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The Heligonal is an asymmetrical Double-Anastigmat variant with a Doublet front and Quadruplet rear group,[1] produced by G. Rodenstock in München (Germany). The lens can be used both as a Double-Anastigmat and, with the removal of the back lens group, as a simple Anastigmat; the lens barrel has aperture markings for both options. Unusually, the lens has a 13-leaved diaphragm.[2]

The Heligonal was introduced in 1905 and well received in the press of the day as lens that was sharp across the entire image[3], even though later scholars were much more critical of the asymmetrical design.[4] While still advertised in 1910 in Sweden[5] and in 1911 in Estonia,[6] the Heligonal is not listed in the Rodenstock 1912 export catalogue to the USA.[7] It would appear that in Rodenstock's line-up it was quickly replaced by the symmetrically arranged Eurynar (which also sold at a much cheaper price) and that the Heligonal was apparently was no longer made by 1926[8] (if not already terminated earlier). The Heligonal seems to have had a limited sales market,[9] even though it had been offered in a wide range of focal lengths (12cm to 48cm, see below). In consequence, today, the pre World War I versions are very uncommon units on the collector's market.

On record are these focal lengths:

  • 12cm f/5.4 barrel lens[10]
  • 15cm f/5.5 in shutter
  • 15cm f/5.5 in shutter[11]
  • 21cm f/5.7 barrel lens[12]
  • 24cm f/5.7 barrel lens[13]
  • 30cm f/5.9 barrel lens [14]
  • 48cm f/6.3 barrel lens[15]

Apochromat Heligonal

  • 60cm barrel lens [16]



  1. All lenses are kitted.
  2. Diaphragm shown in this image (Dirk HR Spennemann via Flickr).
  3. Johnson, George Lindsay (1909) Photographic Optics and Colour Photography: Including the Camera, Kinematograph, Optical Lantern, and the Theory and Practice of Image Formation. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company. P. 128
  4. "Occasionally, for some reason, a designer will try the effect of combining two dissimilar cemented components about a central stop. It is hard to see the virtue of such an arrangement, except perhaps as an economy measure." (Kingslake, Rudolf [1989] A history of the photographic lens. London: Academic Press, p. 102).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Forsner's Fotografiska Magasin. Priskurant I 1910-11. Stockholm Örebro. p. 107 page image reproduced in post in www.largeformatphotography.info.
  6. Parikas, Johannes Ja Peter (1911) Fotografia Õperaamat. Tallin online copy, pdf. Advert in catalogue on p ii and in text p. 19 Fig 17).
  7. G. Rodenstock Lenses of Quality Catalog 1912 via www.cameraeccentric.com.
  8. M. Wilkinson and C. Glanfield (A lens collector's vademecum, 2001) Entry on Rodenstock.
  9. Serial number range from s/n 6328 (a 48cm) to s/n 27648 (a 30cm).—s/n 51013 (a 30cm) is probably a typesetting error in the auction listing.—All Rodenstock serial numbers of the Heligonal are before 1910.
  10. in Lechner's Stereoskop-Reflexkamera (ca. 1905) via www.photohistory.at;
  11. Apparecchio fotografico per cinetismi, a soffietto, a lastre G. Rodenstock via www.lombardiabeniculturali.it
  12. s/n 9547 (Photographica Collection Dirk HR Spennemann).
  13. s/n 12614 in Ernemann Globus G (at the seventh Westlicht auction); s/n 13897 (Seen in a Russian on-line auction May 2013).
  14. f/stops at: 5.9, 7.7, 9, 11, 18, 22, 31, 44, 61.— s/n 27648 (see in Chinese on-line auction June 2006; s/n 51013 on Kood 390 Studio Camera (Swedish auction archived via archive-ee.com.)
  15. f6.3 to f88; s/n 6328 worthpoint.com.
  16. Simon Kidd via flickr; XXX.