120folder.com          Plaubel Makina II

The Plaubel Makina II is a strut-folding rangefinder camera, for 6 x 9 and smaller formats on 120 film, but also for single sheet film 6.5 x 9.5. The model II was released in 1933 by Plaubel & Co, Frankfurt. There was a choice of lenses from wide-angle to tele.

The Plaubel Makina II shown is a very early model, it has a dial-set shutter and the diaphragm selector is still on the side. It has a coupled rangefinder with parallax correction by the eyepiece, the viewfinder is seperate and the shutter is in the middle of the lens. So changing lenses means changing front and back group seperate.

Size (mm): 155 x 103 x 76 with lens and rollfilm back, body only: 147 x 103 x 38
Weight: 1070 g, 675 g
Standard Lens: Anticomar 2.9/100, closest focus 1.4 m
Shutter: Compur, B, 1 - 1/200, F 2.9 - 18
Finder: coupled rangefinder
Film advance: automatic, red window

Here are some photos of the camera. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it feels at the bottom of the page.

Camera front, folded. Top: shutter release button, viewfinder (folded), rangefinder window, viewing window of rangefinder.
Top and bottom of lens board: closing buttons. Above the lens: Mode dial for shutter action, B,T. Under the lens: shutter cocking lever. To the right: fucusing knob. Folded on lensboard: framefinder.

Seen from the back. Top: eyepiece for framefinder, viewer for rangefinder, and eyepiece for viewfinder with parallax compension. Red window on the film back.

Left side.
Viewfinder set up. To the side of the lens board: aperture setting.

Right side. From front: focusing knob, tripod socket and film back locking device.

Camera extended.

Without lens.

Camera back side without film back. Rear lens element.

Two sheet film holders and a ground glass with hood. Although the rangefinder is excellent, you would need the ground glass for close-up photos.

The slide / ground glass side.

Ground glass attached to the camera.

Ground glass view.

Sheet film holder attached to the camera.

Genuine leather case.

Genuine leather case, top

Genuine leather case, open

Handling a
Plaubel Makina II is not so easy, it's not like the normal folding cameras. Loading film is not easy as well unless you are used to film backs with inserts. Putting a film has to be done in deep shade or better inside with not too much light. Open the camera back. Retract the film advance knob and take out the insert. Put the take-up spool into place, then the film roll and unroll some 15 cm (6") of the backing paper, the black side should show towards you. Put the backing paper all around the insert until it reaches the take-up spool. Put the insert back into the holder and the advance knob into the end of the take-up spool. Insert the film paper backing into the spool and advance it using the knob until the engages firmly.

Now it depends, whether you have a back with or without red window. If you have a red window, close the back. Check, whether the dark slide is put. Open the red window and advance fim until the number "2" shows in the window, yes, it's "2". Lift the counter wheel and put it to "1", the mark is on the axis of the advance lock lever. The back is ready now for the first shot.

If you don't have a red window, advance the film cautiously and look at the film spool. Stop when you see the first mm of the tape fixing the film itself. Close the back.
Check, whether the dark slide is put. Lift the counter wheel and put it to "0", the mark is on the axis of the advance lock lever. Advance the film via the advance knob until the film counter will show "1", it should stop then. The back is ready now for the first shot.

Put the film back on the camera. Don't forget to retract the dark slide. Extend the struts by pulling the lens board out. Cock the shutter. Set speed/aperture
. Look through the rangefinder and set the focus. Look through the viewfinder and frame your picture If it's o.k. press the shutter button. That's it. Advance the film to the next picture. Put the dark slide back. Press the 2 buttons at the top and the bottom of the lensboard and collapse the struts.

Plaubel Makina II is a nice, a bit heavy camera, not so easy to use. It fits into two large coat pockets if you detach the film back. Once you are used to it, handling is fluid and logic. The lens gives good results. It's a nice old professional folder.

Plaubel Makina II
body only
155 x 103 x 76
149 x 103 x 38
CAuto, RWAnticomar 2.9/100 | 1,4B T 1-1/200 | 18 6x9 Format, 6x6, 24x36, single sheet available

There are 2 more plaubel lenses, obviously from other cameras, they don't fit the makina (yet) and 2 close-up lenses.

A Tele-Makinar with its own diaphragm, F 6.3 - 36, closest focus 2m, it extends only a little during focusing. It comes from a Makina II with rim-set shutter.

Tele-Makinar front.

Tele-Makinar Back.

A Tele-Peconar
with its own diaphragm, F 5 - 12 indicated, but goes beyond until a little opening which seems to be ~36, closest focus 3m, it extends a lot during focusing.

Tele-Peconar extended and without its adapter. This lens might come from a old studio device. It's a variable focus lens, usable with or without rear element (=Hinterlinse), hence the "H" mark.

Tele-Peconar front.

Tele-Peconar back.

Its leather case.

Two close-up lenses, the R 0.1 left and the T 1.5, the first for life-size magnification (focus 0.24m), the second reduces min. focus to 0.76m with the Anticomar.