Charles Dessoudeix was a watchmaker. His company was founded in 1872 and located at Rue de Rocher in Paris. From 1883 he helps Albert Londe with the development of camera shutters. A year later they present their first shutter under the brand name "Londe & Dessoudeix".
The company of Dessoudeix is continued by Charles Bazin in 1891. He partners with Lucien Leroy and together they develop the Stéréocycle camera in 1897.
Charles Bazin leaves the company in 1899 and Lucien Leroy succeeds him. Leroy is passionate about stereoscopy and in 1903 he presents the Stéréo-Panoramique Leroy camera. He leads the company until 1923 and is succeeded by Emile Guérin.
Special about this camera is that it can produce both stereo photos and panoramic photos, just by switching the position of a lens.
Both lenses are used in stereo position. Each lens captures one stereo photo on the glass negative. There is a separation wall inside the camera that ensures that both lenses can make their own isolated exposures.
In panoramic position, only one lens is used to take panoramic photos. The left lens (from the viewer's perspective) is mounted on a circular plate. By turning it clockwise, the lens is positioned in the center. The separation wall inside the camera folds up. After positioning the lens, the right lens must be covered with the lens cap.
The viewfinder is a foldable metal frame on top of the camera that supports framing in stereo position and panorama position by aligning a reticle.
The camera is offered with lenses from different manufactures in a catalog from 1913:
- Darlot 80mm F8.5
- Ross 80mm F8.5
- Protar-Zeiss 82mm F9
- Goerz serie III 80mm F8.5
It's likely that during the First World War cameras with the German lenses of Zeiss and Goerz were not available. Lenses of several other manufacturers, like Hermagis and Berthiot, were also mounted during the camera's lifecycle.
The camera's characteristics:
- 6x13cm format
- Full metal body of 750 grams
- Rotating guillotine shutter, Londe & Dessoudeix design
- Six shutter speeds which can be set using a selector: 1 = 1/10 sec., 2 = 1/25 sec., 3 = 1/45 sec., 4 = 1/60 sec., 5 = 1/75 sec. and "pose" (manual)
- Five diaphragms: f/8.5 (or f/9), f/11, f/16, f/23, f/32
- Spirit level on top
- De Londe à Guérin ou l'histoire de la maison Dessoudeix, Club Niépce Lumière
- Lucien Leroy Catalog 1913