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The Rothschloss is a rare camera for 18x24 exposures on 35 mm film, made by Rothgiesser and Schlossmann of Berlin, in about 1930. It is of a curious design. There is a 'viewing' lens above the 'taking' lens, which gives an image on a ground-glass screen, as in any TLR. The viewing lens does not focus though: the camera focuses by a helical control behind the taking lens and shutter unit, so when used in this way, the camera is a pseudo-TLR. However, the notes on a Rothschloss camera sold at Westlicht suggest that it also allows through-the-lens focusing, so that it is in fact an SLR camera.[1] This would require the user to move the ground-glass screen (and its mirror) downward and focus the image from the taking lens on the ground-glass. This adjustment is perhaps done with the knurled wheel on the right side of the camera body.

There is a magnifier for the ground-glass screen; this is not attached to the camera, but consists of a simple round magnifier with a leg, which mounts in a socket next to the viewfinder screen.[2]

The taking lens on most examples seen is a 5 cm f/3 Rothschloss Anastigmat, but some examples have a 5 cm f/2.8 Steinheil Triplar.[2] Either lens is mounted in a dial-set Compur shutter, with speeds 1 - 1/300 second, plus 'B' and 'T', and focusing down to 1.5 metre. The film is loaded in a removable magazine, incorporating the back-plate of the camera (rather like the Pentax 645). There is a frame-counter dial on the left side of the body, which counts to 50.

There is an earlier camera, also marked 'Rothschloss': a simple pseudo-TLR for 4.5x6 cm pictures on 120 (BII) roll film. Only one example of this has been seen.[3] It has a 7 cm f/11 Berlin Super Achromat lens with fixed focus and no aperture control. It appears to have an 'I' and 'B' shutter. The viewfinder is said to be a brilliant finder, in a folding hood.

Rothgiesser and Schlossmann also made film-strip projectors, and held patents relating to these.[4][5]


Camera industry in Berlin
Agfa | Amigo | Astro Berlin | Bermpohl | Bopp | B+W | Foth | Goerz | Grass & Worff | Levy-Roth | Ernst Lorenz | Plasmat | Rudolph | Rothgiesser & Schlossmann | Rüdersdorf | Schulze & Billerbeck | Sida | Stegemann | Romain Talbot
  1. Rothschloss serial no. 232, sold at the 23rd Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 25 May 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rothschloss with Triplar lens, in the highlights of the sale Photographica and Film, on 9 June 2007, by Auction Team Breker; photographs showing the film magazine and the magnifier, with its own case.
  3. Rothschloss cameras of 1930 (the 35 mm camera described above, showing pictures of the example cited at Breker) and a simpler roll-film model dated to 1924, at Novacon.
  4. German Patent 479749, Schaltvorrichtung für das Bildband von zur Vorführung stehender Bilder dienenden Projektionsapparaten (Switching mechanism to advance strips of still images, serving projectors), filed in 1927 and granted in 1929 to Rothgiesser and Schlossmann GmbH; at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.
  5. French Patent 732101, Appareil d'observation de films permettant de regarder des images fixes (bandes d'images) (Film-viewing apparatus allowing still images to be viewed (film-strips)), filed and granted in 1932 to Rothgiesser and Schlossmann; also at Espacenet.