. Example offered for sale at Ebay November 2014 (item 361101640868).