rare 35mm colour camera the Optikotechna Spektaretta sold by Leitz Photographica Auction in November, 2002

Toronto. Studies in the late 1800s proved three colour bands would create the full spectrum of visible light. Many attempts were made to create the plates necessary for this effort in a reasonable time.

For about the first half of the last century, cameras were made to take three black and white plates, each through a colour filter simultaneously. Various mirrors and pellicles were devised to expose the monochrome plates (or cut film or roll film). The Wikipedia article on Color photography suggests the first such camera was the 1903 Bermpohl (a recent post enquired about Brodie MacPherson’s later camera).

And Camera Wiki suggests such beasts were still used in studios for specialized work into the 1950s. They were a very rare design pushed off the market by the minicam revolution and the creation of colour film tri-packs including Kodachrome and Agfacolor for both transparencies and prints. This site discusses the Spekatretta camera in more detail.

NB. The post name comes from an oil common in my youth and suitable for lots of home applications.

This entry was posted in history and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.