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The Onito is a folding single-extension camera for 6.5x9cm, 9x12cm or 10x15cm plates or film packs.[1] It was originally a product of Contessa, which was continued by Contessa-Nettel and Zeiss-Ikon. The small model of the camera shown here radial focusing (i.e. the lens carriage is pulled out to the infinity position, where it engages with a focusing lever, used in conjunction with a curved scale on the side of the bed). McKeown shows a 9x12 example, with rack-and-pinion focusing,[1] and this is the only size illustrated, also with rack-and-pinion focusing, in an advertisement for the camera (as a Contessa product) reproduced at Collection Appareils.[2]

The examples of the camera seen have modest lenses and shutters. That shown here has an f/6.8 Nostar (described by the owner as a Dialyt-type four-element lens) and three-speed Derval everset shutter. McKeown also lists the camera with a Citonar f/6.3 double-anastigmat or f/4.5 Nettar anastigmat, and with Ibsor or Gauthier everset shutters.[1] The advertisement at Collection Appareils offers the camera with an 'extra-rapid periscopic aplanat' or an f/6.8 Nettar double-anastigmat, either apparently with a three-speed everset shutter.

The 9x12 cameras cited clearly have front rise (and perhaps shift).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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)., p215.
  2. 9x12cm Contessa Onito in an undated advertisement for Photo-Hall, reproduced at Collection Appareils.