Goldmann Universal-Detektiv-Camera

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The Universal-Detektiv-Camera is R. A. Goldmann's most characteristic camera model. It is a wooden-bodied bellows camera for hand-held use, with a reflex viewfinder (probably a Watson type), sold in sizes for 9×12cm or 13×18cm plates, held in wooden dark-slides. By 1896, 2800 pieces had already been sold.

The device below the lens in the illustration is the controls for an adjustable behind-the-lens shutter.[1] In hand-held use, the camera is focused with a scale mounted on the top of the rear body (just visible in the illustration) which indicates the position of the front standard with a pointer, linked to a rack-and-pinion mechanism. The camera could also be used as a view camera, with ground-glass focusing. It has front rise.


  1. 13×18 cm (5×7 inch) Goldmann Detektiv Kamera sold at the 20th Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 1 November 2011. This example has a 25 mm Steinheil Gruppen Antiplanet lens fitted (25 mm is the diameter, not the focal length). Several excellent photographs.