View Full Version : Hello, Helvetia

28-Jan-2017, 14:50
I never heard about my Helvetia Extra Rapid before I bought a 24x30 cm camera some years ago.

I grabbed the lens off the camera, and forgot it; but thisadays I was in the mood to give it a try on my 30x40 cm /12x16" Reisekamera.


Some separations,yes, no further informations onto the barrel, and it came with one whaterhouse stop f/8 which means wide open; the FL has something around 500mm, and the lens covers well, at least with ratio 1:1.

It feels that the Helvetia may become my favourite lens, especially after re-arranging the lens groups.
Sorry for nonretouching the contact print at this time:



Steven Tribe
29-Jan-2017, 09:00
How can you rearrange the cells of an aplanat! I have heard the name before and thought they might be an alternative brand from Suter, who were also specialist in magnificant big aplanats.

29-Jan-2017, 16:40
Yes, Steve, the Helvetia seems to be an Aplanat, and it was possible to flip the lens groups.
So I would call it a new arrangement, and now I have to study the given effects.

I like your idea about the Suter brand; is there a way to find out some more, maybe by observing the Hieroglyphs on the glass edges ?


Steven Tribe
9-Feb-2017, 14:14
The other Helvetia I found was also a large aplanat.

Without other data on the lens, I would suggest that this a company name rather than a lens making organisation. The lens being originally part of a specialised copying/reproduction/printing camera made by the firm of Helvetia. This is probably based in Switzerland and likely got their lens from Suter - from the Aplanat B production line!