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Mackenstein Francia Pliante (Serie VIII) favori envoyer Print
Photos by JPP text by JPP et Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of JPP
France Version française

Chronology of the Mackenstein brand  New window

Manufactured in France from 1905 until Circa 1927.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 4065

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Mackenstein Francia Pliante
Strut folding Mackenstein Francia Pliante 9 x 12

This camera is consistently called the Francia Pliante on Mackenstein catalogues, and the first where it first appears is apparently in 1905. It is absent form the 1900 and 1902 catalogues. In the c.1905 catalogue the emphasis is on the ‘new’ focal plane shuter, L’Indéréglable’ (the ‘foolproof’). It is said on the catalogue that the new shutter could be mounted in the Francia cameras, either rigid (jumelles) or folding strut (Pliantes). The figure shows clearly this folding strut camera. There has been however a generalized tendency to call the camera the name of the shutter. In the catalogue of 1913 the camera is called Francia Pliante Series VIII, while in the catalogue tentatively dated from 1927 the camera is not named, only the shutter, but one can see clearly in the drawing the name Francia. The confusion may be due to the fact that the shutter has the name written on it, while the cameras are often unnamed. In catalogues of different distributors the camera could be called as Klapp Reportage.

According to the figures from the Mackenstein catalogues the camera did not suffer much modifications along its production time. It is a typical folding strut reporter-type camera with single pleat black leather bellows, for 9 x 12 cm plates. The struts are articulated and give a high rigidity to the camera. A folding Newton finder and a bubble level are on the top of the casing.

The focal plane shutter is the self-capped L’Indéréglable requested for patent in 1907 (383733A : pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), ), with control for spring tension of the right side where also the trigger and cocking knob are located, and the slit width selector wheel on the lower left side. It delivers speeds in the range 1/10 to 1/2000 seconds and T.

The lens is a C.P. Goerz Berlin Dopp-Anastigmat series 1B Celor of 135 mm of focal length and maximum aperture of 4,5.