Difference between revisions of "Sico"

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[[Category: 3x4 viewfinder]]
[[Category: Unperforated 35mm film]]
[[Category: Unperforated 35mm film]]
[[Category: Switzerland]]
[[Category: Switzerland]]
[[Category: S]]
[[Category: S]]

Revision as of 18:08, 5 December 2011

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The Sico is a camera for 30×40 mm exposures on unperforated 35 mm film (with a backing paper). It was made by Wolfgang Simons & Company of Bern, Switzerland, from about 1923.[1]

The camera has a wooden body; in form, this a rectangular box with one bevelled corner on the left of the front panel. It has mostly brass fittings. On one side there is a folding frame finder. If this side is taken to be the top, then there is a frame-counter on the bottom, which counts to 25 (a circular scale with a rotating arrow pointer). On the back, there is a red window under a sliding cover; however, the camera seems to have automatic frame-spacing, and the red window of one example sold at Westlicht has been covered permanently.[2]

The lens is either a 6 cm f/3.5 Rüdersdorf Anastigmat[1] (listings at Westlicht identify the lens as Rueo anastigmat,[2] but this is probably an abbreviation for Ruedersdorf) or an f/6.8 Goerz Dagor double-anastigmat.[1] The shutter is a dial-set Compur with speeds 1 - 1/300 second, plus 'B' and 'T', set in a helical focusing mount on the front of the camera.

The film is passed between two rather wide spools; with the orientation as described above, the uptake spool is on the left. There is no winding knob: the tab on the left hand end of the camera is the film advance control; it is pulled to wind the film on. The mechanism was the subject of a patent by Simons and a partner; the stroke of the rod is reduced with every frame, to keep the length of film constant as the diameter of the uptake spool is increased by the film aready on it.[3]

There is a brass carrying-handle on the left-hand end (the end with the film advance control).

McKeown also lists a later, and rarer, second model. This has a larger body, still wooden but covered with leather. Both ends of the front panel are bevelled on this camera. Its lens is a 6 cm f/4.5 Tessar, and the shutter is a rim-set Compur, and other controls are also different from the earlier camera.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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). p894.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sico, serial no. 32, sold in the November 2005 Westlicht auction in Vienna.
  3. British patent GB 195351, Improvements in film-feed mechanism for roll-film photographic apparatus, lodged 1922, and granted 1924 to Dr. Alfred Huber and Wolfgang Simons; at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.


  • Sico, serial no. 82, sold at the May 2010 Westlicht auction. This example has the Rüdersdorf 6 cm f/3.5 lens. The red window is intact. One photograph shows the film chamber; the uptake spool is smaller (and looks a bad fit) so may not be correct. It has a very worn brass plate on the back.
  • Sico in the 'previous auction highlights' page at Auction Team Breker. This example also has the plate on the back, with a readable exposure guide.
  • Sico, serial number 240, sold at the May 2004 Westlicht auction.