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The Deckrullo-Nettel is a series of wooden-bodied strut-folding plate cameras with focal-plane shutters. They were first made by Nettel Kamerawerk from about 1909,[1] and was continued both by Contessa-Nettel from 1919-26, and after that by Zeiss Ikon until 1928.

The Deckrullo-Nettel is an improved model of the Nettel; its name first appeared in catalogues as Deckrouleau-Nettel (Deck = 'cover'), referring to the self-capping focal-plane shutter (i.e. the shutter is light-tight while being tensioned; the shutter of the original Nettel is not self-capping; the cameras are otherwise very similar). The Nettel was produced alongside the Deckrullo-Nettel for some time.[1] The camera was available in many plate sizes:

  • 6 or 6.5x9 cm[2][3]
  • 3¼x4¼ inch (quarter plate)
  • 9x12 cm[4][5]
  • 10x15 cm[6][7]
  • 4¼x6½ inch (half plate)
  • 13x18 cm[8]
  • Stereo models:
    • 9x14 cm
    • 9x18 cm

McKeown only lists the Zeiss Ikon camera in centimetre sizes.[1]

As often with cameras of this period, McKeown lists the Decrullo-Nettel with a vast range of available lenses, including ones by Goerz, Voigtländer and Carl Zeiss; examples sold at Westlicht suggest that many were sold with Tessars. The lens board has horizontal and vertical movements.

The shutter has a wide range of speeds, by adjustment of both the spring tension and the gap width between the blinds. The range of speeds differs from one plate-size to another, larger cameras having faster top speeds; the 13x18 cm camera has a top speed of 1/2800 second.[8]

The strut mechanism is characteristic of Nettel, and gives variable bellows extension for focusing, with a focus knob on the left side. The end of one of the struts appears as the pointer on a focus scale, in a slot in the top of the body. Of course, the camera also allows focusing with a ground-glass screen. The camera also has a wire frame finder.

The standard models of the camera have black leather body covering and black-painted lens boards.[9] There are also tropical models, with uncovered hardwood bodies and brown leather bellows, as illustrated above.[8]

Stereo models of the camera were also made;[10] these were developed further as the Stereax.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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). p713 (Nettel), 214 (Contessa-Nettel) and 1048 (Zeiss Ikon).
  2. Contessa-Nettel 6.5x9 cm Deckrullo-Nettel in black leather and paint, about 1912, with 12 cm f/4.5 CZJ Tessar, sold at the fifteenth Westlicht Photographica Auction, in May 2009.
  3. Contessa-Nettel 6.5x9 cm Tropical Deckrullo-Nettel, about 1924, also with 12 cm f/4.5 Tessar, sold at the ninth Westlicht auction, in May 2006.
  4. Zeiss Ikon 9x12 cm Deckrullo-Nettel in black leather finish, about 1930 (by lens serial number), with 15 cm f/3.5 Tessar, sold at the nineteenth Westlicht auction, in May 2011.
  5. Contessa Nettel 9x12 cm Deckrullo, about 1926 with 16.5 cm f/2.7 Tessar, sold at the 21st Westlicht auction, in May 2012.
  6. 10x15 cm Deckrullo-Nettel in black leather finish, about 1922, with 18 cm f/4.5 Schneider Xenar, sold at the May 2011 Westlicht auction.
  7. Contessa-Nettel 10x15 cm Deckrullo-Nettel in black leather finish, about 1920, with extension bellows to accommodate a Busch 340 mm f/7.5 Bis-Telar Series II telephoto lens; sold at the eleventh Westlicht auction, in May 2007.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Contessa-Nettel 13x18 cm Tropical Deckrullo-Nettel, 1923, with 21 cm f/4.5 Tessar, sold at the May 2012 Westlicht auction.
  9. Deckrullo-Nettel at Wagner Lungov's website.
  10. Contessa-Nettel 6x13 cm Deckrullo-Nettel Stereo, about 1920, with CZJ 12 cm f/4.5 Tessar lenses; sold at the November 2003 Westlicht auction.