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  1. #1
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Old German camera question

    Oh boy! Two posts that show my ignorance in one day! Ah well, ignorance is a treatable desease- and I'm doing what I can to remedy it.

    I have a 9 x 12 plate camera with an all-metal body made in the very early 20's, a Rietzschel Clack. I know something about the history of the company and I love taking pictures with it, but there are some things about it that are mysteries to me. I thought that perhaps one of the experienced folk in this forum could help me understand more about it.

    The attachment of the lens standard to the bed has a sort of front plate, with a slot cut in it that scribes an arc left to right. There is a moveable pin in the slot that will stop the forward slide of the lens standard (when you open the camera) at different points depending on how it is set. Infinity is at one end of the arc and an arrow facing back toward the lens is at the other. In between, there are stops for the numbers 2, 3, 5 and 9. In practice, only the infinity stop seems to bring the lens anywhere near the infinity focus for the lens that came on the camera, a Rietzchel f6.3 150mm Linear Anastigmat. I have indicated the plate with a # 1 in the photo attached

    There are three separate focus scales affixed to the bed, two of which start at infinity and go to 1.5 (meters, I assume) and one which simply has an infinity symbol and the words "Hinter Linse." This last one I have labeled #3, the others are indicated with the #2.

    My original assumption (aren't assumptions great?) was that the lens must be a convertible, and that the back cell alone would focus on infinity at the mark for "Hinter Linse," and that the other two plates would be used for either both cells or the front cell moved to the rear. Unfortunately, it will not focus with the rear (unmarked) cell alone given the bellows that is on the camera. I can see no easy way to switch the bellows for another focal length.

    Anyone want to take a shot at this?

    Whitey

  2. #2
    Ole
    Ole is offline
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    Strange with that rear element focus - it should work, and indeed does work on my 9x12cm Rodenstock plate camera with Eurynar lens.

    Could it be that your camera is made for a "satz" lens - a set of elements of varying focal lengths? I'm not familiar with the Rietzchel Anastigmat, but many convertible sets of the appropriate vintage (1925-1940) were f:6.3 when two cells were combined - two cells with different but "close" focal length.

    Mine (all 3 of them) have long enough beds that a 135mm would focus at infinity around the middle, a 150 a bit nearer to the end. The Rodenstock is the only one with a "convertible" lens, and the "Hintenlinze allein" position is close to the end of the bed.

    The several different and numbered infinity stops might also indicate that a lens set was intended?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #3
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Ole, you were my best hope! I figured if anyone knew all about this thing, you would. It's a really great piece of gear, "found" in a partially bombed out house in Austria in 1945 and brought back by a soldier. I know it's pre 1923 because after that date these cameras carried the AGFA symbol instead of Rietzschel's name. I know of one other example on http://vintage-cameras.com/html/folding_clack1.html but it has a Dallmeyer lens and appears to have only one focus scale. Hard to tell with that photo.

    The compound shutter slips off pretty easily, with it's small metal lens board. Perhaps you're right that it came with a set of changable cells.

    Thanks. As always, you're a great source of info.

    Whitey

  4. #4
    alchemist's Avatar
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    Rietzschel Clack

    Cannot answer your question, but I found this ad in "Kompendium der praktischen Photographie" by "Professor F. Schmidt" printed in 1908.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails clack.png  

  5. #5
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Thanks, alchemist! I have a nephew living with me who speaks German. I give it to him to have a go at it. I'm afraid that though I sometimes think that English is my second language, I don't have a first.

    I hope to blow through a bit of Efke 100 in this camera this weekend. Wish me luck.

    Whitey

  6. #6
    alchemist's Avatar
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    Let me try, my first language is german, i hope you can
    translate my attempts at english ;-)

    The translation is

    The last word in camera construction is
    Rietzschel
    Auto-Clack
    with
    Rietzschel
    "Linear"
    German Reichs Patent Nr. 118466.
    Highest aperture cemented
    Universal-Anastigmat
    of present time
    highest aperture F:4,5
    Catalog Nr. 24.

    The bottem left shows a cross section of the
    Rietzschel "Linear" lens. It understand, that this
    camera was sold with the Rietzschel "Linear"
    lens.

    What is the maximum extension ? It looks
    quite impressive in the picture.

    I can send you a higher resolution scan by e-mail
    if you wish.

    Efke 100 is my favorite film.

    I wish you a nice weekend.
    Last edited by alchemist; 07-23-2005 at 04:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Ah! Great! My translator was away for the weekend and your English is quite good. I am embarassed by my lack of any other workable language skills and fall back often on my friends for help. Thank you, my friend.

    The maximum extension of the bellows on this camera is quite long - roughly 250mm, by my very unscientific measurement, from the rear of the ground glass to the front of the lens. The lens on this camera is indeed the "Linear Anastigmat."

    This weekend proved to be a case of too many cameras and too little time. I had two medium format cameras to run film through - a 1951 Rolleiflex that was just given to me and an AGFA Isolette II that I have been working on. Between a group of old friends who kept distracting me (another beer, Whitey?) and the fun I was having with those two cameras, the Rietzschel was left alone for yet another week.

    Soon!

    And yes, I would love to have a higher rez scan of that advert. moranger@belmont-hill.org

    Thanks again,
    Whitey Morange



 

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