Stereflektoskop

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Voigtländer made a series of cameras called Stereflektoskop between 1914 and 1937.[1] As the name suggests, they are stereo cameras with reflex waist-level viewfinders. They are an improvement on the Stereophotoskop cameras, made from 1905-26 (i.e. overlapping with these) which have only a non-focusing reflex finder. They are metal-bodied, with leather covering on most parts; the lens board is painted in a black crackle finish.

They are designed for plates, which in most examples seen are in a rapid-changing magazine back. However, as with the later Franke & Heidecke Heidoscop (a copy of this camera) the Stereflektoskop can be used with a film pack holder.[2][3] Some examples have been seen with a roll film back.[4][5][6][7] These are almost all third-party accessories, some requiring modification to fit them, and the pages on the camera at Welt der Stereoskopie state that Voigtländer did not make a roll film back themselves;[8] However, one example of a back made by Voigtländer is shown on Heinz Schöbel's Voigtländer Archive site.[9] Unlike Franke & Heidecke (with the Rolleidoscop), however, Voigtländer did not make a version of their camera dedicated to roll film.

The first cameras in the smaller of the two formats have Voigtländer shutters; after that, all models have Stereo-Compur shutters giving speeds from 1 second to 1/250 second, plus 'B'.[10]

Focusing is by a knob on the right hand side of the body. All models of the Stereflektokop have a rising and falling front; the lens plate simply slides up under finger pressure. Most (perhaps all) of the models have a loupe built into the focusing hood. By capping one lens at a time, it is also possible to make single (i.e. not stereo) exposures.

Stereflektoscop cameras were made in two sizes:

  • 4.5×10.7 cm plates (for stereo pairs of 4×4 cm images), usually in a magazine back. These cameras have the viewing lens placed centrally between the taking lenses.
    • 1914 model: with 62 mm f/4.5 Heliar taking lenses, un-named viewing lens, and Voigtländer shutter.[2] Early examples may have shutter speeds from 3 seconds to 1/300 second. Later ones have 1 second to 1/250 second, plus 'B'.[1] On this model, the shutter speed is set with a knob on the left of the body, and aperture with a ring around the viewing lens. In addition to the reflex finder, there is a folding reverse-Galilean finder on the side.
    • 1923 model: with 65 mm f/4.5 Heliar taking and viewing lenses (i.e. three lenses the same), and Stereo-Compur shutter with speeds 1 - 1/100 second, plus 'B'.[11][12] The shutter speed control is now a dial on the lens board (like any dial-set Compur).
    • 1929 model: with three 60 mm f/4.5 Heliar lenses and Stereo-Compur shutter. There is now a folding wire-frame finder mounted on the lid of the folding reflex finder hood, instead of the optical finder on the side.[13][14] The camera now has strap lugs on the top.
  • 6×13 cm plates (for stereo pairs of images 2¼ inches square) in a magazine. On all models in this size, the shutter speed control is a dial at the top left of the lens board (the user's left, from behind the camera), and the aperture is set with a similar dial in the top right.
    • 1925 model: with 85 mm f/4.5 Heliar taking lenses, and a 65 mm f/4.5 Heliar viewing lens, a little above the taking lenses. This model has no wire-frame finder. It does have strap lugs.[15]
    • 1928 model: with three 75 mm f/4.5 Heliar lenses. The viewing lens is now centrally between the taking lenses, as on the smaller models. The camera now has a wire frame finder.[5][6][3]
    • 1936 model: more or less the same as the 1928 model, but with a cover for all three lenses (and covering the shutter and aperture controls), hinged at the bottom, instead of individual lens caps. It also has black-painted strap loops rather than bright metal lugs.[4]


Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 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). p961-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 1914 4.5×10.7 cm Stereflektoskop with a film pack adapter (rear view only is shown); a lot in an auction in June 2008 by Tamarkin Photographica in Woodbridge, Connecticut.
  3. 3.0 3.1 1928 6×13 cm Stereflektoskop with a film pack adapter; a lot in an auction in October 2006 by Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Massachusetts.
  4. 4.0 4.1 1936 6×13 cm Stereflektoskop with a roll film back; a lot in an auction in September 2006 by Auction Team Breker in Cologne.
  5. 5.0 5.1 1928 6×13 cm Stereflektoskop with a third-party roll film back; a lot in an auction in March 2006 by Auction Team Breker in Cologne.
  6. 6.0 6.1 1928 6×13 cm Stereflektoskop with a custom-fitted third-party roll film back; a lot in an auction in April 2005 by Auction Team Breker in Cologne.
  7. 1929 6x13 cm Stereflektoskop at the 21st Westlicht auction, on 23 May 2012, with a plate magazine and an unidentified custom-made roll-film back.
  8. Welt der Stereoskopie shows a 4.5×10.7 cm camera (the 1929 model) and a 1928 6×13 cm one each with a roll film holder (for 120 film), but the text (in German) states that Voigtländer did not make such backs. The site also shows pictures of a 4.5×10.7 cm camera converted for 35 mm film, describing it as a protoype.
  9. Various Voigtländer stereo cameras, including third-model 6×13 cm Stereflektoskop with a Voigtländer roll-film back, at Voigtländer-Archiv. The back has the Voigtländer name impressed in the leather, and the advance knob is very like that of a Virtus folder (of about the same time).
  10. Welt der Stereoskopie also shows an example of the 4.5×10.7 cm camera modified for flash with a PC socket on the lens board, stating that this was added at some time in the 40s or 50s.
  11. 1923-type 4.5×10.7 cm Stereflektoskop (actually dated to 1926) sold at the thirteenth Westlicht auction, on 7 June 2008. Photos show the camera, magazine back and a close-up of the lenses.
  12. 1923 4.5×10.7 cm Stereflektoskop; a lot in an auction in September 2006 by Auction Team Breker in Cologne. The viewfinder hood on this example appears to have been turned round: McKeown states that it hinges at the back in the first two models.
  13. 1929-type 4.5×10.7 cm Stereflektoskop sold at the thirteenth Westlicht auction in June 2008.
  14. 1929 4.5×10.7 cm Stereflektoskop; a lot in an auction in September 2006 by Auction Team Breker in Cologne.
  15. 1925 6×13 cm Stereflektoskop at Early Photography.


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