Sociedad Ibero-Americana de la Historia
de la Fotografia Museo Fotográfico y Archivo Historico "Adolfo Alexander"
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Sept Debrie/Autocinephot FACT
The Turin firm F.A.C.T. of Lord. Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Tartara begins at the end of WWI, production and sellings of a 35mm movie camera with the Autocinephot name. The film could be manually advanced or by an accessory spring motor. The camera could be either used as still camera in the 18x24mm size, in single or in sequence pictures.
A lamp house can be added to the camera and the apparatus becomes a movie or a still projector, and can also be used as a copy device or as an enlarger.
Original lens was a Koristka Aether 45mm f/3.5 and the shutter is coupled to a Maltese cross. So the Autocinephot can run up to 160 frames in a single run.
There were built no more than one hundred units with numbers from 1500 to
1650 circa. The Autocinephot was perfected and presented in the 1920’s Milan
fair with a new name: “Apparecchio Foto Cine Automatico Sept”. The Trade
mark Sept was rent to the French firm André Debrie which put it in
production with the name “Sept” between 1923 and 1927, slightly modified and
now with French lenses. Developing the Italian trade mark, André Debrie
develops a sophisticated mechanical concept, giving in a single stoke Photo
and Cinema. Huge and heavy the Sept is composed of two distinct parts: the
camera and the motor. The camera is aluminum alloy built, while the motor is
metal built. Differently from the Autocinephot, the Sept uses a special
magazine capable of 5 meters film load offering 250 frames in the 18x24mm
size. The rotating shutter gives a single speed of 1/60 second and the time
P. The shutter is built on aluminum and is subjected to some deformation.
The Sept used Stylor Roussel, Stellior Berthiot or Tessar Krauss lenses, but
rarely is also seen the Anastigmat Huet, all with 50mm focal length and
f/3.5 speed. Sometimes it is found with a different focal length. The motor
can be used for single or sequence picture taking, giving a movie camera
effect. The same apparatus could be used as contact printer, still or movie
projector and as an enlarger. The finder is divided in two parts, can be
repositioned and used as reflex angular finder. During the production era we
noted some constructive and aesthetical variants including the writing mood
of “Societé Française Sept – Paris” that did not exists in the oldest
models. Also there were the lacking of the rear window. The first model is
immediately recognized by the square shape of the motor and the flat front
of the equipment. The second model has a powerful motor; greater, and with a
round and prominent front.
Spring driven motor camera for still pictures, sequential pictures or movies. When a circular lid was removed from the back, the camera could be placed in front of a light source and act as a movie projector. 18x24mm on 35mm in special 5m cartridges.
35mm, spring wound mechanism, metal body folding viewfinder.
Literature: Auer & Ory (1979), Histoire de la cine amateur p82. Ariel (1989), Cinematographic Register, Band 4, no. 989. The Autocinephot was patented in January 1919.
Originally designed as a hand-cranked amateur pocket cine camera. It was later redesigned to incorporate an external spring motor.
The Autocinephot is more compact than the Sept by Debrie
The Sept by Debrie It was re-introduced in 1922, and became a highly popular camera.