Debrie Parvo K Movie Camera, 1930

Debrie Parvo K motion pictures camera, 1930

The Parvo was one of the most popular professional cameras in its time, its compact design and its reliability made it the first choice for newsreel as well as for feature films. The camera is part of the estate of the late Austrian film producer Kurt Miksch and according to him it was used in the world-famous movie 'The Thrid Man'. It has a extremely accurate film movement and could also be used to shoot in reverse. The camera has never been restored and is in the original used condition. It comes with a Krauss Paris Tessar 3.5/75mm no.122043, an attached electric motor and a case of 6 magazines.

The Parvo held up to 120 metres (390 ft) of film inside without the need for an external film magazine, yielding almost 6 minutes of film when cranked at the standard 16 frames per second silent film rate. It allowed the camera operator to focus the camera lens but - as all other cine cameras of its era - had a side optical viewfinder to be used during actual filming.

The Parvo was immensely popular in Europe during the silent film era, straight through the 1920s. Directors who relied on the camera included Dziga Vertov, Abel Gance, Leni Riefenstahl, and Sergei Eisenstein. The latter's cinematographer, Eduard Tisse, would use the camera into the sound era, i.e. filming the duelling sequence in Alexander Nevsky. Vertov animated a Debrie Parvo as mechanical protagonist and used it to make several hand-held sequences in his 1929 documentary, Man with a Movie Camera.

Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica Auction