As most of my self portraits are shot in medium format with a Mamiya RB67, I was looking for some little helper like the Autoknips since a long time. It’s so simple that it can’t fail, handy and easy to use.

I never liked those extra long rubber bulb air cable releases. No matter how you handle them, they are always visible in some extent. The Autoknips system with it’s clockwork was my choice.

All you need except the Autoknips is a quality cable release. As tiny it might look like – the Autoknips has power and might harm the cheaper built ones.

Besides all practical considerations the Haka Autoknips is a beautiful and tiny piece of photographic history. A little magic life hack from the early days of amateur photography.

The Haka Autoknips is a mechanical vintage self timer, made by Klapprott in Hamburg, Germany.

Haka AutoknipsAn External Vintage Self Timer

Friedo Wiesenhavern & Heinrich Klapprott

The Haka Autoknips is a mechanical self timer, made by Friedo Wiesenhavern and Heinrich Klapprott in Hamburg, Germany.

The need for selfies is almost as old as photography itself. The majority of old analog film cameras, especially in the medium format branches, are missing one thing: a built in self timer.

The first Haka Autoknips (Modell 1) was introduced in the early 1920ies. The idea itself is even a little bit older: A simple clockwork mechanism, pulling down a release of an ordinary cable release.

In 1909 Friedo Wiesenhavern and Heinrich Klapprott introduced their first model of a self timer, at this time called EFFWEE-Autoknips.

1919 the first Haka-Autoknips was introduced. Since then several models appeared. You can find a very detailed article (in German) here.