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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.



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