Revision as of 16:32, 5 December 2011 by Dustin McAmera (talk | contribs) (Noted second model in McKeown, tried to describe the curious shape.)
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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: it seems probable that the tab on the left hand end of the camera is the film advance control, pulling a rack to turn the uptake spool by a fixed amount (the wide-centred spools then make sense, in that the length of film taken up by a fixed number of turns will vary less along the film than with a narrower spool). To load the camera, the back detaches, and the top hinges up.

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.


  • 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.
  • Sico, serial number 240, sold at the May 2004 Westlicht auction.