Mackenstein “Francia” № 4 camera

The “Francia” № 4 is a versatile camera manufactured by Mackenstein from Paris. The camera can take both stereo and panorama photos. With the name “La Francia”, Mackenstein wanted to emphasize that his company was French, which was necessary given his German heritage and the anti-German sentiments following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

Mackenstein "Francia" № 4

The Francias, Jumelles Stéréo-Panoramique cameras were introduced in 1903 and manufactured until 1915[1]. There were models for different formats. The “Francia” № 4 supports the 6x13cm format but is also suitable for 6x6cm and 6×6,5cm glass plates. This camera has serial number 8986.

Like the Stéréo-Panoramique Leroy, this camera can be used for taking stereo photos and panorama photos. Mackenstein used a different mechanism than Leroy to accomplish this. The front panel with the lenses can be shifted to enter the panorama mode. The right lens (from the photographers point of view) shifts to the middle of the camera and the septum inside the camera flips up. The left lens will not be used and is covered with the lens cap.

Mackenstein "Francia" № 4 in panorama mode
Panorama mode

The camera has two 90mm Mackenstein Anastigmat série VI f/6.8 lenses with the serial numbers 18787 and 18788. The lenses can be focused by extending the front panel. Focusing is possible from 1,5 meters to infinity. The aperture settings of both lenses can be adjusted simultaneously via a controller that connects both lenses.

The catalog from 1914 offers alternative lens setups[2]:

  • Périgraphes Lacour-Berthiot 85mm f/6.8
  • Dagors-Goerz III 90mm f/6.8
  • Tessar Zeiss 90mm f/6.8
  • Tessar Zeiss 90mm f/4.5
  • Eurygraphe Lacour-Berthiot 85mm f/4

The camera’s features:

  • Eleven shutter speeds
  • Six diaphragm settings: f/6.8, f/9, f/12, f/16, f/24 and f/48
  • A magazine for twelve glass plate negatives or film pack
  • Folding crosshair viewfinder
  • Spirit level on top


  1. Princelle, Jean Loup; Scheiba, Dieter. Mackenstein – Suffize & Molitor, Le Rêve Édition No. 13, 2004. p.23
  2. Mackenstein. Catalogue №14, 1914
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