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OrionwerkRio 12 C

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1921-1929. 9x12cm plates, folding camera. Four slightly different models. Dual pressed metal or single flip-folding knob for pulling out the front bed. Also sold rebadged as Helfix by "der Photo-Helfer" (Wilhelm Helfer).

Orionwerk: Rio 12 C camera

Camera featured in these collections: cameracollect0r bill339

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by Madd10 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:53 pm

Here are some pictures

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by bill339 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:14 pm

Thought I would add some information about the camera.
With help from the administrator I have determined the camera brand is "Der Photo-Helfer" and the model is “Helfix”. This was a rebadged “Orionwork Rio 12 C” and rebaged by a Cologne photo dealer in Germany of the name Wilhelm Helfer. He also was a photographer of some notoriety that was born in 1864 and was known to work from 1890 to the late 1920s as evidenced by his photos. Many small camera companies were established in Germany and most failed. Der Photo-Helfer is possibly one of these short lived or renamed companies.
This is a (½ plate?) (9x12cm) billows folding camera with a Helfix Anastigmat f6.3-13.5cm lens. Also printed on the lens ring is Kolner Photo-Kino-Centrale. The shutter is an AGC (Alfred Gauthier in Calmbach) Vario with speeds of 1/25 to 1/100 of a second with bulb and time. The shutter release has a lever and a cable release socket. The aperture setting is at the bottom of the shutter assembly (6.3-36). The focus range is 2 feet to infinity with an adjustable lens axis by raising and lowering the lensboard with the knob on the top right of the front standard. The rear standard has a ground glass screen insert that shows the inverted image directly at the plane of the film. The camera also has a waist high viewfinder mounted to the lensboard. The Rio 12 C or Helfix has a focus adjuster mounted to the front standard and it slides on the rails of the fold out bed. When this adjuster is in its proper position it can easily slide the standard/lens assembly on the rails from 2 feet to infinity on the distance chart attached to the rail bed (Base). A handy carry handle is mounted on the top of the camera and two 3/8 inch 16 thread tripod sockets are provided for landscape and portrait positioning. Judging by the Vario shutter 2-blade dial-set, the shutter speeds, and the medium used by the Helfix, the camera like the Orionwork Rio 12 C was made 1921-1929.

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