- Supplementary - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Planiscope Attachments


John J. Griffin & Sons Ltd



Image of Planiscope Attachments

  • Wide-angle, 16" focal length, 1 " diameter.
  • Wide-angle, 20" focal length, 2 " diameter.
  • Portrait, 33" focal length, 2 " diameter.
  • Portrait, 24" focal length, 1 " diameter.
  • Copying, 8 " focal length, 1 ⅞" diameter. Spring grips marked DRGM. In black case.

Early version have a push-on mount, later a spring grip was used (subject of patent). A 'telephoto' was also produced.

References & Notes:
BP 20088/1909. BJA 1903, p. 946. BJA 1912, p. 1148. YBP 1901, p. 550.


Carl Zeiss



c. 18" focal length. 2x. 32 mm push-on fitting, brown mount. Case.

Serial Number:
504383 .

References & Notes:
BJA 1925, p. 682.


Carl Zeiss



3x. 32 mm push-on fitting, black mount. Case.

Serial Number:
398604 .

The Proxar and Distar when introduced were intended as focal length modification lenses for the Tessar and Triotar. The Proxar was introduced around 1925, the Distar had been introduced some years earlier. With the introduction of miniature cameras such as the Rolleiflex and Contax the Proxar was used as a close-up lens. Early Proxars have brown mounts.

References & Notes:
BJA 1927, pp. 340, 644. BJA 1929, p. 612. ZI Cat. 1937, p. 97. Minit&Cine 1939, p. 197.

Frena Focusing Lenses

c. 1895

R & J Beck



A set of four 'focusing lenses' for a Frena No.2. For: 32' - 9', 10' - 6', 6' - 4 ', 4 ' - 3 '. Case.

These correspond to strengths 1 - 4, others were produced for working as close as 7 ".

References & Notes:
Photographic Lenses A simple Treatise, 5th ed, p. 311.

Klito Magnifiers


J. Levi & Co.



Three 'focusing lenses' in one mount for attaching to a falling plate camera. For: 9', 6' and 3'. Box. Stamped with the Leviathan trade mark of Joseph Levi.

References & Notes:
Phot. Dealer July 1902, p. 185.



J. Levi & Co.



Two 'focusing lenses' and an ISO filter on a single mount. For: 9' and 6'. Shoe type mount.

References & Notes:
BP 25655/1903. Phot. Dealer Mar/1904, p. 75.

Kodak Portrait Lenses

Eastman Kodak Co.



  • Size 0. In tin case, with instructions.
  • Size 1. In tin case, focusing scale.
  • Size 2. In tin case with instructions.
  • Size 2. In orange box, with instructions.
  • Size 4. In orange box, with instructions.
  • Size 7. With instructions.
  • Size 8. In orange box.

Kodak Portrait Lenses

Kodak Ltd



  • Size 3. In tin case, with instructions.
  • Size 8. In tin case, with instructions.

These were introduced in 1900, the ones in orange boxes are later.


Long-focus attachment. Spring mount. Case.

Portrait Vorsatz Linse

Zeiss-Ikon A. G.



Image of Portrait Vorsatz Linse

Push-on mount. Box.

Supplementary Lenses

These are simple lenses placed in front of the camera lens, they can be negative - to increase the focal length or positive - to shorten the focal length.

They have been used in a number of ways:

  • Focusing attachments
    A set of positive lenses was sometimes provided with box or detective cameras to give a focusing capability.
  • Close-up lenses
    Typically used on cameras with single extension. These positive lenses allowed closer focusing. When introduced in the late 1890s they were often sold as copying, enlarging or portrait lenses.
  • Focal modification
    Here the purpose was to alter the angle of view. Used on bellows cameras where the extension could be altered. Positive lenses gave a wider angle, negative lenses decreased the angle (wrongly called telephoto attachments).
  • Film plane correction
    In colour processes where a screen plate is used the emulsion lies at the back of the sensitive plate and the film plane will be different to that shown on the focusing scale; using a low-power negative lens will bring the two into register. This was used in the Zeiss Ducar filter for use with Autochrome plates. The film plane register could also be different when changing from dark-slides to film packs, again a negative lens could be used to align the two. Goerz supplied such a lens for use with the film pack adapter of the Pocket Tenax.

With focusing and close-up lenses, with the primary lens set at infinity the focal length of the attachment gives the object distance.

The power is sometimes given in dioptres, this is the reciprocal of the focal length measured in metres.

Camera Accessories

Lens - Filters

  - Supplementary

  - Attachments

  - Prisms & Mirrors

  - Hoods

View-finders, View-meters

Rangefinders, Distance Meters

Focusing Magnifiers

Delayed-Action, Self-Timers


Tripods and Stands

Flash Equipment & Lighting

Close Up - Stands

  - Framing & Focusing

  - Bellows & Tubes

  - Lenses

  - Meters & Calculation

  - Microscope Attachment



Film Format Adapters

Film Handling