Piccolette

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The Piccolette is range of cameras made by Nettel in Stuttgart and its successor companies Contessa-Nettel and Zeiss Ikon.

 

Contents

pre-World War I Piccolette

The Piccolette was first made by Nettel, the company which became Contessa-Nettel, as a folding-bed camera for 4x6.5 cm exposures on rollfilm, from 1914. This camera was available with various lenses, including Nettel's own Anastigmat or Rapid Aplanat, and Pronto or Compound shutter. It has radial lever focusing on the bed.[1]

post-World War I Piccolette

The Piccolette is best-known as a strut-folding camera for eight 4×6.5 cm exposures on 127 film, made from 1919 by Contessa-Nettel in Stuttgart,[2] and continued by Zeiss-Ikon after the merger in 1926 in which Contessa-Nettel joined to form Zeiss Ikon. Production seems to have eased in 1930 or 1931.[3]The total production is unclear at this point.[4]

The Piccolette is a very close design adaptation of the Vest Pocket Kodak of 1912; the main differences are a fully-fledged film carrier attached to the removable bottom-plate ensuring that the film vcan be inserted correctly, and the curved wrap-around lower part of the front standard. The Piccolette itself was directly copied in 1925 by Rokuoh Sha as the Pearlette, which in turn was copied by Fuji Kōgaku as the Dianette and Pionette around 1936 .


German, French & Italian Cameras using 127 film
G
e
r
m
a
n
y
3×4 rigid Bella | Dreivier | Futuro | Gewirette
Kolibri | Parvola | Pupille | Ranca | Reporter
folding Baby Ikonta | Baldi | Dolly | Goldi | Gucki
Ingo | Korelle | Makinette | Vollenda
4x4 Navax | Paxina Electromatic | Rothlar
4x6.5 Billy | Bob | Dolly | Goldi
Korelle | Panta | Piccolette | Rio
TLR see German TLRs
F
r
a
n
c
e
3×4 rigid Fotobaby | Lynx | Super-Boy
folding Derby-Lux | Elax
pseudo TLR Auteuil | Longchamp
4×4 rigid Impera | Marly | Pari-Fex | Rubi-Fex | Top
4×6.5 rigid Photo-Magic
I
t
a
l
y
3x4 Comet | Comet III | Cometa | Euralux
Ibis | Maxima | Piccolo | Tanit
4x4 Comet | Euralux | Ibis
4x6.5 & other Alfa | Delta | Relex | Rolet | Rondine

Contessa-Nettel Piccolette 1919-1926

Two models have been observed: Model A lacks a Brillant viewfinder on the front standard. The inscription 'Piccolette' occurs above the lens/shutter unit, while "Contessa-Nettel Stuttgart' appears below. The lenses installed are is fix-focus[5]. Model B has a Brillant viewfinder incorporated into the top right corner of the front standard. The inscription 'Piccolette' now occurs below the lens/shutter unit and a manufacturer's logo has been added at the top left of the standard.

The camera was offered with a range of lens and shutter options in Germany. Additional variations occurred in the export markets. For example, it was common practice among French photo retailers to order cameras without lenses and have lenses of French manufacture fitted.

Model A:

  • Meyer Goerlitz Doppelanastigmat Citonar 7.5cm f/6.3[6].

Model B:

  • Achromat 7.5cm f/11 in Acro shutter (25, 50, 75, B, T)[7]
  • Berthiot Olor f/5.7 in Compur shutter [8]
  • Citonar 7.5cm f/6.3
  • Contessa-Nettel Piccar 7.5cm f/11 in Piccar shutter (25, 50, 75, B, T)[12]
  • Contessa-Nettel Nettar Anastigmat 7.5cm f/6.3 in ACG Derval shutter (25, 50, 100, B, T)[13]
  • Anastigmat Hermagis f/6.3[14]
  • Meyer Goerlitz Nettar Anastigmat 7.5cm f/6.3 in ACG Derval shutter (25, 50, 100, B, T)[15]
  • Contessa Nettel Doppel Anastigmat Taronar 7.5cm f/5.4 in Compur shutter[16]
  • Anastigmat Perfect / P.P. f/6.3 in ACG Derval shutter (25, 50, 100, B, T)[17]
  • Anastigmat Photo-Hall 7.5cm f/6.3[18]
  • Anastigmat Splendor f/6.2 in ACG Derval shutter (25, 50, 100, B, T)[19]
  • Trinastigmat 7.5cm f/6.8 in Derval shutter[20]
  • Roussel Stylor 7.5cm f/6.3[21]
  • Zeiss Tessar

Model B, lenses with font-cell focussing:


Zeiss Ikon Piccolette 1926-1930

The production of the camera was continued after the merger and offered as model 545/12. Examples exist that continue to carry the Contessa-Nettel logo in the top left corner of the front standard, but add the 'Zeiss Ikon' logo underneath 'Piccolette.'[27] At one point the Contessa-Nettel logo was replaced with the Zeiss Ikon logo. Some versions carry the catalogue number 545/12 below the word 'Piccolette.'[28] As before, the camera was offered with a range of lens options:



Piccolette de Luxe

Made from 1927 to 1930, the Piccolette de Luxe (catalogue nº 546/12), retains the body shape, film loading system and strut folding mechanism of the Piccolette, but added a folding bed, thus allowing bellows focusing, and perhaps giving a more rigid arrangement of the front standard and providing protection for the lens. The camera is leather covered[42] with chromed front standard and folding bed. The following lens options are on record:

Notes

  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). p714 (Nettel), 215 (Contessa-Nettel) and 1057 (Zeiss Ikon).
  2. Contessa-Nettel Piccolette, with an f/4.5 Tessar and dial-set Compur shutter, at Early Photography.
  3. It is no longer included in the 1931 Zeiss Ikon catalog. —But it is included in French catalogues until 1932.
  4. Unlike the number on the film carrier, which seems stamped/punched in, the body serial number of the Piccolette was engraved, but in a very fine and shallow fashion. Even limited corrosion seems to have obliterated part or all of the serial number on a great number of cameras. The last three digits of the serial number are repeated and punched into the reinforcement bar of the film carrier. Observed Serial Number Ranges:
    Contessa-Nettel: 183485 Nettar/Derval (coleccionandocamaras); 266759 Achromat/Acro (mrs logic); 275191 Achromat/Acro (David Purcell); 282213 Nettar/Derval (heritagefutures); 295734 Nettar/Derval (Dima Tsvetkov); 300618 Achromat/Acro (eBay USA (October 2012); 328814 Piccar/Piccar (Gerard Vogels); 335152 Piccar/Piccar (gionlukalta); 485135 Tessar/Compur (Early Photography);
    Zeiss Ikon: 661720 Piccar/Piccar (Kimmo Kulovesi);
  5. Contessa Nettel Piccolette in Sammlung Kurt Tauber
  6. Contessa Nettel Piccolette in Sammlung Kurt Tauber
  7. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1922, p. 8; 1925, p. 26; 1926, p. 13; 1927, p. 21.—Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1921, p. 13; August 1921, p. 1; August 1924, p. 2; April 1925, p. 20; April 1926, p. 20.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1924, p. 45; 1925, p. 45; 1926, p. 45; 1927, p. 45
  8. Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1923, p. 18; August 1924, p. 2; November 1924, p. 28; April 1925, p. 20; April 1926, p. 20
  9. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1926, p. 13.
  10. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1922, p. 8; 1927, p. 21.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1927, p. 45.—Catalogue Photo-Sport (Paris) 1923, p. 21.
  11. Catalogue Photo-Sport (Paris) 1922, p. 22.
  12. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1923, p. 9.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1924, p. 45.—Flickr
  13. f-stops marked off as 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18, 25, 36.—Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1923, p. 9.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1927, p. 45.—Catalogue Photo-Sport (Paris) 1923, p. 21.— heritagefutures via Flickr
  14. Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1923, p. 18; August 1924, p. 2; November 1924, p. 28; April 1925, p. 20; April 1926, p. 20
  15. coleccionandocamaras via Flickr
  16. The Camerasite
  17. Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1925, p. 45; 1926, p. 45; September 1927, p. 2
  18. Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) August 1921, p. 1; August 1922, p. 13; April 1923, p. 18; August 1924, p. 2; November 1924, p. 28; April 1925, p. 20; April 1926, p. 20
  19. Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1925, p. 45; 1926, p. 45
  20. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1927, p. 21.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1927, p. 45.
  21. Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1921, p. 13; August 1921, p. 1; August 1922, p. 13
  22. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1922, p. 8; 1927, p. 21.—Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1921, p. 13; August 1921, p. 1; August 1922, p. 13; April 1923, p. 18; April 1925, p. 20.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1927, p. 45.—Catalogue Photo-Sport (Paris) 1922, p. 22
  23. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1922, p. 8.—Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1923, p. 18; April 1925, p. 20; April 1926, p. 20
  24. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1922, p. 8.—Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1921, p. 13; August 1921, p. 1; August 1922, p. 13.—Catalogue Photo-Sport (Paris) 1922, p. 22; 1923, p. 21
  25. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1923, p. 9; 1925, p. 26; 1926, p. 13.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1922, p. 49; 1923, p. 47; 1924, p. 45; 1925, p. 45; 1926, p. 45; April 1926, p. 20; 1927, p. 45.—Catalogue Photo-Sport (Paris) 1922, p. 22; 1923, p. 21
  26. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1922, p. 8
  27. Seen in on-line auctions.—The camera illustrated in the 1928 catalogue still carries the Contessa-Nettel Symbol: Zeiss Ikon Cameras [Catalogue]. New York, Carl Zeiss Inc, 1928, p. 4.
  28. Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1931, p. 83.
  29. 1926-1937 Central Camera Catalog.— Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1928, p. 14; 1931, p. 12; 1932, p. 15.—Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1928, p. 22; September 1928, p. 22; August 1929, p. 22; April 1930, p. 20; April 1931, p. 18; May 1932, p. 8.—Photo-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46; 1929, p. 48; 1931, p. 83; 1932, p. 67
  30. 1926-1937 Central Camera Catalog.
  31. Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46.
  32. Kimmo Kulovesi)
  33. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1928, p. 14.
  34. Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1929, p. 48.
  35. 1926-1937 Central Camera Catalog.— Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46.
  36. Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1928, p. 14; 1931, p. 12; 1932, p. 15; April 1931, p. 18.—Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1930, p. 20; May 1932, p. 8.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46; 1929, p. 48; 1931, p. 83; 1932, p. 67.
  37. Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1928, p. 22; September 1928, p. 22; August 1929, p. 22.
  38. 1926-1937 Central Camera Catalog
  39. 1926-1937 Central Camera Catalog.—Photo-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46.
  40. 1926-1937 Central Camera Catalog.— Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46; 1929, p. 48.
  41. 1926-1937 Central Camera Catalog.— Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1928, p. 14; 1931, p. 12; 1932, p. 15; April 1931, p. 18.— Catalogue Photo-Hall (Paris) April 1928, p. 22; September 1928, p. 22; August 1929, p. 22; April 1930, p. 20; May 1932, p. 8.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46; 1929, p. 48; 1931, p. 83; 1932, p. 67
  42. Available in light brown and possibly also purple? with matching bellows.
  43. Zeiss-Ikon, Piccolette in fotobox.over-blog In French).
  44. Badged as Contessa-Nettel: Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1925, p. 26; 1927, p. 21.—Catalogue Photo-Sport (Paris) 1922, p. 22.—Piccolette de Luxe at Early Photography.
  45. Badged as Contessa-Nettel: Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1925, p. 26; 1926, p. 13; 1927, p. 21.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1924, p. 45.—Catalogue Photo-Plait (Paris) 1925, p. 45; 1926, p. 45.— Badged as Zeiss Ikon: CataloguePhoto-Plait (Paris) 1928, p. 46; 1931, p. 83
  46. Badged as Contessa-Nettel: Catalogue Omnium Photo (Paris) 1927, p. 21.—Badged as Zeiss Ikon: Virtuelles Museum der Wissenschaft.
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