On July 12th 1896 Alexander Heinrich Rietzschel founded the Optische Anstalt A. Hch. Rietzschel in Schwabing, a suburb of Munich. Rietzschel was an optician and precision mechanic from Dresden who had learned his professions at Carl Zeiss Jena and had worked some time for Rodenstock and Steinheil.

The company's first products were lenses. In 1900 it produced its first camera, the Clack 1900. It produced cameras for amateurs as well as studio cameras for professionals. In 1921 the company was bought by Bayer (of Leverkusen), which handed it over to the film maker Agfa in 1925.

In 1910 the company offered a symmetrical anastigmatic lens with 8 elements in only two groups. With this arrangement there were only two groups between which reflections could appear. A similar anastigmatic lens was made by E. Suter.


  • Linear
  • Prolinear

Names later used by Agfa:

  • Apotar
  • Solinar


  • Clack 1900
  • Tip
  • Opal
  • Taschen-Clack
  • Cosmo-Clack
  • Spezial-Clack

Camera industry in Munich
Agfa | Deckel | Eder | Enna | Friedrich | Leitmeyr | Linhof | Niezoldi & Krämer | Perka | Rietzschel | Staeble | Steinheil