December 16, 2017

On July 2, 1896, Alexander Heinrich Rietzschel founded Optische Anstalt A. Hch. Rietzschel in Schwabing, a suburb of Munich. Rietzschel was an optician and precision mechanic from Dresden, studied his profession at Carl Zeiss Jena and worked for some time at Rodenstock and Steinheil.

The first products of the company were lenses. In 1910, the company offered the Linear symmetrical anastigmatic lens with 8 elements in just two groups. With this arrangement, there were only two groups between which reflections could appear. A similar anastigmatic lens was made by E. Suter.


In 1900, Rietzschel released his first camera, the Clack, and went on to produce many subsequent cameras of various types with variations of the name. Rietzschel's cameras included amateur models as well as studio cameras for professionals. In particular, there are many foldable cameras with names that are variations from Tip, which are often simpler models to match one of the Clack cameras.

In 1921, the company was bought by the Bayer Company (of Leverkusen), which transferred it to the filmmaker Agfa in 1925 as part of the merger of the two companies in the IG Farben conglomerate.


  • Clack
  • Condor Luxus
  • Film Type
  • Heli-Clack
  • Heli tip
  • Multi Clack
  • Ninon
  • Opal
  • Cosmo-Clack
  • Reform-Clack
  • Roll tip
  • Spezial-clack
  • Special-Tip
  • Tip:
  • Taschen-Clack
  • Universal heli-clack


  • Apotar
  • dialyt
  • Linear
  • Prolinear
  • Sextar
  • Solinear; (Solinar, Tessar scheme)
  • telelinear
  • Trilinear; (triplet)
  • Weitwinkel Apostigmat

Adapters for cameras and lenses

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