Plaubel is a German camera maker, founded in November 1902, by Hugo Schrader, who learned the technology of cameras and lenses as an apprentice at Voigtländer in Braunschweig in the late 1800s before being employed by a Frankfurt camera and lens manufacturer and distributor, Dr. R. Krügener, whose daughter he married. Hugo Schrader and his wife elected to open their own business, Plaubel & Co., as distributors and makers of cameras and lenses, naming it after his brother-in-law because he thought Plaubel was easier to remember than Schrader.
Its first product catalog was published for Christmas of 1902 and included cameras of all sizes and makes plus many accessories. In 1912 Hugo Schrader introduced the first Plaubel Makina, a compact bellows camera with a unique scissors-struts design. It evolved into a legendary press camera before production was stopped 48 years later. In 1908 the Schraders had a son, Goetz, who was to become the future mainstay of the firm. He entered Plaubel in 1925 as an apprentice and became head of the technical department and in charge of camera development in 1930. A year later he became co-owner with his father. After the death of Hugo Schrader in 1940, Goetz Schrader took over the management of the company.
During World War II Plaubel was converted to manufacture precision military gear but was bombed and seriously damaged in 1944. After World War II ended in 1945, Schrader designed and produced a number of large-format Peco monorail studio view cameras. In 1961 Plaubel introduced the advanced Makiflex and Pecoflex, 9x9cm/6x9cm/6x6cm SLR cameras, with focal-plane shutters and revolving backs, and (together with the American firm Burleigh Brooks) the remarkable Veriwide 100, a 6x10cm roll-film viewfinder camera with a fixed ultra-wide lens. In 1975, Schrader sold the company to the Japanese Kimio Doi Group. Plaubel is especially known for its 6x7 Plaubel Makina roll film cameras. In the middle of the 1970's, the unique Makina scissors-strut camera was succeeded by a Japanese-built Makina 6x7 with Nikkor lens, first shown in the exhibition in 1977 and released in 1978. The wide-angle "sister", Makina W67 came in 1982. Later the type changed to 670, adding modifications like the 220 film capability and a hot-shoe. The company still services and repairs these cameras today but stopped production of the Makina 6x7 in 1986. Goetz Schrader died in 1997 but Plaubel continued to produce large format monorail cameras like the Peco Profia until 2017. They also made a 6×9 cm/2-14x3-1/4 inch medium-format Peco monorail view camera for digital and roll film photography (PL69D).