Wood folding camera 'Van Goitsenhoven'


The manufacturer of this large folding camera was Louis Van Goitsenhoven (Brussels, 1874 to 1942). The latter was primarily a pioneer of the cinema. He launched the first public cinema in Brussels (1904) and produced a number of films in the beginning of the 20th century (see his filmography). Since only rudimentary cine equipment was available at that time Van Goitsenhoven set up a workshop on his own and started production for his needs and later also for commercialization.

This camera was in use until 1954 in a Belgian factory producing high quality antique furniture. All items produced there (mostly unique pieces) were taken with this camera before being delivered.

Picture size 17 x 23 cm, swivel frame for selecting landscape or portrait mode

Lens: Schulze und Billerbeck, Goerlitz, Euryplan 1:6,3 f=240mm, diaphragm 6,3 to 64

Double extension (50cm). Thus close-ups are possible up to (or even beyond) the ratio of 1:1. A groundglass screen enables control of the viewing area and focusing.

There are three wooden plate holders which can be loaded on both sides with photographic plates. Thus shooting sessions with up to 6 shots are possible with the present equipment.

There is no mechanical shutter fitted on the camera presented here. Pictures are taken by removing briefly the lens cover (usually in the range of 1 to 5 seconds).

The lens can be shifted horizontally and vertically in order to avoid distortions if pictures are taken at oblique angles.

The bellows can be closed completely and the baseboard be folded upwards. Thus the camera is reduced to a very compact block if it is not in use or for transport (the transporting handle is visible on the photo hereby).