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The Dehel is a series of self-erecting folding 120 roll-film cameras manufactured by DeMaria-Lapierre & Mollier, Paris, France, and produced between 1933-50 with many modifications and some of the models have different lenses and shutters other than D.L. and Manar, like Primar lenses and Gauthier shutters. Dehel models were available for two different frame formats: 6x9 and 4.5x6, and some 6x9 cameras have a mask for 5.5x5.5. [1]

Dehel 4.5x6

The 4.5x6 version is a light handsome metal construction, the plated metal surface's flat parts all covered with a durable type of black leatherette. On top it has the opening button and a collapsible reverse galilean optical viewfinder. At one side it has a leather grip. Rewind crank and tripod thread are on the bottom. The lens/shutter-unit has a special feature: The outer ring is the self-cocking shutter's speed setting ring. Its front is masked. The mask has four windows, named "brillant" (bright), "clair" (clear), "gris" (grey), and "sombre" (dark). The four windows show an aperture setting suggestion dependent on the speed selected; if the speed selected indicates underexposure at the len's maximum aperture, the window(s) display the French word "non".[2] Thus this is the camera's special exposure aid, which is not coupled to the aperture settings from f4.5 to f23. The lens is a Demaria Lapierre-Anastigmat F-75m/m1.4,5 and has a front element which is turnable for focusing. Film advance is controlled through two red windows. Two are needed since they are placed on the side of the film back were the numbers of 6x9 exposures appear. The described item is just one of several variants of the 4.5x6 version of the Dehel. More can be found under the link to the 4.5x6 model at Sylvain Halgand's collection, as well as many variants for the other formats. Many variants had just a collapsible two-frame viewfinder instead of the optical one.

Dehel 6x9


This data belongs to the camera in here.

  • Lens: DeMaria-Lapierre-Anastigmat Manar 110mm f/4.5, 3 elements, filter slip-on
    • Aperture: f/4.5-f/32, (no click stops)
    • Focus range: 2-12m +inf
  • Focusing: front element focusing
  • Shutter: D.L. (DeMaria-Lapierre) leaf shutter, speeds:1/25-1/150 (no click stops) +T & B,
  • Cocking and Shutter release: by the same lever, on the lens-shutter barrel
    • Manual shutter cocking and releasing on the same time, for the speed settings, by pressing once the lever, the diaphragm opens and closes
    • It is possible to get 1/10 with B, pressing the shutter release lever once and release it very quickly, also it is possible to get 1/5 with T pressing the shutter release lever twice very quickly
  • Exposure setting aid: (called "Autocal" in French) This is the camera's special exposure setting aid (a kind of exposure table) synchronised with the shutter. It's not coupled to aperture setting.
    • The lens front is masked. This mask has four windows, named in French: gris = grey, sombre = dark, brillant = brilliant, and clair = clear for the light conditions. The four windows show an aperture setting suggestion dependent on the speed selected; if the speed selected indicates underexposure at the len's maximum aperture, the window(s) display the French word "non" for 'no' or 'not'.
    • eg. when the speed setting is 1/25, the aperture numbers appear in windows as bright = 11, clear = 8, gray = 6.3, dark= not
  • Cable release socket: on the lens-shutter barrel
  • Viewfinders
    • Waist level brilliant finder on top of the lens, turnable 90 degrees left on its own axis for landscape pictures
    • Eye level sports finder, pop-up two-frame
  • Winding lever: on the right of the bottom plate
  • Bellows opening: automatic, by the button on the top plate, closing: pressing simultaneously the arrow shaped handles on the struts
  • Back cover: Hinged, opens by a latch on the right side of the camera, w/ red window and lid
  • Others: Tripod sockets two, 3/8inch, on the front cover and bottom plate; Strap lugs for hand grip
  • Body: Metallic, Weight: 500g


  1. Models and some info are as to Sylvain Halgand's collection
  2. This appears to be correct for slow films, as at 1/10th, the "brilliant" window shows an aperture setting of '16', suggesting a correct exposure for 10 ISO film (incidentally the speed of Kodachrome when first produced).