Voigtländer Avus is a series of folding plate cameras, manufactured by Voigtländer & Sohn AG, Braunschweig, in Germany from 1913 to 1935. These medium-to-upper-quality cameras were made in various formats. They had double-extension bellows, were equipped with Ibsor or Compur shutters (either the older dial-set or the newer rim-set versions), and high-quality Tessar-type lenses, such as Voigtländer's own Skopar design, or with a Voigtar lens. The front lens standard allowed a small amount of both rise/fall and lateral shift. Other than that, they were typical of the other folding plate cameras of the day, with big folding sports finder and additional brilliant viewfinder. The name Avus was taken from a popular car race circuit in Berlin, the first speedway of Germany. There is another explanation in the literature: the name A.V.U.S. is abbreviation of the company name: Aktiengesellschaft Voigtländer Und Sohn, (Voigtländer & Son, Limited Company).

Avus modelsEdit

  • Avus (1914-1926) 9x12 cm plates horizontal
  • Avus (1914-1926) 9x12 cm plates vertical. Brilliant finder on the left, no frame finder.
  • Avus (1927-1935)9x12 cm plates. Finder on the center, frame finder on side.
  • Avus (1914-1935) 6.5x9 cm plates
  • Avus 8x14 (1927-1930) 9x12 cm plates and 8x14 cm on 122 film.
  • Avus 10x15 (1920-1926) 10x15 cm plates. Post card format
  • Avus 8x14 (1927-1930) 9x12 cm plates and 8x14 cm on 122 film.


This data belongs to the camera model in the pictures. Principally the same with other Avus models. Lenses and shutters are variable. Other format models are also available.

  • Film format: 9x12 Plan Film
  • Lens: 135mm f/4.5 Anastigmat Skopar, filter slip-on 36.8mm, aperture: f/4.5-f/25
  • Focusing: Bellows focusing
    • By a thumb wheel, with locking facility, on the right of the front cover; index and scale on the right-inside of the front cover
    • You can view and adjust the exact focus via the ground glass screen on the back of the camera, w/ cloth hood; it opens by a latch on the left back side of the camera; this part can be removed by sliding it upwards for replacing the plate film holder
    • For this direct focusing the shutter must be on Z or T
    • Focus range: 1.2-20m +inf
  • Shutter: Compur leaf shutter, speeds: 1-1/200 +B & T
  • Setting: two dial sets on the shutter
    • For speeds: ring-dial on the shutter
    • Taking instant pictures with speeds, the time dial must be set on I or M
    • For time: markings on upper side of it Z-D-M (German) and opposite side T-B-I (English)
  • Cocking lever: for speeds, on the left side of the lens-shutter barrel
    • For time exposures cocking is not necessary, just press the shutter level after T or B settings
  • Shutter release lever: on the right lower side of the lens-shutter barrel
  • Cable release socket: on the lens-shutter barrel
  • View finders:
    • Waist level Brilliant Finder on top of the lens and bellows mount plate, w/ a small spirit level (or water level) mounted beside it
    • Sports finder: a big wire sports finder, hinged on the lens-shutter barrel mount plate and used with a folding rear peep sight frame, on the left side of the camera
  • Bellows: double-extension, can slide vertically and horizontaly by micrometer knotched knobs on the lens and lens standard
  • Front plate and bellows opening: front plate opens via a release button on the top front of the camera, barely visible under the leatherette cover; pull the bellows forward by engaging its rails to the front cover mounted rails, then pinch the two chrome grips on front of the lens rails inward simultaneously for slide-unlocking; operator may then pull out the bellows as far as the focus scale
    • Closing: simply pull in the bellows as far as possible, than press the struts inward
  • Back cover: as a plate film holder or ground glass screen, removable by sliding upwards after unlock the latch on top back side of the camera
  • Others: Tripod sockets two 3/8inch; Lugs for leather hand grip; serial no. none; Engravings on the back cover parts and inside of the front cover: Voigtländer; Relief on the leather hand grip: avus
  • Body: metal, Weight: 1069g


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