Mondain & Mondial

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The Mondial and Mondain are strut-folding cameras for plates, made in several sizes by E. Krauss of Paris, around and shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. They are very similar.[1][2]

The cameras were made for 4.5x6cm, 6.5x9cm, 9x12cm plates, and also for stereo, 45x107mm and 6x13cm plates.[2][1][3][4]

The camera is made mostly from brass, plated with a silver metal (perhaps nickel). The rear body is a shallow open box; the plate-holder fastens to this, and there is a Newton finder on the top. The front body, another shallow metal box, pulls out on robust scissor struts at the top and bottom of the red leather bellows. This contains the lens, inevitably by Krauss, and a mechanical shutter with five instantaneous speeds, plus 'B' ('P' for Pose: the controls are a selector for 'I' and two 'P' settings - perhaps 'B' and 'T'; the speed selector; a key to arm the shutter; and the release button, which is threaded to accept an external cable release).

On the right side of the rear body is a lever hanging like a plumb indicator. This is a rather coarse focus control, with a scale on the body: it adjusts the strut extension.


  1. 1.0 1.1 4.5x6cm Mondial with 62mm f/6.8 Krauss-Zeiss Tessar (the auctioneer's notes say 32mm, but this is a mistake); sold at the 28th Westlicht Photographica Auction, in November 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p559. McKeown only lists the Mondain, and dates it to c.1906.
  3. 6.5x9cm Mondain with 75mm f/9 Krauss-Zeiss anastigmat, seen in the stock of dealer French-Camera.
  4. 45x107mm Stereo Mondial with 92mm f/7.7 Krauss Kalloptat lenses, in the Foticos Collection.