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The Kosmo-Clack is a high-specification stereo camera for 4.5×10.7 cm (1¾×4¼ inch) plates or film packs, made in about 1914 by Rietzschel.[1] It is metal-bodied, with black leather covering. It has a pair of Rietzschel's own 65 mm lenses: these could be the Linear in f/4.5, f/5.5 or f/6.3, the f/6.3 Apotar or the f/6.8 Sextar.[2] They are mounted in a Stereo-Compur shutter (a Compound shutter in older examples), giving speeds from 1 to 1/250 second, plus 'B' and 'T'.

The lens board can be slid sideways, positioning one lens centrally for panoramic photography instead of stereo; the septum dividing the camera inside folds away automatically when this is done.[3] The lens board also allows a modest degree of front rise.

The camera has a double-extension bellows for focusing. This allows the camera to focus to 0.5 metres with the lenses in their normal state. The article at Early Photography states that bellows focusing is an unusual feature in a stereo camera.[4] With symmetrical combinable lenses like the Linear, the front half of each lens can also be removed, to use the rear group alone, giving a longer focal length, and the bellows extension allows this arrangement to be used. There is an infinity-focus mark for the lenses in this state on the focus scale.[4] The brochure at Welt der Stereoskopie also gives a price for an auxiliary lens to increase the focal length. Finally, the bellows would also allow the fitting of a purpose-designed long-focus lens; the brochure shows the camera with a Telinear fitted for panoramic photography.[2]

The camera body is also used as a stereo viewer, by mounting a pair of eyepiece lenses in place of the lens board.[3]

Different examples have either a folding brilliant finder or a folding Newton-type viewfinder, with cross-hairs (Early Photography suggests this is provided on cameras made earlier[4]; however the brochure shows them as as alternative options[2]). There are tripod bushes on the base and on one end of the camera, and spirit levels for horizontal and vertical orientation.


  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). p826.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 1916 Brochure for the Kosmo-Clack (and also the Universal Heli-Clack) at Welt der Stereoskopie.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The presentation on the Kosmo-Clack at Welt der Stereoskopie shows this and other features in an excellent set of photographs of the camera, film pack holder, plate magazine and stereo viewer eyepiece.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kosmo-Clack with Linear lenses and brilliant finder, at Early Photography.