Lorenz Nacht Kamera

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The Nacht Kamera is more-or-less a copy of Ernemann's Ermanox, made by Ernst Lorenz of Berlin in about 1926; a hand-held camera with a large-aperture lens of portrait length, and a focal plane shutter, designed to allow photography in poor light; both cameras' names refer to night-time. It is based on Lorenz's Clarissa, but that camera is strut-folding, with bellows.

The rear part of the camera is a rectangular, wooden box, housing the focal-plane shutter. On the front, the lens, a Meyer 9 cm Plasmat (the engravings acknowledge Paul Rudolph's ownership of the patent for the lens) is mounted on a lens-tube of length roughly equal to the body's depth. It has helical focusing. There is a plate on top of the lens-tube, giving the shutter settings to achieve each speed.

As with most hand-held plate cameras, it is quite possible to use the camera with a ground-glass screen, but it is designed for more rapid use, with a folding Newton viewfinder on the top.

Just three examples are thought to exist. One, with black leather covering and a 9 cm f/2 Plasmat, was sold at Westlicht in 2002.[1] Another with the same lens but red-brown leather (the camera pictured here) was sold in 2016.[2]


  1. Nacht Kamera with black leather and 9cm f/2 Plasmat serial no. 291556, sold at the first Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 15 November 2002; the same camera was offered for sale again at the sixth Westlicht auction, on 6 November 2004.
  2. Nacht Kamera with red-brown leather and 9cm f/2 Plasmat serial no. 291557 sold at the 29th Westlicht Photographica Auction, in November 2016.