The Stéréo-Panoramique Leroy was an innovative camera for the 6x13cm format, developed by Lucien Leroy. The camera takes both stereo photos and panorama photos, just by switching the position of a lens as described in a patent from 1903. The camera was presented on 1 May 1903.
Both lenses are used in stereo position. Each lens captures one stereo photo on the glass negative. There is a septum inside the camera that ensures that both lenses can make their own isolated exposures.
In panorama position, only one lens is used to take panorama photos. The right lens (from the photographer’s perspective) is mounted on a circular plate. By turning it clockwise, the lens is positioned in the center. The septum inside the camera folds up. After positioning the lens, the left lens must be covered with the lens cap.
The viewfinder is a foldable metal frame on top of the camera that supports framing in stereo position and panorama position by aligning a reticle.
The camera is offered with lenses from different manufacturers in a catalog from 1913:
- Darlot 80mm F8.5
- Ross 80mm F8.5
- Protar-Zeiss 82mm F9
- Goerz serie III 80mm F8.5
It’s likely that during the First World War cameras with the German lenses of Zeiss and Goerz were not available. Lenses of several other manufacturers, like Hermagis and Berthiot, were also mounted during the camera’s lifecycle.
The camera’s features:
- 6x13cm format
- Full metal body of 750 grams
- Rotating guillotine shutter, Londe & Dessoudeix design
- Six shutter speeds which can be set using a selector: 1 = 1/10 sec., 2 = 1/25 sec., 3 = 1/45 sec., 4 = 1/60 sec., 5 = 1/75 sec. and “pose” (manual)
- Five diaphragms: f/8.5 (or f/9), f/11, f/16, f/23, f/32
- Spirit level on top
- Leroy, Lucien. Appareil photographique donnant à volonté, soit des vues stéréoscopiques, soit des vues simples dites panoramiques, patent FR330693, 28 March 1903 – via: data.inpi.fr
- Leroy, Lucien. 12e Édition, 1913