Hi all, Sorting through some old stuff this morning I came across a print of the only time I ever used large format back in the mid 1960s. The camera was a Zeiss Ikon Nettel 9x12 cm press camera with focal plane shutter, probably late 1930s, fitted with an early post-war uncoated Tessar f/4.5 lens. If I recall correctly the film was FP4 sheet film loaded into a 9x12 darkslide using a sheet film adaptor.
I've no idea what stop or shutter setting I used, and I don't know what happened to the negative. It got lost sometime over the past 40 or so years, so I scanned this in from the print.
The picture is of St. Augustine's Gate to the cathedral grounds in Canterbury.
Great to see a 9x12 picture Peter, interesting buildings too, i wish we had more old architecture like that, not much we can do about that though lol. do you know if the scene still looks the same now.
i would like some fp4 in 9x12 but it seems difficult to find, i do believe its available somewhere in Europe though.
was the ZI Nettel a loaner or was it yours by chance, i assume a loaner if you just got the one picture from it. very interesting looking camera..not so long back i was very tempted to get the same camera in the tropical version (teak i believe) but alas i could not justify the huge asking price, lovely looking camera though. i was curious just how they would feel to operate as well considering their strut design is so much different to other folding 9x12. by the looks (at a glance) they dont have rise and fall or shift.
the focal plane shutter seems set up different to others i have or others that i have seen as well, although i presume it works on the same priciple just that the knobs are different and in different places. i think it is incredible that way back then 1/1000 was available..more so, because when i was young and got my first slr it only went to 1/500..i couldnt afford the Olympus and Nikons that went 1/1000 which at the time i thought was new technology haha
Zoom is two steps forward and wide angle two steps back ;-)
Yes, the camera was, and still is, mine. It was given to me, together with a VN press camera, by a pro news photographer back in the 1960s when he was turning out his equipment locker and came across them right at the back. He hadn't used them for donkey's years. I was delighted to be given the Nettel because it's from one of my favourite camera designers, August Nagel, when he was boss of Contessa Nettel. On the Nettel press camera which Nagel inherited when he took over the Nettel works you had to play with two knobs to set the shutter speed, one to adjust the crossing speed of the curtain and one to set the slit width. The speed controller was a massive affair with a three-ball governor like the ones on old wind-up grammophones. Servicing it was a major strip-down operation.
Nagel replaced all this with a single-knob 'lift, turn and drop' control and an escapement speed controller built onto a small plate. If necessary you can take the speed controller out and change the whole thing in about ten minutes using just two screwdrivers.
I know I wrote the posting late at night, but my memory must definitely be playing up these days. I called it a 9x12, but it isn't it's a quarter plate (3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches), and it's earlier than I said. It's late 1920s about 1927-28.
Sorry for misleading you. The camera was packed away so I couldn't refer to it, and I'd forgotten I wrote about it on my website. If you want to read about it there go to www.peterwallage.com and click on My Cameras -> Zeiss Ikon -> Nettel Deckrullo. I'm in the process of editing and adding to my website so I apologise that there isn't a picture of Nettel Deckrullo on there at the moment.
It's a Tropen, or Tropical, model with a teak body, but not in pristine condition. It bears the scars of years of hard press work. Apart from a broken shutter tape it stood up to those years of hard work with no compaints, as it was designed to do. Being quarter plate and with the focusing in feet, I presume it was made for the UK market.
Soon after I took the picture one of the old curtains, hardened from lack of use, split which is why I took only one picture with it. I haven't yet got around to making new curtains.
I also give the price of the Nettel Deckrullo against a Contax in the Zeiss Ikon 1936 catalogue. You'll see that the Nettel Tropen was an expensive camera, hand built in relatively small numbers.
There was also a version of the Nettel Deckrullo which converted in one movement to a single lens reflex. Contessa Nettel launched it a few months before the Zeiss Ikon amalgamation. Zeiss Ikon continued it for nearly 10 years but not in the same quantity as the press camera.
I'd love one, but they're now well and truly in the WOW! RARE! category, with prices to match.
A tropical Deckrullo! what a pleasent suprise! you may of made a late night error but it just gets better! thats a fair dinkum, rip snorter of a camera Peter. Like the advert says, a Masterpiece! that shutter mechanism is amazing too...
What size lens has it got Peter, i was looking up my reference but i haven't been able to find a 1/4 plate model. does it have a model number on it somewhere? I can find #12.870 for 4.5x6cm (baby D) #36 for 6.5x9, #90 for 9x12, #120 for 10x15 and #165 for 13x18cm (some of these I heard reffered to as 5x7inch, natuaraly among americans but i suspect they are one and same)
lovely camera, the ol plate camera are a favourite of mine and that one is a ripper, i would get kick out of restoring it to working..i hope you get around to it sooner or later.
Andrew, Thanks for your interest in the Nettel Deckrullo.
What size lens has it got Peter, i was looking up my reference but i haven't been able to find a 1/4 plate model. does it have a model number on it somewhere? I can find #12.870 for 4.5x6cm (baby D) #36 for 6.5x9, #90 for 9x12, #120 for 10x15 and #165 for 13x18cm
The lens is a 15cm f/3.5 Tessar, serial number 870779.
In a list that Zeiss Ikon sent me years ago there is no picture size code (the number(s) after the slash in the model designation) for quarter plate. The Zeiss Ikon picture size code for 9x12 cm was /7. My copy of McKeown's gives the basic model designation for the Tropen Nettel as 871, so the 9x12 model would have been 871/7.
Quarter plate models would probably have been for the UK, and possibly US, markets only, and I have a strong suspicion that it would be the same as a standard 9x12 cm camera but with a viewing screen and plate back to suit quarter plate. 9x12 cm is 3 1/2 inches x 4 3/4 inches, and quarter plate is 3 1/4 inches by 4 1/4 inches. The viewing screen and plate holding back both slide out, so it would be easy enough to fit ones with dimensions to suit quarter plate.
If you look at the advert for the Miroflex reflex model (developed from the Deckrullo Press camera) I posted you'll see that it says 'One Size Only 9x12 cm'. Underneath that in small letters is 'With carriers for quarter plate' so it was in effect a 'dual format' camera.
I can't find a model designation anywhere on the Deckrullo. I suppose it's just possible that Zeiss Ikon left it off because they hadn't got a picture size code for quarter plate, but that's just a guess. There is, however, a serial number which is 43584.
Sorry, that's all the information I've got about it.
Peter, my information is that if it is a "Deckrullo", then the model numbers i gave apply, which are a carry over from Contessa-Nettel Camerawerk numbering system, they continued to be used by C-N as a division of Zeiss Ikon on this camera until 1929 , after 1929 they were no longer called Deckrullo but just Nettel and known as the 870 series Nettel or Tropen (tropical) Nettel in the case of your camera.
hope this helps... i was just trying to nail down the year of yours but the serial number on the lens is tricky ! is the rear view finder original?
Zoom is two steps forward and wide angle two steps back ;-)