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The Kibitz[1] is a strut-folding plate camera, made by Nettel Camerawerk from about 1905 (when the company was still called Camerawerk Sontheim), until about 1912.[2] It is similar to the Sonnet, introduced a few years later, except that whereas the Sonnet has a wooden body, the Kibitz is metal-bodied. The camera has a simple folding bed on which the front standard runs out. The struts give a focusing mechanism, with a scale on the side of the body, with the end of one strut acting as the pointer.

The camera was made in several plate sizes; 6 or 6.5x9 cm, 3¼x4¼ inch (quarter plate), 9x12 cm and 10x15 cm.[2].

The lenses for the camera include Nettel's own Anastigmats[3] and Rapid Aplanats, Meyer Euryplans and Carl Zeiss Tessars, with Ibso or Compound shutters.

Few examples are seen (the model was made for only a few years). The example sold by Rahn has a folding wire frame finder.[3] McKeown shows one with a folding Newton finder on the body, and states that some examples have a brilliant finder instead.


  1. The name (sometimes as 'Kiebitz') in German or Yiddish can mean lapwing (presumably, like the English 'peewit', it imitates the lapwing's call); but a Kibitzer is also an onlooker or unhelpful chatterer.
  2. 2.0 2.1 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). p713. McKeown lists 9x14 cm as the largest size, not 10x15, but this size is mentioned in the advertisement reproduced in the article on Nettel.
  3. 3.0 3.1 6.5x9 cm Kibitz with Nettel Anastigmat and three-speed pneumatic shutter, sold at an auction in May 2007 by Rahn AG (archived). Formerly it did show a rather poor photograph, which was much clearer when enlarged.


  • Nettel Kibitz as shown in the June 9, 2007 auction of Auction Team Breker, Koln, Germany.