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The Heli-Tip is a range of folding plate cameras made by Rietzschel in Munich, Germany, from about 1910 until the mid-1920s. McKeown describes them as 'a simpler and cheaper alternative to the Heli-Clack series'.[1] Like the Heli-Clack cameras, they are metal-bodied, and with black leather covering and bellows. Compared to the Heli-Clack range, the Heli-Tip was offered with a limited range of lenses and shutters. Also, whereas in the Heli-Clack range, all the sizes were made in vertical or horizontal orientation, most Heli-Tip cameras are vertically oriented. There was just one 9×12 cm horizontal model. Finally, there was a 6.5×9 cm model; there was no Heli-Clack in this size.

Heli-Tip I (about 1910)

The first set of cameras are double-extension (in the Heli-Clack range, the vertical cameras are double-extension, the horizontal ones triple). They were made in four sizes:

  • 6.5×9 cm
  • 9×12 cm (horizontal or vertical)
  • 10×15 cm
  • 13×18 cm

They all have a Dialyt lens, which is either an f/7.5 or f/6.8, and an Ibso or Pronto shutter. The main limitation of these everset shutters is the lack of really fast speeds; the Pronto on the example illustrated has speeds from 1 to 1/100 second, plus 'B' and 'T'. It has no delayed action.

The cameras have rack-and-pinion focusing, with a focus scale on the bed (and of course a ground-glass focusing screen) They have front rise and shift. There is a brilliant finder with a spirit level.

Heli-Tip II

This second set of cameras was only made in 6.5×9 and 9×12 cm sizes, and they are single-extension, limiting their use for close focus or with telephoto auxiliary lenses.

Heli-Tip III

This set of cameras, also single-extension and in 6.5×9 and 9×12 cm sizes, was at first sold with Dialyt lenses, as above, but later with the Trilinear triplet lens (f/7.5, f/6.8 or f/4.5), and with an Ibso, Pronto or Compur shutter.

Heli-Tip (1924)

The last version of the camera was available with radial-lever focusing, and with Trilinear lenses as above.


  1. 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). p825-6. The source of most of the details in this article.


  • 6.5×9 cm Heli-Tip in a 1926 catalogue page by Omnium Photo in Paris, with an f/7.5 Trilinear, a Pronto shutter (like that illustrated above), and radial-lever focusing, at Sylvain Halgand's Collection d'Appareils (in French).