☰ Menu
Art Deco Cameras

Agfa-Ansco PB20 Viking


Agfa-Ansco PB20 Viking
Agfa-Ansco PB20 Viking
Manufacturer: Agfa-Ansco
Produced: 1940
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Folding Bed
Bellows Deployment:Self Erecting
Film Type:620
Film width:62mm
Image Size:6 x 9 cm
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Viking Anastigmat
Focal Length:100mm
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Range:5ft - inf.
Aperture Type :Iris
Apertures :f/6.3 - f/32
Shutter Type:Rim-Set
Shutter Speeds:T, I (1/25, 1/50, 1/100s)
Size Open (w x h x d):85 x 150 x 125 mm
Size Closed (w x h x d):85 x 150 x 35 mm

Art Deco Credentials

star star star
Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention


The Agfa PB 20 Viking is a nicely-finished, higher-spec version of Agfa Ansco's other 6x9 PB 20 folders. In particular, this one has a body shutter release. It has good quality chrome finishes. The PB 20 designation for the film size is equivalent to 620 film. The camera was produced by Ansco in Binghamton, NY starting in about 1940. In 1943, the company dropped the "Agfa" part of its name in a bid to dissociate itself from Germany.

Two versions of the camera were made having an f/6.3 or f/7.7 anastigmat lens. Both are able to stop down to f/32. The rim-set shutter offers T, B, 1/100, 1/50, and 1/25 settings . It has body mounted and lens plate mounted viewfinders. It employs front focussing having a range of 5ft to infinity. The red window is fitted with a cover. It has two tripod mounts for portrait and landscape use. It is capable of capturing eight exposures of 2¼ x 3¼ inch (6x9 cm)

Using this camera

Find the manual here for the PB20 Viking 7.7 model which is very similar :- Agfa-Ansco PB20 Viking Manual

This camera takes 620 film which is still available from selected photographic outlets. Although the actual film is the same as 120 film, the spools are different. The 620 spools are slightly shorter and have a smaller diameter. Do not use 120 film in this camera because it will jam and may snap. It is possible to re-spool some 120 film onto 620 spools in a darkroom or changing bag. Don't forget to ask for your 620 spool back when getting the film developed.

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop. Number of stops over or under exposure shown in brackets.

Remember that the exposure guide in the camera user manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day in the UK.

If you are not sure about the light level, err on the side of overexposure - i.e. assume the smaller f number.

Where there is a choice, a larger f number will give a larger depth of field.

For the slower speeds, you may need a tripod to stop blur through shake.

Using ISO 100/125 film


Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/22f/16f/11
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/11f/8
Heavy OvercastNonef/11f/8f/6.3
Open Shade