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The Archimedes is a box-form magazine plate camera (detective camera), made by Ernemann in the early 20th century.[1] It takes twelve 9x12 cm plates; the catalogue also offers the camera with sheet-film holders, allowing twenty-four sheets to be loaded. It has either an f/6.8 Ernemann Detectiv-Aplanat or an f/6.8 Goerz Doppel-anastigmat Series III, no. 1 (at considerably greater cost), in Ernemann's own Bob Automatic shutter.[1] The camera has a radial focusing lever on the right side. It has both Brilliant finders and bubble levels for vertical and horizontal use. Plate-changing is by a key on the right side, and there is a plate counter dial.

The camera is unusual of its type in having a front section that can slide relative to the magazine back, giving front rise or shift. The Ernemann catalogue Ernemann Cameras sind die Besten states: First and only non-bellows hand-camera with horizontal and vertical displacement of the lens. The "ERNEMANN ARCHIMEDES" has the same excellent plate-changer as the Minor (which see), but is equipped with the "Bob Automatic Shutter" and also has the following advantages: "Ernemann Archimedes" has, for both vertical and horizontal images, rise and side-shift of the lens. The lens and shutter unit is removable and can be used on other cameras. The major advantages for each of these facilities to any advanced amateur are obvious. They not only allow the full use of the plate format, but it is also possible with these methods to get usually over-large subjects, such as towers and the like, in the frame by moving the lens. In ordinary hand cameras one cannot fit very tall items on the plate, or one is forced to photograph them at a great distance, so that the actual desired image appears only in miniature on the upper half of the plate, while unwanted foreground occupies appears as the whole lower half. In short, one obtains an image with little claim to artistic merit. The "Archimedes" can remedy that evil.[1] However, a camera sold at Westlicht, identified by the auctioneer as a late Archimedes of about 1914, clearly does not have the rise-and-shift front.[2]

There is a stereo model of the camera, the Archimedes-Stereoskop, described as being constructed exactly as the Archimedes, but taking twelve 8½x17 cm plates.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Catalogue Ernemann Cameras sind die Besten; Anleitung; Liste No. 91, p44-5. The catalogue is undated, but describes the Bob III (1904-10) as new; at Ciné-Ressources. Original text in German.
  2. Archimedes serial no. 320706 (identified as such by the auctioneer, though without rise and shift), with 15 cm f/6.8 Rapid Aplanat, and with focusing scaled in feet down to 8 feet; sold at the fourteenth Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 30 November 2008; several excellent pictures of the camera.