Victrix (folding-bed)

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There is also a 9x12cm strut-folding plate camera called Victrix, made by Wünsche, one of the companies that merged to form ICA.

The Victrix is a folding-bed camera for 4.5x6cm plates and film packs, made from 1912-25[1] by ICA, and from 1926-31 by Zeiss Ikon, in Dresden.

The camera is metal-bodied, with leather covering and bellows. It is a vertical folder (that is, with the bed horizontal, the camera is oriented to take a 'portrait-format' photograph). The Victrix was ICA's model 48; a re-styled camera (model 49) was made from 1925, and this was continued after the merger to form Zeiss Ikon.

A 1925 catalogue[2] lists the following lenses (all 7.5cm) and shutters:

  • Automat X (shutter) with ICA f/6.8 Novar-Anastigmat
  • Automat X with ICA f/6.8 Hekla Double-anastigmat
  • Compur (dial-set) with Zeiss f/6.3 Tessar
  • Compur with f/4.5 Tessar.

McKeown also lists the camera with the ICA 7.5cm f/4.5 Dominar

The Automat model X shutter is a three-speed everset one, with speeds 1/25 - 1/100 second, plus 'B' and 'T'. The Compur mentioned gives speeds 1 - 1/300 second, plus 'B' and 'T'.[2]

The camera has radial lever focusing. In the original model 48, the lever is at the front of the bed; later cameras have it on the right side of the bed. It has a cross front, but not rise (the cross front is equivalent to front rise when the camera is oriented for a landscape photograph, when rise is most likely to be wanted; the advertisement shown here refers to front rise; this is presumably what is meant). There is always a brilliant finder. Some examples also have a folding frame finder: the ICA catalogue cited above shows the Victrix model 48 with an 'Ikonometer' frame finder, hinged at the top of the shutter unit, so that it stands above the camera. This frame finder is the one shown in the advertisement. McKeown, however, shows the camera without this finder,[1] and examples at Westlicht also lack it.[3] The camera has tripod bushes for vertical and horizontal use.

McKeown states that the Victrix was sold by Butcher in the UK as their Watch Pocket Klimax, an extension of the company's Klimax range of folding plate cameras, from 1913-20.[4] This camera has British Aldis and Beck lenses instead of ICA lenses as the cheaper options, but Zeiss lenses are still the more expensive options. The cheaper shutter option is a Lukos, often used by London makers,[5] suggesting that ICA supplied the camera bodies, to be fitted with lens and shutter in England.


  1. 1.0 1.1 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). p421.
  2. 2.0 2.1 ICA catalogue of 1925 at Camera Eccentric; the Victrix model 48 is on page 4; the shutters are described on page 2.
  3. Lot of five Victrix cameras sold at the Second/third Westlicht Photographica Auction in Vienna, including ICA model 48 cameras from 1912 and 1914, an ICA model 49 from 1925, and two Zeiss Ikon cameras.
  4. McKeown, 12th Ed., p173.
  5. ICA (Butcher) Watch Pocket Klimax, equivalent to a Victrix model 48, with 7.5 cm f/6.3 Zeiss Triotar and Lukos II three-speed shutter, and with a film-pack holder, sold at the Second/third Westlicht auction.